This is a variation of our trail mix base recipe. As dietitians, we get a lot of questions about healthy snacks; trail mix is our go-to recommendation for a satisfying snack. Trail mix is lightweight, temperature-stable, energy-providing, and well-balanced. It’s easy to pack for a day on the trails, at the office, on the run, or even at home. With a blend of tropical fruits and nuts, this tropical trail mix recipe will transport you to the beach wherever you may be!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
Culinary Tips for Making this Easy Trail Mix Recipe
Trail mix doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and requires just one simple step, so it’s a great recipe to practice customizing to your taste!
Feel free to leave your measuring tools in the cabinet for this recipe! There is no need for precise measurements. Our ingredient quantities are just suggestions based on purchased bag weights.
Trail mix is a great recipe for kids to help make. They love stirring, mixing, and shaking the ingredients together!
Dried pineapple and mango often come in large pieces. Chop into bite size pieces or leave large, it’s up to you and your taste!
- Cashews: For best flavor, buy lightly-salted roasted cashews or toast nuts yourself. You can substitute any other nut, but it might impact the tropical feel.
- Macadamia Nuts: For best flavor, buy lightly-salted roasted nuts or toast nuts yourself. You can substitute any other nut, but macadamia nuts add a tropical element and give it a Hawaiian trail mix recipe vibe. They are quite expensive, so you can always cut back and add more cashews!
- Dried Mango: Look for sugar-free varieties. Slices or dices are a better size than mango “cheeks”. If you don’t like mango, substitute additional dried pineapple or coconut or add another tropical fruit, like papaya or guava.
- Dried Pineapple: Look for sugar-free unsulfured varieties. Chunks are a better size than rings, but you can always cut the rings in halves or fourths. If you don’t like pineapple, substitute additional dried mango or coconut or add another tropical fruit, like papaya or guava.
- Coconut Flakes: choose unsweetened coconut. Flakes or “smiles” are better than shreds in a trail mix, but shredded coconut can be substituted if the small size works for you! If you don’t like coconut, leave it out.
Add a 12-ounce bag of dark chocolate chips if you can’t imagine a trail mix without chocolate.
Candied ginger, banana chips, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds are all fun additions.
Need some trail mix recipe inspiration?
Use our trail mix base recipe as a guide to make it your own, or try out these tasty variations!
You just need a few pieces of kitchen equipment to make this recipe come together!
Is Tropical Trail Mix Healthy?
A lot of store-bought trail mixes aren’t super healthy, but building your own trail mix at home allows you to choose the ingredients you use, which certainly means that it can be a healthy snack! The featured ingredients in this healthy homemade trail mix recipe are nuts, tropical dried fruit, and coconut.
Nuts of all varieties contain plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients help you feel satisfied until your next meal. Nuts, like all plant foods, are also rich in phytonutrients that help fight off disease and keep you well.
Tropical Dried Fruit
All dried fruit contains carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. For optimal nutrition, choose varieties with no added sugars. Mango and pineapple are high in fructose, which is natural fruit sugar. Don’t let that scare you! Natural sugar is not the same as added sugar; when paired with all the other nutrients in the fruit, it does not have the same effect on your body like sugary snacks and beverages do.
Coconut is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While coconut is classified as a saturated fat, research suggests that not all saturated fats share the same health concerns. Coconut contains medium-chain fatty acids which are absorbed differently than other saturated fats and contains several health benefits including potentially delaying the onset of early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Choose coconut flakes without added sugar. (1)
What is a serving of trail mix?
One serving of trail mix is about ¼ cup or 2 ounces. If you need help with portion control, divide the trail mix into small, reusable containers in 2-ounce portions.
Trail Mix Storage Suggestions
How long does homemade trail mix last? We recommend storing trail mix for about one month. Nuts might start to go rancid after that point.
Want more healthy snack ideas?
Check out our other favorite snack recipes!
Tropical Trail Mix
- 12 ounces (~2 ½ cups) roasted, lightly-salted cashews
- 12 ounces (~2 ½ cups) roasted, lightly-salted macadamia nuts
- 8 ounces (1 ½ cups) dried chopped mango
- 8 ounces (1 ½ cups) dried pineapple
- 2 ounces (~1 cup) dried unsweetened coconut flakes or smiles
- Place all ingredients in a large bag or container and shake to mix. Enjoy!