Trail mix is more than just a pre-packed assortment of nuts. It is a conglomerate of dried fruits, your favorite and nutritious snacks (both savory and sweet), as well as a bit of nuts here and there. It is a healthy alternative to snacking on chocolate bars!
You would be surprised at how much trail mix comes in handy when hiking up a mountain, or going on a long walk with friends. It provides you with a constant stream of energy, ensuring that you don’t become exhausted early in your adventure.
Making your own trail mix is not only cost-effective, but it gives you a personal sense of pleasure. You are including items that you enjoy. Making it yourself ensures that you won’t need to pick out ingredients that you just don’t enjoy.
When on an Adventure—It Is All About the Trail Mix!
Trail mixes have a wide variety of different combinations that you can use. Savory, sweet, or a mixture of both—your possibilities are endless! They even offer a little heat, if you’re into spice! If you are going on a camping trip, why not make ‘trail mix making’ a fun activity for everyone to get involved with?
What we love about trail mixes, is that you can adapt them in such a way that your nutritional requirements are always adhered to. Some might prefer ingredients that are high in protein, others may like a bit of chocolate, it is all about personal preference.
What many people love to do is to get a wide variety of different sizes of ziploc bags, types of nuts, dried fruit, and then go to town on baking their own inclusions for their trail mix. Peanut butter health balls are usually an amazing option!
How to Make Trail Mix
Making your own trail mix is not as hard as you may believe. If we want to be rather eloquent, we can refer to it as a smorgasbord of ingredients. With that being said, the greater the variety, the greater the taste.
If you are an avid adventurer who enjoys going out into the mountains for the weekend, we would highly recommend making one large trail mix and decanting from it every time you leave your campsite.
If you prefer packing individual trail mixes, including a variety across different days, then that’s okay too! This leads us to the most important part of your trail mix—sandwich bags. Many prefer air-tight ziploc bags, but either of them work well.
If you plan on venturing into areas that have a high humidity, lots of rivers you need to wade through, or your weather forecast predicts rain, we recommend you use ziploc bags. Their air-tight seal will prevent unwanted moisture seeping in.
Another question many people ask is, “How much is too much?” To be honest, trail mix is not meant to substitute your main meals of the day. They are meant to be a snack for in-between your meals.
Naturally, people find that including approximately five to eight different types of ingredients, makes for a great all-rounded trail mix. It all depends on what you prefer, and this is the time to let your creative juices run wild!
This is where personal preference will dictate the nutritional value of your trail mix. However, this is not the only consideration that is necessary. Your daily routine and personal fitness goals may also dictate which ingredients you include.
For example, if you are a bodybuilder that is in the process of getting their cardio in, you might find that nuts are a good ingredient based on their protein content. However, if fitness isn’t an immediate goal, some chocolate drops can be included.
Other than personal preference, you want to make sure that your trail mix has a good balance of carbohydrates (which provide you with long-term energy), healthy fats, and a small portion of sugar-containing sweets (for those instant energy boosts).
Savory Versus Sweet
Let’s hop into a few examples of some of your more common types of trail mixes. Remember, you are able to customize them as much as you want. You can use these little recipes as a guide.
One of the most common forms of savory trail mixes is known as the ‘Peanut Butter Friend.’ What we love about this mix is that it incorporates mainly savory items such as almonds, peanuts and banana chips, with some sweet peanut butter chips.
If you want to add a bit of dried fruit into your mix, why not create your own tropical mix? For this mix, you’ll need to combine some cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, some unsweetened banana chips, dried mango bits, and coconut flakes.
A favorite savory mix that we also just love is the ‘Fall Flavors.’ This mix combines the protein content of pecans and pumpkin seeds, with that of dried apples and maple granola. The mix is then rounded off with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Chocolate lovers will enjoy a mixture of M&M’s, some dried cranberries, hazelnuts, almonds that have been covered in chocolate, and some cacao bites! If you’re feeling adventurous, add some white caramel drops into the mix!
Some enjoy the typical peanut butter and jelly in the literal sense. However, there is a trail mix adaptation which consists of peanut butter chips, some dried strawberries, and shredded wheat cereal. Basically your classic deconstructed PB&J.
Now that you have a great idea of the main constituents within a savory and sweet trail mix, let’s take a look at some of the mixes that have a mixture of the two.
One of our perfect balances of savory and sweet, which will also entice the coffee lovers, will include hazelnuts, chocolate-covered coffee beans, almonds, raisins, and some white chocolate chips.
For those who enjoy fruit, nuts, and a bit of sweetness, why not try adding together some goji berries, dark chocolate chips, dried blueberries, pistachios, flax seeds and a dash of sea salt. This trail mix can also be used as a perfect post-workout snack.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Why should one pack a bag of trail mix?
A: You may find yourself lacking some energy on your adventure, however, you aren’t hungry enough to eat the lunch you have prepared. This is where your trial mix comes in.
Not only is it a fantastic energy source, but it keeps you going until your body really does need to have lunch. Some people even use their trail mix as a distance tracker, eating a specific amount after every mile they walk.
Q: Can I only make a trail mix for a hike?
A: Not at all! Trail mixes sound like they are only for the hiking trail, but there are so many reasons to mix up some ingredients to enjoy a myriad of other activities. An example could be mixing popcorn, M&M’s, and dried cherries together for a movie.
In actual fact, whenever you plan on taking any form of bug-out bag or carrier bag with you on an adventure, make sure to pack a few of your favorite trail mixes inside. You never know when you may need them!
Q: Can you purchase ready-made trail mixes?
A: You definitely can! However, the chances are that you will most likely not want a specific ingredient in your trail mix. This is why we recommend doing some research on pre-made trail mixes, and adapting it to your fancy!
You may also find that with ready-made trail mixes, that they add extra sugar, colorants, and flavorings to their ingredients. If you are conscious about your health, we would definitely recommend staying away from them.
Q: Are there constituents in a trail mix that you shouldn’t substitute?
A: Not at all. Every ingredient in a trail mix should be one that you enjoy! Whether you are a person who enjoys more than 12 different ingredients, or you are more simplistic and only prefer four, the choice will always be yours!
Creating your own trail mix is usually a task that many wish to avoid. However, we cannot express the excitement that one gets when you are mixing your favorite items together, knowing that you are going to enjoy it later!
Some people are even able to see personality types based on what one puts into their trail mix. It is a great way to get to know other people, and have fun in the process. Not only that, but you can make your mixes as healthy as you would prefer!