With the busy demands of fall looming (and those hot summer temperatures sadly declining), I’ve been looking for snacks that shout both convenience and comfort. I’ve experimented with bars, both store-bought and homemade, but keep coming back to that old friendly staple, trail mix. And since today is National Trail Mix Day, I thought what better time to enjoy some trail mix recipes. Why? Because trail mix is…
- Easy to Make: What could be simpler than tossing together a few wholesome ingredients? Plus, no cooking is required, at least for the mixes I’m sharing!
- Convenient: Trail mix is typically shelf stable and can travel in a baggie or container with you just about anywhere. And one benefit of the cooler temperatures is that you can throw in some tasty dairy-free dark chocolate without the fear of it melting in transit!
- Well-Rounded Nutritionally: Most trail mixes have some ingredients with quick energy, like dried fruits or chocolate, AND ingredients with sustaining protein and healthy fats, like nuts and seeds. It’s like a perfectly balanced nutritional mini-meal to-go.
- Special Diet-Friendly: I make all of these trail mix recipes dairy-free in my house. They can also be vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or almost any diet need.
- The Perfect Flavor: Trail mix is a breeze to customize, so you can use your favorite ingredients for your own ideal mix.
Which begs the question: Who needs a recipe for such a simple snack? Call them trail mix recipes, ideas, or just inspiration – whatever the label, I hope you find a new favorite combination in this wholesome mix…
Breakfast-Worthy Trail Mix Recipes
Protein Power Mix
This blend will depend on the flavor profile of your protein bar or choice. I find that 1 protein bar matches up well with about 1/2 cup of additions. Here are a couple of my favorites for their lower sugar, dairy-free, higher protein profile (when made as is, each mix has 20+ grams of protein):
- Cinnamon-Pecan: Chop one Cinnamon Pecan Simply Bar and toss with 1/4 cup pecan halves and 1/4 cup raisins.
- Blueberry-Coconut: Chop one Lemon Coconut Simply Bar and toss with 1/4 cup cashews, 1/4 cup dried blueberries, and 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Mocha-Almond: Chop one Cocoa Coffee Simply Bar and toss with 1/4 cup sliced almonds and 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks.
Berry-Topped Cereal Mix
This one’s like a portable bowl of breakfast cereal! Gently combine 1 cup of whole grain cereal with 1/4 cup sliced almonds and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dried berries (we like a combination of dried blueberries and cherries). To keep it wholesome, we like the really hearty whole grain flake cereals like Uncle Sam, but popular ones like whole-grain chex-style cereals work well, too.
Autumn Granola Mix
Toss 1 cup granola with 2/3 cup chopped dried apples, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste). A simple granola works great, and even toasted oats will work in a pinch for a “bowl of oatmeal” vibe.
Chocolate-Lover Trail Mix Recipes
“Good ‘Ol Raisins & Peanuts” (plus chocolate) is my husband’s favorite. Simply toss together equal parts raisins, peanuts, mini pretzels, and dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks. If you want a good peanut-free option, you can use a different P-nut. Try pecans, pistachios, or even pumpkin seeds for a delicious twist!
A jungle twist on GORP. Place 3/4 cup banana chips or dried banana slices, 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup raisins in a baggie and shake to mix up.
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Mix
This classic dessert makes a tasty snack in its dried form, too. Mix up 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pistachios, 1/2 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1/3 cup dried cherries. For a lower-fat option, skip the nuts, but use 1-1/2 cups of plain granola. For an extra chocolate punch, use chocolate granola or dust the mix with cocoa powder.
Back to Nature Trail Mix Recipes
Hit the Trail Mix
For me, the “original” trail mix is a simple blend of just fruit and nuts – sustainable energy in its most wholesome form. To get this goodness, combine equal parts almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and raisins. For a sweeter blend, add chopped dates or double the raisins.
For the Birds Mix
For this nut-free combination, toss 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels, 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3 cup cranberries, and 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots onto a baggie, and give it a shake. If desired, add teaspoon ground flaxseed. Another option is to reduce each type of dried fruit to 1/4 cup, and add 1/4 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips.
Hawaiian Delight Mix
Add 2/3 cup cashews, 1/3 cup macadamia nuts (more if within your budget!), 1/4 cup dried pineapple pieces, 1/4 cup diced dried mango, 1/4 cup diced dried papaya, and 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes to a bowl, and stir to combine.
Alton Brown’s Trail Mix
Keepin’ it simple, my favorite food network recipe creator recommends combining 3 cups of dried fruit (your choice), 1 cup of nuts (your choice) and 1 cup of granola (dairy-free and gluten-free even!) for the perfect ratio.
This post is sponsored by Simply Choices. And yes, I really do use their bars to make trail mix! They also offer soy-free, dairy-free protein chips for a handy snack, available in three flavors.
Love that there is always a perfect combination for every one and every craving!!
Ok, this is now my new favorite place on the Internet. My best friend and soon-to-be roommate has a deadly dairy allergy and I have a recently developed peanut/soy allergy so finding things we can both safely eat, and especially snack on, is difficult. Thank you for this and the other recipes I am looking forward to finding!
Thank you for the sweet words Katie, and I’m so glad that I can help!
Wow amazing ideas! Now I’m hungry!
I’m all about that Hawaain Delight Mix!! Love the combo here and perfect to keep in my pocketbook!
How fun! So many great ideas, thanks for sharing!
so many of these sound great to me! I love the Hawaiian mix…
What an excellent assortment of trail mix! I lived on trail mix at my last job. 🙂
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I am a huge Alton Brown fan! The Good Eats science segments were always my favorite in a food geek kind of way, then they were incredibly helpful later when I was trying to figure out how to make a recipe work without [fill in the blank] ingredient. Now if I could just get my incredibly picky child to eat a nut free trail mix…
I’ve never actually had the Food Network channel on TV (or seen it!), but when I first started trialing recipes online, I gravitated toward Alton’s and he has never once let me down! I need to see if some of his shows are online. Good to know I’m not the only food geek Libby!
Well, I bet he would eat pretzels, raisins and chocolate chips, no? 🙂
I like the breakfast ideas. Even better, I like being introduced to another real protein bar – one that has a significant amount of protein and is not real high in carbs. And doesn’t have Sucralose!!