It only makes sense that if you’re hitting the trails, you should have some trail mix in your backpack to keep you satiated. After all, it’s called trail mix for a reason! Does that sound boring or overdone? Nonsense! These days healthy trail mix recipes for hiking are about so much more than peanuts and M&M’s (you don’t really need M&M’s while hiking anyway). That’s why we’ve dedicated this article to building the best trail mix for you, so you can get your delicious, healthy fix on while working your tail off on the trails. All of this is meant for you experiment with and make yourself so have fun!
Key Ingredients In Any Trail Mix
Let’s start with the key ingredients. These come in handy when you’re short on time and need to throw something together (that is also delicious and packs and energy boost).
Ever heard of GORP? If not, you may now be thinking- what does GORP stand for? Typically it stands for Good Old Raisins And Peanuts, but we put a twist on it. How about Granola Oats Raisins and Peanuts? This gives you a lot of options and we guarantee that if you throw all of these ingredients in a bag and hit the road, you will absolutely be satisfied with the taste later.
The beautiful thing about our version of GORP is that it is almost impossible to mess up! We consider all of these ingredients to be essential in trail mix. Let’s break it down a little further.
Nuts & Seeds
Why do you want nuts? Because they are full of nutrients that boost energy, that’s why! Nuts are full of healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, and fiber to keep you moving at your desired pace. If you have a nut allergy, opt for seeds! If you don’t have a nut allergy, use both as you please. The healthiest nuts are walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, and pistachios.
Dried fruit gives you a boost of healthy sugar. Be careful and read the ingredient list however as this item can be secretly packed full of added sugar and additives that end up making it more like candy than a natural snack.
Grains and Granola
Some complex carbs will give your mix some extra fiber and an added energy boost. Use granola instead of processed cereals to avoid unhealthy ingredients and added sugar.
BONUS: Sweet and Savory Extras
No one can deny that salty peanuts and chocolate go well together. If you are a lover of that combo, get some dark chocolate or peanut butter chips to satisfy that sweet tooth. Get creative by adding cinnamon, sea salt, nutmeg, cardamom, or even cayenne pepper.
Trail mix bar ideas for a more transportable snack
If you’re looking for something to literally grab and go, make the switch from bagged mixes to bars! Take your favorite mix and add in some melted honey and almond butter. Spread it out on a pan and press it down. Bake it for a few minutes, until it sticks together and then cut it into bars. You can also use oatmeal as a binding agent.
Some Combinations for You to Try
If you’re wanting some ideas to work off of- we’ve got you covered. Check it out:
1. Almonds, dried cranberries, dark chocolate, sea salt, cinnamon.
2. Go old school if you desire and get your original GORP on! Add in some other dried fruits or different nuts to mix it up.
3. Cashews, brazil nuts (don’t eat too many of these, they are packed with nutrients and fat), dried mango and coconut, banana chips.
4. Maple granola, dried apple, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg.
5. Sunflower seeds, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, almonds, pumpkin seeds.
6. Cashews, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, sea salt.
7. Pistachios, dried goji berries (superfood), dried blueberries, dark chocolate chips.
8. Dried coconut, white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, dried pineapple.
Now that you are inspired by so many ideas – get to mixing! Remember to give making snack bars a try and see which you like better. Either way, next time you find yourself on a trail, prepare to take your snacking to the next level! Any of the mixes above will taste great and provide you with a major energy boost. Enjoy!