Healthy Recipes for Trail Mix

Healthy Recipes for Trail MixTrail mix is a classic food source for backpackers because the contents are lightweight, preserved and calorie-dense foods, such as nuts, dried fruits and vegetables and chocolate. While a hungry backpacker hauling 50 lbs. or more over several miles of rough terrain per day will burn up plenty of calories and has little need to worry about putting on weight, making a healthy trail mix is still a concern. Anyone can blend a healthy trail mix simply by paying more attention to the ingredients.

Low Fat and Low Salt Recipe

A typical trail mix is made up of 50 percent nuts and seeds, 25 percent dried fruits and vegetables, and 25 percent chocolate. However, if you do not take care in selecting your seeds and nuts, your mix will be heavy with saturated fat and salt. One cup of cocktail peanuts has 16g of saturated fat and 920mg of sodium, while the same amount of dry roasted peanuts has only 10g of saturated fat and 9mg of sodium. Meanwhile, pumpkin and squash seeds have only 2g of saturated fat and 12mg of sodium per cup. More discretion in your source of seeds and nuts results in a healthier trail mix recipe.

Mix one cup of almonds, one cup of pumpkin, squash and sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup of cashews in a bowl. All nuts and seeds should come from unsalted, dry roasted sources. Add one cup of dried fruits and vegetables and one cup of chocolate chips into the mixture. Stir the mix to evenly distribute the ingredients and store in a sealable bag.

Super Vitamin Mix

The dried fruits and vegetables in trail mix are a major source of preserved vitamins in the backcountry. This food source typically has half the calories per ounce of nuts or chocolate, but makes up for that in provided virtually all the vitamin A and C in the mix. Even raisins have 6 percent of the USDA's Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C per cup. If the sheer calories in your backpacking diet come from another source, you can use your trail mix to pack the vitamins into your diet by increasing the proportion of dried fruit.

Mix a combined total of 2 1/2 cups of raisins, dried cherries, dried apricots, dried cranberries, prunes, coconut flakes, dried pineapple and dried papaya together in a bowl. If you love dried cherries and hate prunes, add more cherries and exclude prunes altogether from the 2 1/2 cups of dried fruit. Add a combined total of 1 cup of seeds and nuts (unsalted and dry roasted) and 1 cup of chocolate chips into the mixture and stir it until the contents are evenly distributed. With this combination, more than half the mix packs a vitamin-enriched wallop.

Tropical Trail Mix (pictured above)

When selecting a healthy trail mix recipe, consider taste instead of utility. For a trail mix with a tropical twist, pour a combined total of 2 cups of cashews, macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts into your mixing bowl. Use unsalted and dry roasted nuts. Add a combined total of one cup dried papaya, pineapple, coconut flakes and banana chips, as well as one cup of chocolate chips. Try to make the chocolate chips or chunks from a cocoa-heavy source, such as a 70 percent or 80 percent cocoa chocolate bar. Stir together into an even, well-distributed mix and pour into a sealable bag.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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