3 Trail Mix Recipes to Energize Your Hikes

Trail Mix is most definitely a staple in my backpack every time I go on a hike lasting more than a few hours. Along with beef jerky, it's the only constant food item that has helped me summit numerous 14ers and sustained me through many day hikes in the Colorado wilderness.

Growing up, I always thought of trail mix as the traditional "gorp" that most of us are familiar with, which consists of raisins and peanuts. While I still love good ol' gorp, I know that trail mix can be made up by so many different ingredients and there are literally thousands of delicious combinations.

Trail Mix is the perfect food for hiking because it is easily portable and doesn't require refrigeration. It's also a good source of carbohydrates and healthy fats, which help provide energy for physical activities on or off the trail. And- trail mix tastes great! Sometimes I even joke that I only hike 14ers so I can consume massive amounts of trail mix.

One downside of this delicious snack is that it can be quite expensive. I've seen bags of trail mix in my local natural grocery store for as much as $15, which seems a bit pricey for something that isn't serving as an actual meal.

Luckily, it's super easy (and much more cost effective) to make your own trail mix using ingredients from the bulk bins.

homemade trail mix recipes

To me, the perfect trail mix recipe consists of two things above all else: salty and sweet elements. Most people think that trail mix consists of nuts, dried fruit and sometimes chocolate, but there are so many other delicious ingredients that make for an awesome recipe! Some of my favorite trail mix components include pretzels, roasted chickpeas (or other legumes), cereal, chunks of granola and pieces of beef or buffalo jerky. I have about a hundred different trail mix recipes that I like to make, and below are three of my favorites.

Sweet & Spicy Trail Mix


This trail mix recipe consists of two things that pair awesomely together: Sriracha and pineapple. Sriracha also pairs great with watermelon, so if you can get your hands on some dehydrated watermelon, throw that in too! The broad beans provide a spicy flavor and are a great source of protein. Dark chocolate pieces and almonds round out this recipe, for an extra bit of sweet and healthy fats.

sweet and spicy trail mix recipe

Sweet & Spicy Trail Mix Recipe:


-1 cup ENLIGHTENED Siracha Roasted Broad Beans

-1/2 cup candy-coated dark chocolate pieces

-1/2 cup dry-roasted almonds (or walnuts)

-1/2 cup dried, sweetened pineapple pieces

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container or resealable bag.

Salty Chocolate & Banana Trail Mix


This is one of my favorite trail mix recipes, because it truly provides the perfect balance of salty and sweet flavors. You can use salted or unsalted peanuts, but I find that the pretzels alone provide the perfect amount of salty flavor. You don't need a ton of chocolate chips in this combination; the dried bananas provide a ton of sweetness.

trail mix recipe

Salty Chocolate & Banana Trail Mix Recipe:


-1 cup dried banana chips

-1 cup (thin) pretzels

-3/4 cup roasted peanuts

-1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container or resealable bag.

Nut-Free Antioxidant Trail Mix


This is the perfect trail mix for anyone with a nut allergy (but can easily be enjoyed by all)! Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are great sources of healthy fats and give sustained energy. The dried berries not only taste great, they're also rich in antioxidants (which can help protect against cancer and heart disease). The dark chocolate chips add an extra bit of rich sweetness and are also a source of antioxidants! If you do want some nuts in this recipe, walnuts are an awesome addition.

nut free trail mix recipe

Nut-Free Trail Mix Recipe:


-1/2 cup raw pumpkin seed kernels

-1/2 cup roasted, salted (hulled) sunflower seeds

-1/3 cup dried, sweetened blueberries

-1/3 cup dried cherries

-1/3 cup dried, sweetened cranberries

-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container or resealable bag.

What is your favorite trail mix recipe? Tell us how to make it in the comments!
Lauren Martin
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Lauren Martin
As a member of #TeamSierra, Lauren Martin receives promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post. Lauren is a full-time Social and Digital Media Manager for a Colorado-based natural foods company and part-time Spinning and Bodypump Instructor. Her passions include hiking, biking, brewing kombucha, cooking healthy food (that doesn't taste healthy) and running around with her two Golden Retrievers. You can follow her on Instagram or on her blog, Me and the Mountains.
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