These days, trail mix goes way beyond basic GORP (good old raisins and peanuts). From sweet to savory, there are thousands of combinations to satisfy any palate or snack craving.
All you have to do is combine your favorite dry ingredients and stash the mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry location, and you’re good to go.
We love trail mix because it’s lightweight, portable, and full of energy-dense ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate — perfect for trailside noshing.
For those same reasons, though, trail mix can pack a hefty caloric punch, especially when we mindlessly munch while sitting around at work or home. We recommend keeping your serving size to a quarter-cup or less.
But we understand that everyone has their own nutritional and taste-related needs, so we listed these mix ideas without set ratios or measurements. There are no rules for trail mix — combine whatever sounds good!
1. Peanut butter friend
This mixture is a true crowd pleaser. Combine banana chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts, almonds, and dark chocolate chips.
2. Old-school GORP
Nothing like a good ol’ classic. Combine peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s.
3. Tropical mix
For a little taste of paradise, whip up a mixture of cashews, Brazil nuts, dried mango, coconut flakes, and banana chips.
4. Rich and creamy
This is basically dessert. Use coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, hazelnuts, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and cacao nibs.
5. Movie night
Got your Netflix show ready? Great. Combine popcorn, M&M’s, and dried cherries. To take the flavor up a notch, use hot popcorn to melt the chocolate.
If you can’t take a trip right now, bring the vacation to you. Combine macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, and coconut flakes.
7. Chocolate lover
This batch has three sources of chocolate, so we’re big fans. Try hazelnuts, dried cranberries, chocolate-covered almonds, M&M’s, and cacao nibs.
Your inner child is about to be so pumped. Try peanuts with dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, and shredded wheat cereal.
9. Deconstructed puppy chow
It’s the treat we all know and love — without the extra sugar. Mix almonds, whole-grain Chex or wheat cereal, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cacao nibs, and dried cranberries.
10. Nuts for nuts
Nut lovers, rejoice. This hearty mix includes almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and raisins.
11. Fall flavors
This mix will help you get into all the fall feels. Combine pecans, dried apples, maple granola, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
12. Thai fusion
Try a taste of the East with peanuts, raisins, puffed rice, pretzels, curry powder, and chili powder.
13. Coffee shop
Keep the buzz going with hazelnuts, almonds, raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and white chocolate chips.
14. Cereal lover
Bran doesn’t have to mean bland, friends. Try bran flakes with shredded wheat cereal, puffed rice, granola, cashews, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and dried blueberries.
15. Simple and sophisticated
For wholesome with a bit of sweet, mix almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, and cinnamon.
16. Raw energy
Sweet and salty unite in this recipe. Mix walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, dried apricots, and dried cranberries.
17. Power mix
Make this your go-to workout snack. Combine goji berries, sea salt, pistachios, dried blueberries, flaxseeds, and dark chocolate chips.
18. Monkey munch
With so many delicious flavors in one recipe, each bite is the bomb. Mix banana chips, peanuts, sea salt, almonds, dark chocolate chips, raisins, and coconut flakes.
19. Savory seeds
This mix has a kick you’ll love. The recipe calls for almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
20. Spicy and savory
Keep your taste buds guessing with almonds, wasabi peas, sesame seeds, dried ginger, and Chex cereal.
21. Cajun blend
A little spice makes everything nice. Combine almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt, garlic powder, chili powder, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper.
The best part about trail mix is that it’s fully customizable. Our combinations are a great place to start, but feel free to get creative from here. All you have to do is mix the following ingredients to your liking.
Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.
Our favorites: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts (higher-calorie macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts are also good options in moderation)
If you have a nut allergy (or you’re just looking to mix things up), seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts.
Hemp seeds, for example, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Our favorites: Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, and hemp seeds
Dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. But the grams of sugar can add up quickly, so pay attention to the ingredient lists and serving sizes.
Look for dried fruits with as little added sugar and as few preservatives as possible. Some varieties, like cranberries, are naturally quite tart and almost always sweetened with cane sugar or apple juice.
If you’re concerned about added sweeteners, it’s also pretty easy to make your own dried fruit in the oven.
Our favorites: Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates
Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for some fiber and a little crunch. Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.
Our favorites: Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn
Sometimes we all need a little something sweet to round out the mix. When going the chocolate route, choose dark varieties for extra antioxidants.
Our favorites: M&M’s, chips of various kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, carob, butterscotch), cacao nibs, yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, mini marshmallows, or chocolate-covered nuts
Once the building blocks are all set, adding spices is a great way to change up the flavor a bit. Season your mix with sea salt, curry, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or cayenne pepper. You can even create your own mix of spices.
Our favorites: Wasabi peas, coconut flakes, sesame sticks, dried ginger, and coffee beans