Hello again my lovelies!
Something tells me that this summer will be full of lots of outdoor adventures for many of us. First of all, the warm weather and sunshine often leads us to the great outdoors. BUT, on top of that, many of us are slowly starting to return to “normal” life again after a crazy year and a half. I have a feeling that we are ready to get out of the house and do some exploring!
It’s super important to keep up our energy levels when we go on these fun adventures. That’s why I always like to have a few snacks on hand! (Well, that and nobody likes a hangry Delaney). Today I’ve got the perfect bring-along snack to keep you fueled up: my Hit the Trail Mix!
This one is pretty easy to throw together, doesn’t have any added oil or refined sugar (like many store bought trail mixes do), is pretty customizable, and is delicious. Need I say more? Whether you are hitting the trails and need a snack to pack in your bag, or you just want something to nibble on at home throughout your day, this will definitely do the trick.
- Peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds – All great trail mixes include yummy nuts and seeds! I really like these particular ones for this recipe, so they are the ones I included. However, you could swap these out for other nuts and seeds if you prefer. Extra tip: check out the bulk bins at your grocery store for the best deals on raw nuts and seeds!
- Raisins and dried cranberries – These add a great little pop of fruity flavor that pairs very well with the earthy taste of the roasted nuts and seeds. Again, feel free to swap these out for other dried fruits of your choice if you’d like!
- Chocolate chips (optional) – These are optional, but are a fun little addition if you’ve got a sweet tooth like me! Keep in mind if you are planning on taking your trail mix on a sunny adventure that they could potentially melt and make your snack a little messier. I personally think the mess is worth it, but I’ll leave that up to you!
- Maple syrup and seasonings – For some yummy flavor on the roasted nuts and seeds! The maple syrup adds a slight sweetness that compliments the other savory seasonings really well.
How to Make Hit the Trail Mix
- Mix together your nuts, seeds, maple syrup, and seasonings.
- Roast in the oven for 16-18 minutes
- Let cool and then add your dried fruit and optional chocolate
Tips and Tricks
- You’ve probably noticed by now that this is pretty customizable! The specifics in this recipe are my personal favorite combination. But feel free to play with it and use whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer! Just keep an even closer eye on the nut mixture while roasting if you decide to switch out the nuts and seeds, as this could potentially affect the cooking time.
- Be sure to wait until your roasted nut mixture is completely cooled before adding in the optional chocolate if you don’t want it to immediately melt! I’ve been impatient before and added the chocolate a little early. It was still yummy but it did melt a bit and kind of “clump” around the other ingredients. Not the end of the world, but a little easier to eat if this doesn’t happen!
- If you’re in a rush and don’t want to add the dried fruit and chocolate chips, you can also just enjoy the roasted nut mixture as a snack! I did this a few times while recipe testing and it was still delicious.
- You’ll notice that this recipe has you cook the nut mixture for 8 minutes, mix it around, and then cook for another 8-10 minutes. I tested this recipe multiple times, and I personally liked the taste of the nuts more when I stuck closer to the 8 minute mark. However, my husband loved the 10 minute mark more because he loved the extra “toasty” flavor that it gave. So play this by ear based on what you like best! (Similarly to how some people barely toast their bread and others like it super dark, this just depends on personal preference).
Hit the Trail Mix
Trail mix is the perfect snack for on-the-go adventures, or even for nibbling on at home. This version is delicious, simple, and even oil-free. Note that the total time listed above does not include the cooling time needed before adding the dried fruit and chocolate chips.
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 handful dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)*
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Toss all of the nuts and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and mix until everything is coated well. Add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Spread the nut mixture out on a baking tray covered with a silicone mat or aluminum foil. Bake in your preheated oven for 8 minutes, then remove and stir the mixture around. Place back in the oven and continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes (depending on how “toasty” you want them). When you take them out they should be slightly golden brown and should no longer be very “sticky” from the maple syrup.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. Once cool, mix in your raisins, dried cranberries, and optional chocolate chips.
- *Dairy-free chocolate chips: there are a number of brands out there, but Enjoy Life brand is my fave!