Ask a Registered Dietitian: How Do I Make A Healthy Trail Mix?
This week, we’re asking one of the Registered Dietitians on our team, Danny Turner, for more specific background on a popular hiking snack.
Question: What’s a good snack to keep handy for an active weekend or long work day on my feet?
Answer: Trail mix can be a great snack to put together for a hiking or camping trip—but it’s also an easy on-the-go option wherever you’re headed! It’s non-perishable, light weight, and super easy to make. All you need to do is mix a few different foods together, and it’s ready to take on the go. Plus, the combinations are endless, making it easy to adjust to your preferences.
Trail mix is usually made up of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and something sweet or salty. Nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You also get fiber, vitamins, and minerals from dried fruit. Sometimes trail mix has candy or chocolate in it, but it’s easy to make a lower sugar version by adding other sweet or salty ingredients like whole grain pretzels, cereal or popcorn. You can even (literally) spice it up! Mix in some cinnamon and paprika to give your trail mix a little kick.
In addition to customizing for taste preferences, there are also a lot of ways to tailor your trail mix for your health goals. Choose unsalted nuts to cut down on sodium, and use unsweetened dried fruit to limit added sugars. You can swap the dark chocolate for another type of unsweetened dried fruit to further cut back on added sugars. If you’re trying to meet weight or calorie goals, consider measuring out your portions: trail mix is energy-dense compared to many other snack options.
Here’s one trail mix recipe to get you started, but feel free to improvise and use your favorite nuts and dried fruits instead!
Classic Trail Mix
Serving size: 1/4 cup
- 1 cups dry roasted peanuts
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Mix together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Store in an airtight container, or portion out into single serving baggies for a grab-and-go snack.
Recipe created by WCS Registered Dietitian