Healthy Trail Mix Recipe

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This easy, sweet and salty healthy trail mix recipe is perfect for lunch boxes, after schools snacks, road trips, and parties. Dark chocolate chunks make it an extra-special treat the whole family will love!

healthy trail mix in a bowl on a wooden cutting board

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Have you always associated trail mix with hiking adventures? Do you picture people ripping open a bag of trail mix when they’re in the middle of the woods? Well, you definitely don’t need to go hiking to enjoy some healthy trail mix!

We are big on snacks in this house so I try to make sure that more often than not my kids and I are eating a healthier snack. These date energy balls are by far the most requested snack at home, and some others I like to make for on-the-go snacking are these chewy granola bars and my chocolate almond biscotti.

There are plenty of times when a healthy, energizing and tasty snack is called for, and homemade trail mix is such a great option. This recipe is also naturally vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.

Healthy trail mix in a bowl on a wooden board

Healthier Trail Mix

I’ve seen lots of trail mix recipes made with butter, chocolate candies, and stuff like that. While I’m not usually one to shy away from those things, I was going for something a little more wholesome with this healthy homemade trail mix recipe.

Instead of M&M candy, I opted for some good quality dark chocolate. Instead of the usual peanuts, I went with cashews, almonds, walnuts, and some dried fruits for sweetness.

Trail mix can be a nutritious and convenient snack, offering a variety of health benefits. This recipe is rich in essential nutrients, with nuts providing protein, healthy fats, magnesium, and vitamin E, while dried fruits add fiber, antioxidants, and natural sugars for quick energy.

Additionally, the combination of protein, fats, and fiber ensures sustained energy, making it an ideal snack for busy days or physical activities. Antioxidants from dark chocolate and dried fruits help combat oxidative stress, and its customizable nature allows for a mix that suits personal tastes and dietary needs.

I’ve seen lots of pricy packaged trail mixes at the grocery store, but I found that, as is often the case with homemade, this healthy trail mix recipe is fresher, better, and cheaper. And while store-bought trail mixes are definitely convenient, this healthy trail mix is super simple to make and will only take 15 minutes.

Ingredient Notes

Almonds

I like to use whole raw almonds for this healthy trail mix. They are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Almonds add a satisfying crunch and are packed with nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium.

Cashews

These nuts contribute a creamy texture to the trail mix and are rich in healthy fats, protein, and essential minerals such as zinc and magnesium.

Again, I use whole raw cashews. You could buy nuts that are pre-roasted and salted, but I prefer to control the amount of salt, and I also find that they taste fresher when I toast them myself.

Kosher Salt

A little salt balances out the flavors and makes this trail mix super flavorful and addictive.

Walnuts

Walnuts are known for their high omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for heart health. They also add a rich, earthy flavor to the mix.

Dried Cranberries

Dried cranberries provide a sweet and tart contrast to the nuts, along with a boost of antioxidants and vitamins.

Sultana Raisins

Sultana raisins add natural sweetness and chewy texture, along with fiber and iron.

Dark Chocolate

I like to chop up chunks from a good quality dark chocolate bar but you can also just add dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 3 teaspoons of hot water by stirring until mostly dissolved. Add the almonds and cashews, mixing well to coat them evenly.
  1. Spread the almonds and cashews on a small baking sheet, and sprinkle with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, taking care not to burn them. Let the nuts cool completely.
Collage of toasted cashews and almonds on a baking pan, and ingredients in bowls to make healthy trail mix
  1. Once cooled, combine the almonds, cashews, walnuts, cranberries, raisins, and dark chocolate chunks in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly and enjoy your healthy trail mix.

    Note: Be sure to cool the nuts completely before tossing with the chocolate chunks or the chocolate will melt.
Healthy trail mix in a jar on a wooden board

That’s it! This is definitely a case of simpler is better!

Recipe Variations

This is my perfect bowl of healthy trail mix, but you can add pretty much anything here according to your preferences and what you have around. But if you’re trying to keep it on the healthier side, I’d suggest steering clear from pretzels, candy, or any cereal like chex or cheerios!

Here are some things you can add here instead:

  • seeds like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  • any other nut of your choice like pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia, or brazil nuts
  • coconut flakes
  • dried apricots, dried cherries, or any dried fruits you like
  • something fun like banana chips
  • a variety of chocolate chips like white chocolate chips and even peanut butter chips!

And if you love snacking on healthy whole grains and nuts as much as we do, check out these roasted almonds with herbs, honey almond granola or incredible banana coconut granola.

Is this homemade trail mix gluten-free?

Yes, this trail mix recipe is gluten-free, as it only includes nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate, none of which contain gluten.

Is trail mix healthy?

Trail mix can be a healthy snack when made with natural and wholesome ingredients like in this recipe!

Can I add raw nuts to the trail mix?

Yes, you can add raw nuts to the trail mix. They offer a different texture and flavor and retain more of their natural nutrients compared to roasted nuts.

Tell me what you think!

If you try this recipe, l’d be so grateful if you’d leave a comment and a rating in the recipe card. I love to hear your feedback, and your tips can help other readers too!

healthy trail mix in a bowl on a wooden cutting board

Healthy Trail Mix

This easy, sweet and salty healthy trail mix is perfect for lunch boxes, after schools snacks, road trips, and parties. Dark chocolate chunks make it an extra-special treat the whole family will love!
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 284kcal
Author: Ann Otis

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1 cup whole raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 3 teaspoons hot water
  • 1 cup raw walnut halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sultana raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chopped into medium-size chunks

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of salt with the 3 teaspoons of hot water, and stir until most of the salt is dissolved. Add the almonds and cashews and stir to combine.
  • Spread the cashews and almonds on a small sheet pan and sprinkle with and additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast the nuts in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Take care not to burn them. Allow the nuts to cool completely before tossing with the remaining ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, combine the almonds, cashews, walnuts, cranberries, raisins and dark chocolate chunks.

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 303mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.5mg
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