There is no shortage of trail mixes when you go through the grocery store. They seem like a great idea...ready-made, ready-to-eat, and (usually) healthy.
However, I've noticed that I can never find quite the right combination of ingredients. I have bought bags with a mixture that, initially, sounds great, but then I discover there's something I don't like as much as the rest. And then the thing (or things) I like the least end up piling up at the bottom of the bag.
I began to wonder, how hard could it be to make my OWN trail mix? "Lisa's Awesome Trail Mix?" Happily, I discovered it wasn't hard at all! I came up with my own happy combination...DIY Salty & Sweet Trail Mix!
The key word is DIY...Do. It. Yourself! Yes, you can!
Let me say right away that you can use whatever ingredients you want in your own trail mix. There are so many options: any variation of nuts, dried fruit, seeds...throw in whatever appeals to you! My version is gluten-free, but if gluten isn't an issue for you, throw in pretzels, cereals, or Goldfish crackers! Either way, making your own trail mix is totally doable and EASY!
As you're already well-aware, trail mix is not meant to be eaten by a huge bag-full. It provides you with some healthy fuel to keep you going, whether on a hike, or as a healthy snack between meals. In other words, you don't need anything in large quantity to make a batch.
My favorite mix (for now) consists of raw cashews, unsalted almonds, dried cherries, salted pecans and pistachios, and bittersweet chocolate chips (because chocolate makes everything better!). Salty and sweet, but not too much of either. The flavors and textures are nicely balanced.
I also like this combination because everything is about the same size. I can easily grab one piece at a time. Although I like pepitas and sunflower seeds, they always fall to the bottom of the bag, only to be forgotten. Or I have to dig for them. Seeds also require a "handful-at-a-time" approach to eating, which isn't always convenient or desired. This is my weird thing, I know...but I can customize the mix to accommodate my quirky preferences!
Nevertheless, the great thing is that when I want to change things up, I can because it's my own trail mix!
Regardless of what your preferences are, making your own trail mix is a must. All nut combination? Dried cranberries? No dried fruit? Skip the chocolate chips? (and why would you do that??) All raw nuts? Seeds? No salt? More of one ingredient, less of another? All pieces about the same size?? 😉 Go for it! The great thing is you can try making a small test mix (like one of each item) and see if the flavors and textures work together before you commit to a whole bag! Make a small batch and then change it around for the next for variety!
Another advantage to making small batches at a time is that the ingredients stay fresher. As you all know when we've bought these big bags of pre-made trail mixes, the first few bites are really good. Then it becomes stale. A stale trail mix is a sad trail mix that doesn't get eaten. So keep it small!
So instead of buying an unhealthy snack to tie you over until dinner, plan ahead and put together your own "(Insert your name here)'s Awesome Trail Mix"! What favorites will you put in yours?
DIY Salty & Sweet Trail Mix
- ¼ cup salted pecans
- ¼ cup unsalted roasted almonds
- ¼ cup raw unsalted cashews
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup shelled salted pistachios
- Play with the quantities of the ingredients depending on what you like! Then combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
If you make this recipe, share your photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @dayinthekitchen!
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