With cinnamon-roasted nuts and seeds, toasted coconut flakes, dried fruit, and bittersweet chocolate, this Healthy Trail Mix is a protein-packed snack you can feel good about eating!
Like muffins and granola, trail mix is one of those foods that has a healthy reputation, but the reality doesn’t quite measure up. Store-bought trail mix is often loaded with sodium, sweetened dried fruit, and candy—but you don’t need all that for delicious trail mix! This Healthy Trail Mix is even tastier than what you can buy at the store, but it’s made without all the bad stuff.
Best of all, you can customize your Healthy Trail Mix to your own tastes and preferences. If you’re making it for kids to bring to school, use pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to keep it nut-free; swap the dried cherries for raisins or the figs for dried apricots. The world is your oyster!
But whatever you do, don’t skip the cinnamon-vanilla glaze for the nuts. It really takes this trail mix recipe to the next level.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Raw pecan halves
- Brazil nuts – Brazil nuts are loaded with protein, magnesium, and healthy fats, but they are a bit pricy, so you can substitute them with another nut if you’d like.
- Pumpkin seeds – These are often labeled as pepitas; sunflower seeds can be used instead, though.
- Walnut halves
- Coconut oil – Melt this in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stovetop.
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
- Sea salt
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Bittersweet chocolate chips – You can substitute semisweet chocolate chips if you can’t find bittersweet, or chop a bittersweet chocolate bar into chunks.
- Dried tart cherries
- Dried figs – Black Mission figs are best for tossing into trail mix, as they aren’t as sticky when you cut them.
How Do You Toast Coconut Quickly?
The quickest way to toast coconut is on a baking sheet in a 325ºF oven. Simply spread the flakes into an even layer on the baking sheet, then place them in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the coconut is fragrant and lightly browned.
How to Make Healthy Trail Mix
Here’s how to make your own homemade trail mix:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 325ºF and toast the coconut.
Season the nuts. Whisk the coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Add the nuts and seeds, then toss to coat.
Roast the nuts. Transfer the seeds and nuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them in an even layer. Roast them for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant. Cool completely.
Finish. Stir the rest of the ingredients into the cooled nuts.
Tips for Success
These are my best tips and hints for making Healthy Trail Mix:
- Make it budget-friendly. Nuts can be expensive, so I recommend buying them from the bulk section of the grocery store and only getting exactly what you need. You can also buy pecan and walnut pieces, which are less expensive than halves.
- Keep an eye on the coconut and nuts. They can go from beautifully toasted to burnt very quickly. Set a timer and don’t stray too far from the kitchen.
- Use unsweetened fruit. When you buy the dried fruit for this recipe, make sure you’re not buying fruit that has added sugar. You might be surprised to find that a lot of dried fruit is heavily sweetened!
The fun of making homemade trail mix is that you can customize the recipe with your own favorite ingredients, but if you need some inspiration, here are a few ideas:
- Make a fall-inspired trail mix by swapping the cherries for apple chips and the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice.
- Switch out the cherries and figs for dried pineapple and mango for a tropical trail mix.
- Make an antioxidant-rich trail mix by swapping the chocolate chips for cacao nibs and using dried pomegranate seeds and blueberries for the dried fruit.
How to Store
Store this Healthy Trail Mix in an airtight container for 1 week. It can also be portioned into individual servings for a grab-and-go snack whenever you need something healthy to take with you.
How Do You Eat Trail Mix?
Trail mix gets its name from the fact that hikers would take it with them on the trail because it’s convenient, nutritious, and keeps well, so the most traditional way to eat it is as a healthy snack. You can also stir it into overnight oats, use it as a topping for yogurt, or set out a bowl of trail mix as a party snack.
More Healthy Snack Ideas
Healthy Trail Mix
- ½ cup Almonds
- ¾ cup Raw Pecans Halves
- ¼ cup Brazil Nuts
- ¼ cup Pumpkin Seeds
- ¾ cup Walnut Halves
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil Melted
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Sea Salt
- ½ cup Coconut Flakes toasted
- 1/3 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
- ⅓ cup dried figs cut into quarters
- Preheat the oven to 325°F
- Add coconut flakes to the baking sheet and place in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the coconut is toasty, light brown.
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine melted coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
- Add almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts into the bowl and toss to cover with spices and flavors.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the nuts and seeds onto the tray.
- Roast 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway, until fragrant.
- Cool it down completely before stirring with the remaining ingredients.
- When the nuts and seeds are at room temperature, stir in toasted coconut, dark chocolate chips and dried fruits.