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Top 3 Trail Mix Snack Ideas

August is the busiest travel month of the year as most families try to fit in a vacation or long weekend before school starts back up. Many of us are trying to enjoy the last bits of summer or visiting family before settling into our fall routine. Traveling can be a lot of fun, and you can avoid headaches and setbacks by planning ahead. Being on the road for a long drive (especially with kids) means preparation. So is trying to find a snack that can pass through airline security. And forgetting a snack means a hungry, cranky child (or driver.) To help you prepare for end-of-summer trips, whether to grandma’s house, the beach or the neighborhood pool, we are sharing our Top Three Trail Mix Snack Ideas. We found our ingredients in the nut and baking aisles, in the snack and candy sections and in the bulk bins at a local grocery store. Substitute ingredients and change it up to make your own personal trail mix. These are our favorites, but we’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

#1: Trail Mix for Kids

Trail mix is also known in some places as “Gorp” and is a combination of dried fruit and nuts or seeds. Chocolate is optional, but highly encouraged. It was made to keep hikers energized, but these days it’s the perfect travel snack kids can eat with their hands. To make our first mix, we combined equal-sized handfuls of

  • roasted and salted peanuts
  • cashews
  • pretzels
  • raisins
  • banana chips
  • chocolate covered sunflower seeds
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips.

You can add or subtract any ingredients you want and get creative with the process. Perhaps your kids would appreciate the addition of cheese crackers, graham crackers or mini marshmallows. Feel free to add whatever you want to the mix. The kids will love it and can even help make it.

#2: Trail Mix for Adults

When we were discussing trail mix ideas in the Test Kitchen, Pat and I discovered that neither of us loves raisins, but we do enjoy a number of other dried fruits. We have added dried cranberries and other treats in a trail mix that would be equally great for hiking, traveling, or a snack at work. Just combine equal handfuls of the following, substituting ingredients based on your preferences:

  • raw almonds
  • dried mango
  • dried cranberries
  • dark chocolate chips
  • shelled pistachios.

We love the bright colors in this trail mix and the flavors all blend well together. Keep this in your purse in a snack-sized bag for an easy and healthy snack on the go. A few of us here will be keeping this trail mix around the office to quell late-afternoon hunger pangs.

#3: Trail Mix for Entertaining

Trail mix is not just reserved for the trails. It also makes a decadent snack to serve at parties or before a dinner party when guests are pouring the wine. Serve this in a pretty bowl so people have something to snack on, and keep your leftovers for a delicious afternoon pick-me-up. Feel free to substitute ingredients as you like, but we enjoyed this mix of

  • white chocolate chips
  • raw almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • chocolate covered espresso beans
  • dried currants
  • dried strawberry rhubarb pieces
  • shelled pistachios.

Other great ideas for this elevated type of trail mix would be dried pineapple, macadamia nuts, coconut, pepitas, and dark chocolate chunks.

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  1. All of these trail mixes look good. Don’t say the first one is for kids – that is my favorite and I am an ‘old kid’.

  2. Hi Suzanne,
    We love the trail mix ideas because it’s so easy to substitute things in the recipes. Instead of white chocolate, try dark chocolate or a chocolate toffee crunch. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Wonderful idea for snacks. I think these snacks can be used as an appetite and also something when someone comes over to our house for a visit.

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