My family loves trail mix but it can be super pricey. And while it is certainly a better snack than most packaged foods I know I can make it healthier and cheaper than anything I can buy already made. For my older kids, I like to add dark chocolate espresso beans to the mix.
Here’s my reasoning, it’s nice to have a little treat in the mix but I don’t want it to overwhelm the mix and I want it to be easy to pick out. I usually see things like M&Ms in trail mix, but I think they kind of “take over” the mix. Espresso beans are larger and easy to pick out, also you’ll use less of them.
I like to include nutrient dense foods like goji berries, cranberries, nuts (macadamia, pecans, peanuts, almonds – whatever I happen to have or is on sale) and sunflower seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
Here’s the deal, trail mix isn’t really that filling. It’s a snack food and, just like chips or crackers, you start eating it and before you know it you’ve eaten the whole package. I really can’t afford to feed my family high dollar snacks so using homemade granola and home dehydrated fruits really cuts the cost.
For the homemade granola sometimes I use our slow cooker granola and sometimes I use the topping of our fruit crisp and bake it until it’s dry and crumbly. Both work well.
- 2 cups homemade granola*
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts (or other nuts)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate covered espresso beans
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Store in air tight containers.
This slow cooker granola recipe is what we use for the homemade granola.
What are some of your favorite ingredients for trail mix?