We have been making our own trail mix for a long time… It primarily started because we have a daughter with a deadly peanut and tree nut allergy and it was very difficult or expensive to find “safe” trail mixes.
Then we also had family members that had wheat and gluten issues and needed to accommodate this as well!
So, we have a great mix recipe that we have developed from trial and error and necessity! Anyone can make and enjoy it and you can even modify ingredients if nuts, gluten, wheat and dairy are not issues for you!
Before I share this simple recipe mix, I want to mention why this is a great idea for ANY household. Trail mix is expensive on it’s own. It’s super easy to make, it’s satisfying, it solves many of our “I’m hungry” issues in an affordable and healthy way. Making your own is cheaper than buying many pre-bought/pre-made snacks. And finally, this is a FANTASTIC snack for on-the-go, road trips, hiking, outings and more as it doesn’t need to be kept cold! You just grab and go!
Oh… and it’s great too because it is not only healthy, but a healthy snack that can be stored for a while (as opposed to our other favorite snack of fresh produce options). Because you can store it for a while, this also means you can make this mix in less than five minutes and then fill many bulk bags and the whole process is only about 10 minutes.
Let me also mention, if you go on field trips, group outings, day camps, church events, etc. many have restrictions as far as what you can bring due to deadly food allergies. I know that for our own daughter, she can have a violent reaction just from skin contact. This is very scary. Well, our private co-op, church functions and then get-togethers with neighbors and other friends, there are no peanuts or tree nuts allowed in anyone’s food or snacks. Well, this mix solves the problem of needing a healthy snack that is safe for your event too!
So, let’s get right down to making your own Trail Mix that is safe for the most common food allergens, and of course the changes if you don’t need to worry about allergens!
The ingredients needed to make 21 heaping 1/2 cup servings are:
- Two 40z. bags of Corn Nuts Original Flavor (these have simple ingredients of corn, corn oil and salt) or 2 cups worth. This is your “nut” replacement as it has a similar “crunch” and salty nutty flavor as peanuts and nuts. So you can substitute peanuts/nuts in normal cases.
- Two 3.75 of Sunflower Kernels (no shell) or 1.5 cups.
- Two 3.5 oz. bags of Craisins or 1.5 cups
- 1.5 cups of Pumpkin Seeds (no shell) – ours are the “go raw” brand as these are certified nut, gluten and wheat free, but these are expensive and one of the only pumpkin seeds we could find that were safe for our allergy kid as the other brands are “made around” nut products. Just keep this in mind. 🙂
- 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips, or a dairy free chocolate chips to avoid dairy. An easy way to do this is to eyeball and pour 1/2 a bag in!
- 3/4 cup of butterscotch, or a dairy free butterscotch chips to avoid dairy. Again, an easy way to do this is to eyeball and pour 1/2 a bag in!
- 1 cup of shredded coconut. (most store-bought bags contain 5 cups!). This is optional as it makes the mix a bit more crumbly, but when I don’t include coconut, my family is so disappointed as they LOVE this extra little sweet touch!
- 1 8oz. bag of glutino pretzel sticks for gluten-free pretzels. Or just regular pretzel sticks if wheat/gluten is not an issue.
Additional Optional Ingredients
- *I have also done vanilla chips, which are also a fabulous addition.
- *Raisins can also be included. I personally love them, but my family doesn’t like them. They would rather me double up on Craisins.
- *I also like banana chips, but this is a stronger flavor and not many like them. It also increases the price greatly!
The hardest part is gathering the ingredients! Then all you have to do is dump them all in one big bowl!
Once you have done this, just simply mix it all together with a giant spoon, or even your clean hands.
Then, using a 1/2 cup measure, scoop your mixture by heaping 1/2 cups into snack size ziplocs. We personally have found the 1/2 cup size a perfect snack amount.
In the end, you will end up with approximately 20-21 snack size baggies. Honestly, when I make this, I quadruple the recipe. They cost me about .30 a bag, even with more expensive ingredients. So if you didn’t have to worry about allergens, the ingredients become much cheaper.
The homemade trail mix idea can have so many adjustments/additions/subtractions, etc. that it is a very easy and affordable snack option. I shared our specific mix that my family loves, is safe for allergens and has good protein (minus the nuts) still, but the biggest point to sharing this was to share the idea of making your own homemade bulk snack mix to save money, health and time!
So just gather ingredients, start a snack basket in your pantry and toss these little snack baggies in there for when the snack monster hits and you want a tummy filling snack!
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