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5 Trail Mix Recipes for a Healthy Energy Kick

These are my preferred hiking trail mix recipes as they have all the things you need during strenuous physical activity: filling up your tank with healthy energy, fat, sugar, some salt, and lots of minerals. One trail mix recipe for each season in addition to one savory one! 


Glass jars filled with different trail mixes.


As a Norwegian living between high mountains and fjords, hiking is a big part of my life. And I know the feeling of looking up and not feeling the end of that big hill, your feet are dragging, and the sweat is running.


What you need in a situation like that is some hiking trail mix for a healthy energy kick! And as I mentioned, I'm providing you with 4 extra trail mix recipes for variation throughout the year!


A bowl of mixed nuts, chocolates and fruits.


Why you’ll love this recipe


You will love this recipe because it's extremely easy to make, and it is easy to customize for what you like, what you have, and even what season it is. 


It is also much healthier than anything you buy at the store. Using wholesome ingredients ensures a trail mix that fuels your body right. It's the right kind of energy, sugar, and fat.


Finally, it's fun to eat. While some laughs all the way to the bank, we can eat all our way up to a mountain top with beautiful surroundings.


A wooden table with a lot of different ingredients to put in trail mixes.




  • Salted nuts are great for when you're sweating. When you're sweating, sodium is the electrolyte we lose in the highest concentration. Nuts are also generally a great source of fat and energy.
  • Unsalted nuts, because too much salt is not good either.
  • Raw seeds are a great source of many important minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, in addition to fats and high fiber content.
  • Dried fruit for fiber, fructose, and quick energy.
  • Chocolate is always my favorite part of any trail mix (of course). I would omit it for super hot days, but other than that - go for it! Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants too. 
  • Something unexpected - this is totally optional, but I like to add at least one fun add-on to make the trail mix even more fun to eat.


A green bowl with hiking trail mix, divided.


Step-by-step instructions


There really aren't any step-by-step instructions for a recipe like this. It's just mix and store. So... in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients


You can also dry roast the nuts in a non-stick pan until they smell nutty. A couple of minutes. Let them cool before mixing with any melty ingredients, like chocolate.


In addition, you can roast nuts in the oven with all your favorite spices, see Expert tips below. 


A diptych of the steps of mixing the trail mix.




Store hiking trail mix in a tight glass jar for about 1-2 months (depending on the heat). When you're going for a hike, portion it out into small ziplock bags or small lunch boxes.


Five glass jars with trail mixes.


Recipe FAQs

The best trail mix ratio

It is of course subjective, as any ratio can work. But this is how I like it:


  • 1 cup salted nuts - peanuts, pistachios, cashews
  • ½ cup unsalted nuts - almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans
  • ¼-1/2 cup seeds - pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup dried fruit - candied papaya, apricots, raisins, melon, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, goji berries
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks (omit in warm weather) - dark, milk, or white, Kit-Kat
  • ½ cup of something unexpected (optional) - yogurt-covered dried bananas or nuts, peanut butter chips, marshmallows, pretzels, crunchy corn, cheerios, or chili nuts. 
  • Additional spices - more savory like garlic, onion, and jalapenño, or something sweet like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.


A diptych of the dried fruits and the unexpected elements. 


As you can see, there are many ways to alter this recipe. I like to change it a little depending on the season, see under Variations below.  


Expert tips

Roast and salt the nuts yourself

In order to use the best, wholesome ingredients, it is better if you roast and salt the nuts yourself. I'm not saying this is a requirement, but this way you can be in control of all of the ingredients. 


What you do is place the nuts on a baking sheet and sprinkle over the spices you want (or just salt). Pop into a preheated oven of 350℉ (175℃) until golden. It usually takes around 7-8 minutes for light and tender nuts like pistachios, pecans, and walnuts, and 9-10 minutes for denser nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts.


Related: Roasted hazelnuts are also very delicious in homemade German nougat and roasted macadamia nuts in macadamia nut and white chocolate chip cookies.


A copper bowl with various nuts.



My go-to all-around hiking trail mix is what you see in the recipe card. However, I also change it up a little depending on the season and how I feel. Don't take the ratios too seriously, it is just a ballpark. And as always, add or subtract to your own liking. 


If you're sad I didn't provide metric measurements in the sections below, just think that 1 cup equals 250 milliliters, ½ cup is 125 milliliters and ¼ cup is 4 tablespoons or 60 milliliters.  


Summer Trail Mix

Summer is all about the coconut and sweet, tropical fruits, don't you think? Depending on where you live and when you hike or need an extra energy boost, chocolate may not be in your cards. As sad as it is, it tends to melt at high temperatures. I remember bringing a Kit-Kat to the Grand Canyon in July. Needless to say, I slurped it. 


  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • ½ cup unsalted almonds
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds - may reduce to 2 tablespoons because they are so small!
  • ¼ cup dried, candied papaya
  • ¼ cup dried cantaloupe or pineapple
  • ¼ cup cubed coconut
  • ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (weather dependent) - I prefer to use 70% bittersweet chocolate to cut through the sweetness of the fruit. 
  • ¼ cup mini marshmallows (s'mores, anyone?)
  • ⅓ cup yogurt-covered bananas


A diptych with summer trail mix and sweet fall trail mix.

To the left: Summer trail mix, to the right: Sweet fall trail mix


Sweet Fall Trail Mix

This is a trail mix that is perfect for someone with a sweet tooth in the fall months (yes, I'm looking at me). I still add some salted peanuts because, as I mentioned above, sodium is what we lose the most of when we are working out. 


  • ½ cup salted peanuts
  • 1 cup unsalted pecans, better if you chop them in 2 (but this is just personal preference)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped white chocolate and ¼ cup chopped milk chocolate
  • ½ cup caramel popcorn - these will soften a little when stored for a longer time, but I still think they are good
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional). You can also add a pinch of ground nutmeg and cloves


Winter Ski Mix

You know, skiing is a big part of a Norwegian's life. When we ski, we often bring oranges, hot chocolate, and the Norwegian equivalent of Kit-Kat (Kvikk Lunsj). I tried my best to resemble this when making this ski mix. In addition, I'm inspired by the Christmas cookie macadamia nut white chocolate cookies.


  • ¾ cup salted peanuts
  • ¼ cup salted pistachios
  • ½ cup unsalted, chopped macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ cup chopped, dried apricots - not orange or clementine, I know, but I don't believe that would work very well
  • ¼ cup chopped white chocolate
  • ½ cup chopped Kit-Kat (Kvikk Lunsj) - this will soften a bit when stored for a longer period, but it's still good


A diptych of winter ski mix and savory trail mix.

To the left: Winter ski mix, to the right: Savory trail mix


Savory Trail Mix

Very often, food that is easy to bring to hikes is sweet. It can be cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, or blueberry muffins. However, I often find myself craving more savory foods (in addition, I'm not a savage). This trail mix is mostly savory, with some raisins for that high-energy fructose. 


  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • ¼ cup unsalted almonds
  • ¼ cup unsalted or salted cashew nuts
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) - here I like to use the smokey paprika pepitas, but I forgot when taking the pictures - sorry! 
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup whole-grain cheerios
  • ¼ cup crunchy corn
  • ¼ cup chili nuts
  • ¼ cup pretzels (optional)
  • ⅓ teaspoon garlic powder and ⅓ teaspoon onion powder. ½ teaspoon cayenne or dried jalapeño for an extra kick!


Now you have a hiking trail mix for any occasion and any season! Which sounds like your new favorite?


Don't forget to check out my 3 healthy gummy bears recipes as well! 


Five glass jars with different hiking trail mixes.


Did you like this recipe? Here are more snacks I think you’d love:



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📖 Recipe

Glass jars filled with different trail mixes.

Hiking Trail Mix Recipes for a Healthy Energy Kick

Yield: 13
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

These are my preferred hiking trail mix recipes as they have all the things you need during strenuous physical activity: filling up your tank with healthy energy, fat, sugar, some salt, and lots of minerals.


  • ¾ cup salted peanuts (180 milliliters)
  • ¼ cup salted pistachios (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup unsalted hazelnuts (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashew nuts (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup candied, dried papaya (125 milliliters)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks (125 milliliters)
  • ¼ cup crunchy corn (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup pretzels (4 tablespoons)


  1. Mix all the ingredients together and store in a glass with a tight lid.
  2. When ready to bring to hikes, potion it out into small ziplock bags or small lunch boxes.


The hiking trail mix ratio: 1 cup salted nuts, ½ cup unsalted nuts, ¼-1/2 cup seeds, ½ cup dried fruit, ½ cup chocolate, and ½ cup of something unexpected (e.g., marshmallows, crunchy corn, yogurt covered nuts or dried bananas).

Avoid using chocolate and any ingredients that can melt if the weather is really hot.

Check the blog post if you want more ideas for hiking trail mixes (a sweet fall trail mix, a winter ski mix, a summer trail mix, and a savory trail mix).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 13 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 1.7gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 10.9gFiber: 1.8gSugar: 5.3gProtein: 4.4g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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