If you want to make a kick butt trail mix, here is a recipe. Well, it’s more of a guideline and a few general rules to follow.
There are two things you need to get out of a trail mix. One is protein for stamina and the other is sugar for energy. There are a few ways to get protein, but when it comes to trail mix, nuts are perhaps the best way. The sugars come from dried fruits and chocolate. Any good mix will incorporate sweet, salty and tartness.
NUTS: Any good trail mix will have a blend of nuts. Since everyone’s tastes are different, choose a blend that contains nuts you enjoy. If you hate walnuts don’t buy a mix with them in it… Do you love Cashews? Add an extra handful to your mix. For this mix I started with a large handful of sweet and salty nut mix that I found at Trader Joes. This is a blend of Cashews, Almonds and honey roasted Peanuts. I added an additional handful of roasted unsalted nuts for filler. I chose unsalted to help offset the salty and sweet of the other nut mix.
DRIED FRUIT: I chose 3 dried fruits for this particular mix. Raisins are sweet and mild in flavor. Dried Cranberries add a real nice tartness that compliments the sweet of the nuts and chocolate. The dried blueberries are a burst of fruity flavor and the flavor lingers for a bit after you swallow.
CHIPS: The problem I have found with adding chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips is that they tend to melt when it gets hot out or if you keep a bag of mix in your pocket. My solution is buy them with a hard candy shell. For this mix I added dark chocolate and peanut butter M&M’s. If you like dark chocolate definitely add them to the mix. The bitter dark chocolate is another great complement to the sweet fruits. It just adds another level of flavor complexity to your trail mix.
Once you have choosen your fruit, candies and nuts, add them to a large zipper bag. Gently shake the bag to mix.
There you have it. A gourmet trail mix that provides the extra needed calories required while hiking, provides an energy boost, tastes great and will pleasantly surprise even the most seasoned hikers.