Healthy snacks are such an important part of good nutrition. I find if I’m not well prepared with snacks I end up rushing into a convenience store between meetings and end up with the least convenient of choices (read chocolate). For me the key for good snacks is that they can be easily packed and carried along with you. And this is where I find some simple raw unsalted nuts really do the trick. But this can get a bit boring. So my solution is to put together my own home made trail mix. This is not really a revolutionary concept, but a home made version is just so much better than store bought mixes. Store bought mixes really do appear like healthy options but sometimes, on closer inspection one can find all sorts of unnecessary ingredients from hydrogenated oils, sodium and added sugar to artificial colourants, preservatives and sulfites. I’ve even spotted the odd m&m in some of the trail mixes on the shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of chocolate (you’ll even find it in my own mix), however I prefer to choose a dark chocolate thats less refined, lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants

This isn’t really a recipe as it just requires a simple assembly of ingredients. I find this works well as you can choose what you want to go into your own mix and  it is also a huge cost saver. I usually prepare a massive jar that I can portion into little zip lock bags or a small jar that I can easily pop into my hand bag to take with me for busy days. This also works really well for children’s lunch boxes and busy professionals – just keep a stack in your desk drawer.

The basic ingredients you will need:

Dried Fruit | Sulphate Free

  • This is the source of carbohydrate in the snack. Dried fruit is high in natural sugar so I would suggest keeping your dried fruit to less than 1/4 of your total mix. Choose dried fruit that is sulphur free – look at the ingredients list and should list just the fruit you have chosen no sulphites, sulphur or any other uglies. The same goes for sugar, be sure particularly with dried cranberries that there are no added sugars.
  • Dried cranberries, goji berries, dried apple slices, mango, peaches, apricots, figs, prunes, strawberries, dates etc

Nuts | Raw & Unsalted

  • Use raw, unsalted nuts to make up the majority of your mix. They provide a great source of monounsaturated fats, fiber and protein
  • Pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, brazil nuts etc

Seeds | Raw & Unsalted

  • Use raw, unsalted seeds, these provide a source of omega  6 fatty acids as well as some great fiber. I would suggest using bigger seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds rather than small seeds like chia or flax – just easier to eat on the go.
  • Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp etc

Extra Flavour |

  • This is my best part about making your own trail mix, you can choose different additions for taste. I love to add some dark chocolate that is at least 85% giving a good source of antioxidants as well as less sugar. I usually use one slab across a mix that will yield between 20 -25 servings, so theres not a lot of chocolate in each serving. I also usually use coconut as its a great source of fat and it gives the mix a different texture.
  • Dark chocolate, flaked coconut, desiccated coconut, chilli flakes, cinnamon etc
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 20 -25 servings
  • 2 cups raw unsalted pecan nuts
  • 2 cups raw unsalted almonds
  • 1.5 cups unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 0.5 cup desiccated coconut
  • 0.5 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 slab 85% dark chocolate
  • 1.5 cup dried cranberries
  • 0.5 cup mango slices
  1. Break the chocolate into small nibs
  2. Tear the mango into small bite size pieces.
  3. Mix all the ingredients evenly
  4. Store in a large jar
Note that this a high energy snack, be sure to not to have too big a portion.
1 serves = 2 - 3 tbsp

Watch the video on how to prepare your own trail mix here:

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xX Stacey

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