Trail mix can be a hit-or-miss type of food. Some packaged versions on the shelf are nothing more than salt and sugar-laden ingredients such as chocolate candies made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, or nuts that have been tossed in excess salt or sugar. On the other hand, some trail mixes can actually be healthy for us if you make them yourself and add in superfood ingredients.

Superfoods are highly nutritious and happen to work very well in trail mixes. This snack is great for packing and taking on-the-go, and it’s the perfect hunger-buster if you only have the time to munch on just a handful at a time. Since the list of superfoods is vast and varied, you can make dozens of varieties of trail mix that incorporate different tastes, colors, and nutrient benefits.

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The Basic Mix

Start with this basic recipe from OGP Green Monster Emily Glass: use 3 parts nuts (such as peanuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts) to 1 part seeds (flax, pumpkin, sunflower) to 1 part sweet things (such as dried bananas, dates, apricots, raisins, or even chocolate chips).

If you want to try some other variations, here are some ideas to get you started:

Nuts

Take this Emergency Vegan Protein Bar recipe and make a dry trail mix from the ingredients listed, such as whole grain puffed Kamut, vegan marshmallows, carob chips, vanilla, and add your choice of nuts to the mix. Walnuts are an excellent superfood to add to the mix. These nuts will give you an energy boost and provide you with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol.

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Seeds

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of hemp seeds into your mix for five grams of protein, 86 milligrams of magnesium, 10 percent daily value of iron, 1245 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids, and 436 milligrams of Omega-6 fatty acids. Try them in this Goji Berry and Hemp Seed Granola, or alter this Jujube, Raspberry, and Hemp Seed Oatmeal recipe by substituting your choice of nuts for the oats and eating the mixture as a dry trail mix instead of cooking into hot oatmeal.

Dehydrated/dried fruit

Use dried cranberries, goji berries, and dried currants in a superfood trail mix that packs chocolate, nuts, and spices in each bite. Try using the ingredients in this Super Power Vegan Bar recipe, but emit the molasses and coconut oil.

Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate

Carob chips are perfect additions of chocolate-y goodness for your trail mix. The health benefits are good news for chocolate fans. Carob chips are rich in vitamin A and B vitamins, and they have iron, protein, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.

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Spices and powders

After your trail mix is almost complete, add some spices or vanilla as a final touch. This wholesome superfood mix calls for cinnamon and nutmeg, and this granola recipe calls for cinnamon and vanilla. You can also add spicy spice like cayenne pepper, which would work well with cacao pieces.

Trail mix is a favorite snack due to its portable, easy-to-eat-quickly qualities. Combining dried foods together into a mix is a perfect way to get all those heart-healthy benefits of nuts, seeds, and antioxidant qualities of the fruit.

Image source: Goji Berry and Hemp Seed Granola