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5 Easy-to-Make Trail Mixes You’ll Love

Trail mixes completely changed the snacking game when it was first introduced back in the 1960’s, giving hikers, runners, athletes and fitness enthusiasts a portable, energy-rich food that complemented their on-the-go lifestyle. This lightweight snack made it infinitely easier to be on the trails for longer periods–a major game changer at the time.

Fortunately for us, we’ve had a lot of innovation in this century, foregoing the boring (but still delicious) trail mixes of peanuts, raisins and M&Ms in favor of a multitude of sweet and savory combinations.

Grocery and health food stores alike have loads of mix-and-match options on their shelves, so it’s never been easier to create your own.

You’ll find an expanded range of offerings, including items like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, espresso beans, wasabi peas, banana chips, cereal, granola and more, and we’re here for it. Let’s talk about the fundamentals of good trail mixes before we launch into some ideas.

There are five categories to be mindful of when building your perfect mix — nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grains, and sweets. These items provide the fat, protein, fiber, antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals that you need to sustain your energy level, feel full, and remain focused on your goal.

The balance of these ingredients together provide the crunchy, savory and sweet elements that you’re used to, but give you the flexibility to decide what to add based on your preferences. Hate almonds but love cashews? Great, let’s add cashews. Don’t love dried fruit but want something sweet? Cacao nibs it is. Prefer sweet to savory? Go ahead. Add extra chocolate chips. We dare you.

Now, onto our favorite flavor combinations. Note, everyone has their own tastes and nutritional needs, so know that this is not the holy grail. We encourage you to make substitutions and play with your ingredient ratios freely. There are no rules in the land of trail mix.

Without further ado, here are five recipe ideas, from simple and sweet to nutty and savory, that will help you take your trail mix to the next level.

Simple

A quick-and-easy recipe with a few ingredients that are likely already in your pantry.

  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dried cherries
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Pinch of sea salt

Nutty

A rich, filling mix of your favorite nuts, roasted or raw, with a hint of sweetness from the raisins.

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins

Savory

Savory and crunchy, this recipe packs a little bit of heat with the addition of wasabi and ginger.

  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Wasabi peas
  • Dried ginger
  • Chex cereal

Sweet

A slightly dessert-y combo that will still energize you… thanks, in part, to the coffee beans.

  • Coconut flakes
  • White chocolate chips
  • Hazelnuts
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans
  • Cacao nibs

Tropical

This mix will give you serious Caribbean vibes. It’s like a pina colada, but healthier.

  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts
  • Dried mango
  • Coconut flakes
  • Banana chips

Have a favorite flavor combo or masterful edit to one of our suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. We’re all for crowdsourcing some killer trail mix recipes.

Yummiest Brands at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2019

The Huck team was at Outdoor Retailer in January for their Snow Show. We worked up quite an appetite walking about 10 miles each day, but luckily there were some amazing food brands sampling out their best offerings. Here are a few of our favorite adventure snacks from the show.

Peak Refuel

If you’ve camped, you’re probably familiar with the freeze dried meals on the market.

Peak Refuel has been reimagining and reinventing the freeze dried experience since they hit shelves in June 2018. What stood out to us most was the flavor of their meals. Typically when we’re camping in the backcountry, we’ve sacrificed taste for nutrient dense meals. It’s a bold statement, but Peak Refuel is the best tasting freeze dried meal we’ve had. When was the last time you had a freeze dried meal that tasted like a home cooked meal?

This has a lot to with their ingredients and freeze dried process. They have real, non-GMO ingredients that are delicious and nutritious. Their meals are loaded with protein (150-200% more than other brands) sourced from 100% real meat—with no fillers. The biggest standout is when you look at their ingredient list. You can see just how clean their ingredients are by their pronounceability, but also by the short list of ingredients.

Our favorites were the Beef Pasta Marinara, the Breakfast Skillet, and the Strawberry Granola with Milk.

You can purchase Peak Refuel directly from their website, Amazon, or by finding local retailers using their Zip Code Locator.

Morsel Spork

We couldn’t move on from Peak Refuel without a brief mention of an awesome little utensil that was at the Snow Show: the Morsel Spork.

I’ve seen a lot of sporks, but this one takes the cake specifically for designing a long handle; long enough to reach into a bag of Peak Refuel for a quick bite of Sweet Pork and Rice. The shape allows for a deep reach into every nook and cranny to make sure you get every bite.

Morsel Sporks can be found on their website.

Country Archer Jerky

Country Archer Jerky has been around since 1977. They’re known for their small batch process, using healthy ingredients like grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free pork. Their tagline is “As Gourmet as Jerky Gets,” and they aren’t wrong—this stuff is delicious.

One of the standouts for us were their meat bars. There’s a lot of jerky companies that make bars, but Country Archer stands out mostly for their flavor and texture. I’ll usually take a meat bar with me when I’m in the backcountry or on a long-distance trail run, and my usual complaint is the texture and chewiness of other bars. Country Archer tastes like meat, versus some of their competitors that have a grainy or oily taste profile.

Favorite flavors so far is their Hatch Chile Beef Jerky and their Sweet Jalapeno Beef Sticks.

They can be ordered off the Country Archer website or found in most local natural food stores through their store locator tool.

Avalanche Swiss + Granola

For breakfast we stopped by the Avalanche Swiss + Granola booth daily. Their granola is the crunchiest granola we’ve had in a long time. The packaging is perfect for day hikes with their grab-and-go pouches—easy to pack in and take back out with you.

It’s baked in small batches and imported from Switzerland. All their ingredients are natural and GMO-free. There were a few flavors that were 100% organic, and I hope as they continue to grow that they look for ways of moving their whole product line to organic.

The texture is super crunchy—loud enough to have my kids running in from another room at home to see what I was eating. There’s a lot of oats, nuts, and seeds in their granola. Depending on the flavor, there’s a fair mix of dried fruit or chocolate, too.

I haven’t yet tried mixing the granola with milk. You can add it directly into the bag if you’re camping, and based on other reviews, the granola will still retain the crunch. This is definitely going on my food bucket list.

There’s 5 flavors to choose from: Original Organic, Original w/ Raisins Organic, Fruit Basket Organic, Red Berries Organic, and Coconut Quinoa & Chocolate. My favorite at the moment is their Fruit Basket Organic.

You can find them on their website or at local grocery stores.

Cheap Food Finds in Colorado Ski Towns

Colorado ski towns are notoriously diverse, but one thing that rings true is that they can be expensive. Whether you’re planning a visit to ski in the winter or raft in the summer, we’ve found the cheapest food options to help you stay on budget, from $1.84 for a single scoop of ice cream to $12.95 for a cheesesteak and fries. Here are the best cheap eats in Aspen, Breckenridge, Telluride, Steamboat Springs, and Vail.

Aspen

Zane’s Tavern

https://www.zanestavern.com/

308 S Hunter St #2, Aspen, CO 81611

(970) 544-9263

In a ski town that skews a bit more upscale, Zane’s Tavern remains a classic dive. This sports bar is where you’ll find the locals, and they always have a game on. The order here is a Philly cheesesteak with fries or tater tots for $12.95.

Big Wrap

http://places.singleplatform.com/big-wrap-the/menu?ref=google

520 E Durant Ave #101, Aspen, CO 81611

(970) 544-1700

Big Wrap may always be busy, but it’s by far the best and quickest lunch spot in Aspen. Don’t let the line deter you, you’ll need a minute to go over the eclectic menu. Items like the Hail Caesar and To Thai For are among the favorites, and the price is right at $7.30.

Bamboo Bear

http://www.bamboobearrestaurant.com/

730 E Cooper Ave, Aspen, CO 81611

(970) 710-2094

Bamboo Bear is a small but mighty asian restaurant, serving a menu of Vietnamese and Thai-influenced dishes. Here, you can try a selection of things without breaking the bank, including spring rolls for $2, dumplings for $6, and a killer bahn mi for $12.

Breckenridge

Soupz On

http://www.soupzon.net/

422 North Park Avenue, Breckenridge, CO 80424

(970) 547-4797

Soupz On is a beloved lunch spot that’s perfect for dine-in or grab-and-go. Their soup menu changes daily, but expect a nice range of options like chicken pot pie, meatball marinara, and Thai shrimp tom yum. The meal deal comes with bread and a cookie for $8.95.

Above the Blue

421 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424

(970) 453-3062

Above the Blue, also known as Red’s to the locals, is a food stand with the best cheap eats in Breckenridge. They have a short-and-sweet menu that has something for everyone, including a coney dog for $4, frito chili pie for $5, and a gyro for $10. Bonus: they are open late-night.

Crepes a la Cart

crepesalacarts.com

307 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424

(970) 771-3411

The ideal apres ski treat is a sweet or savory crepe from Crepes a la Cart. This place has a ridiculously huge menu of topping mashups from classic nutella to chicken florentine, and many items are under $8.

Telluride

Steamies Burger Bar

http://www.steamiesburgers.com/

300 W Colorado Ave Suite #1B, Telluride, CO 81435

(844) 843-2867

Located in the heart of downtown, Steamies is a top-rated burger joint that serves their patties steamed rather than grilled or pan-fried. For just $6.25, you can get a classic single with american cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and our signature housemade steamie sauce.

Steamboat Springs

Lyon’s Corner Drug & Soda Fountain

http://www.lyonsofsteamboat.com/

840 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

(970) 879-1114

Lyon’s Corner Drug & Soda Fountain feels completely stuck in time, and we wouldn’t change a thing. This drug store, gift shop, old-fashioned soda fountain hybrid is where you’ll find a single scoop of ice cream for $1.84. They also serve diner classics like grilled cheese and BLTs for under $6.50.

Skull Creek Greek

https://www.skullcreekgreek.com/

635 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

(970) 879-1339

The best value in town is at Skull Creek Greek. At $7.50 for a pita and $10.50 for a plate, you can choose from heaping helpings of roasted lamb or falafel and three different kinds of tzatziki sauce. For something a little sweet, get the life-changing baklava for $3.

Off the Beaten Path

https://www.steamboatbooks.com/

68 9th St, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

(970) 879-6830

A lovely independent bookstore and coffee shop, Off the Beaten Path is a cozy winter reprieve where you can pick up games, cards, puzzles and more. While coffee may seem like the name of the game here, we love the wine and local brew selections for under $5.

Vail

Moe’s Original Barbeque

https://www.moesoriginalbbq.com/lo/vail/

616 W Lionshead Cir, Vail, CO 81657

(970) 479-7888

Just feet away from Vail Mountain, Moe’s Original Barbeque is a super chill, local spot serving Alabama-style barbeque to the masses. The pulled pork sandwich with two sides (see: baked beans, cornbread) and a drink clocks in at just $10, making it an easy and delicious choice for lunch or early dinner (they close at 6 p.m.).

The Red Lion

304 Bridge St #1, Vail, CO 81657

(970) 476-7676

For award-winning chili in Vail Village at $5 a cup, look no further than The Red Lion. This hot spot is known for its live entertainment, with musicians performing daily. It’s a little cozy, so it can get crowded, but you won’t mind one bit.

Yellowbelly

2161 N Frontage Rd W #14, Vail, CO 81657

(970) 343-4340

At Yellowbelly, it’s all about the fried chicken. This counter service restaurant is perfect for a casual meal, and the hot-and-fresh white or dark meat tenders are just $5.50. They also have incredible scratch-made slides for $3, including a ton of healthy options like citrus quinoa and seasonal veggies.

Have another cheap eats spot? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

About the writer:

Christina Cherry is a travel publicist and writer with a knack for last-minute trip planning. When she’s not on the road, she’s in hot pursuit of the world’s best pizza or tending to her houseplants. Keep up with her work at cherrycreativestudio.com and follow along on her blog at everywherewithcherry.com. DM slides also welcome at @everywherewithcherry.