Snack on this delicious sweet and spicy trail mix! Take it on the road or enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up.
It’s officially summer! I wish that meant more to me these days than it did when I was younger. Why can’t we all get long vacations from work this time of year?!
I celebrated the solstice on Saturday with cocktails on the porch until the sun went down. It was perfection.
I spent last week teaching at a journalism camp in Chapel Hill, N.C. It was so much fun to teach graphic design to high school students! I loved attending this camp when I was their age.
Camp always brings back memories of classic camp food, like s’mores and hot dogs. Trail mix also comes to mind — it was a staple of my childhood summers.
In the past few years, I’ve developed a taste for spicy food, so I felt like GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts) should get an upgrade. The best part of trail mix is that every ingredient is optional, so mix and match as much as you like.
Yours can be sweet, savory or somewhere in the middle. Click through for some ideas for making your own combo a little bit more grown-up!
I recommend choosing at least one thing from each category for variety.
Unsalted nuts: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts and cashews will all work well. (Omit this ingredient if you’re serving it to anyone with allergies, of course!)
Unsalted seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or flax seeds add a bit of crunch.
Dried fruit: My favorites include raisins, dried cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apple or banana chips, apricots or figs. Keep them to a minimum, though, or you’ll get a stomachache if you eat too many!
Grains: Opt for whole grains when possible. Pretzels, crackers, cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, granola and popcorn are all great choices.
Sweets: Your sweet tooth will thank you for including chocolate candies, cacao nibs, chocolate-covered espresso beans, yogurt-covered raisins or mini marshmallows. Chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter chips are great too! Go for dark chocolate when you can for extra antioxidants.
Flavorful treats: Wasabi peas, dried ginger and coconut flakes can bring new flavors and textures to the mix.
Spices: Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, ground ginger, sea salt or cracked pepper for extra flavor. (I used a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and freshly cracked pepper in mine!)
Spicy Trail Mix
- 2 cups Cheerios plain
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pistachios
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini M&M’s
- ½ cup dried apples
- ½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients into a large gallon-size Ziploc bag.
- Close and shake it to distribute the spices.
- Store in the same bag or transfer to an airtight, food-safe container.
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