Lighter, Fluffier Trail Mix

June 30, 2011   11 Comments

Trail mix is for taking on your hike. Anyone been on a hike lately? No? Me, neither.

Low Calorie Trail Mix

If you have been on a hike recently please don't share - Snack Girl lives next to a hiking trail which she has used ONCE in the last year - don't get me started.

So, since we aren't hiking, trail mix becomes a nutritious and dangerously high calorie way to pack a snack. Yes, peanuts, raisins, dark chocolate and almonds are good for you in small quantities (unless you are climbing Everest).

What to do?

How about bulking it up with some lighter stuff to help keep the portion size reasonable? I used popcorn in the trail mix above, but you could use Wheat Puffs, Cheerios, or anything else that is light and adds volume without too many calories.

One problem is that the lighter stuff will float to the top of the mix. I solved it by putting into baggies so that when I reach in - I get a big handful of popcorn AND trail mix.

(the bag also makes it harder to just pick out all the chocolate chips)

And, it is nutritious! You get fiber, protein, fat, and some sugar to keep you going. When you pack your own, you save money, too.

My popcorn did get a little stale after a couple of days in the sandwich bag. It was still pretty good, though.

If you don't have an air popper try my microwave method or get one of these groovy popcorn bowls below (also for the microwave).

I have saved a ton of money using my popcorn bowl instead of buying prepackaged popcorn for the microwave. I like it because I don't have to add anything to the popcorn (such as oil) to make it pop.

What do you add to your trail mix?

Lighter Trail Mix Recipe

(no reviews yet)

(makes 6 - 1 cup servings)

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1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups air popped popcorn
ziplock sandwich bags


Mix all ingredients in a bowl and measure out one cup portions into baggies. Store for 2 weeks.

Nutrition Facts

One cup = 175 calories, 9.0 g fat, 22.9 g carbohydrates, 5.0 g protein, 2.4 g fiber, 4 mg sodium, 5 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper, 12 Cup, White

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Homemade trail mix is great for taking to the movies! A really great substitute to their $6 tubs of butter!

Sounds good! I think I'll use cashews instead of the peanuts.

I use some combination of roasted almonds, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips, and cheerios, wheat chex or bite size shredded wheat. This is also a great snack to take to sporting events to avoid having to hit the overpriced and nutrient-free concession stands.

you could probably put a slice of a cut apple in the bag to keep the popcorn from going stale. that always works for me with cookies, so it'd probably work w/ popcorn, too!

dried apples are a very low calorie dried fruit, i've found. i buy bags of those and cut them up small so they mix in with the other dried fruits easily. they're great to keep in the car when you want a snack handy that won't spoil in the car. fruity cheerios are a favorite of both me and my kids and are a nice fruity sweetness to add to anything. i mix with plain cheerios to tone it down some. great post and great ideas, sg!

BRAN BUDS are my newest find! They add a healthy crunch to everything! They would be great in a trail mix....thanks for the idea!

You could keep it in an airtight tub and portion out as you go. Thanks for the recipe.

I like to mix trail mix with popcorn and high fiber cereals like all bran, plus some chocolate frosted mini wheats or chocolate cheerios for extra chocolate flavor without adding more fat. If you want some savory sweet & saltiness, add a few pretzels... :-)

Sounds yummy and a great munch for the movies (the bags make it easy to smuggle in)

Can't wait to get some of my own mix going. I'm thinking of getting a "buffet" set up of stuff and letting my boys each assemble their own mixes before we go on vacation to the lake next week.

Great idea for trail mix!

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