I’ve mentioned before that a while back, James found out he has ridiculous cholesterol levels, caused mostly by genetics. What we eat had to change drastically. And while it’s continually a battle for us both (damn, we love some white bread), one thing that was easy for us to fix: what we snack on.
His doctor recommended eating nuts and nut butters anytime James felt like a snack. While embracing nut butters was a bit of a struggle for him at first (James has never liked peanut butter), eating nuts and trail mix? Nooooo problemo.
For a long time, we’ve spent way too much money on the different trail mixes at Target. I know you’ve seen their entire wall of crazy combinations, from Monster trail mix to Black & White trail mix – we’ve loved them all, but loathed the price.
Charged with making my own trail mix as part of a sponsored campaign with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil, I went to work. My first bit of inspiration came in the form of dried coconut chips. Sweet and salty, you can find them a few different places, but I found mine at Trader Joe’s.
I grabbed every kind of nut we love, from cashews to peanuts, macadamia nuts to pistachios, and even sunflower seeds. Then came the dried fruit. Lots of mango, banana chips, dried cherries and golden raisins are what make us happy, so that’s what went in. You’re welcome to swap in whatever dried fruits and nuts you like best.
Making your own trail mix really could not be easier. I lined my baking sheet with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil before I started, and then once done roasting the nuts and mixing in all the dried fruit right on the pan, I didn’t have to dirty another bowl, pan or spatula. I just used my hands, and when the trail mix was safely stored away (in an airtight container), I removed the foil and didn’t even need to wash the pan. And all in all, much cheaper than buying it store-bought, and completely customizable too!
We’ve been noshing on this trail mix non-stop since I made it. It’s the perfect snack when James is feeling peckish, and I don’t mind telling you it goes great with a glass of wine while you make dinner.
- 6 cups unsalted mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 4 ounces dried banana chips
- 4 ounces dried mixed tropical fruit (mangos, papayas, and cranberries)
- 4 ounces dried coconut chips (or toasted coconut flakes)
PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.
LINE a jelly roll baking sheet completely with Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil so that the entire cooking surface is covered.
SPREAD the mixed nuts onto the baking sheet in one even layer.
ROAST nuts at 350°F for 7 minutes.
REMOVE from oven and allow to cool completely.
COMBINE melted coconut oil, kosher salt, vanilla extract, and dark brown sugar into a measuring cup.
POUR over cooled nuts, mixing with your hands on the baking sheet until all nuts are well covered in the mixture.
ADD dried fruit and coconut chips to the baking sheet and mix well with hands until evenly distributed among the nuts.
STORE in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Reynolds Kitchen Tip: Lining baking sheets with aluminum foil eliminates clean up time completely, giving you more time for getting out in the sunshine to enjoy this on-the-go treat!
Disclosure: I was contracted by Epicurious and Reynolds® to create a recipe for their use. I was compensated for this recipe development. I was not required to write a post, but I love this trail mix, so I wanted to share it with you too!