{Homemade} Gourmet Trail Mix

I will be the first to admit I know next to nothing about tailgating and even less about healthy alternatives for snacking at the Big Game.  So when I was offered the chance to create something combining the health benefits of nuts and an easy snack to make and take, whether you are watching the game at home or from the 50 yard line, I was trepidatious.  But I was intrigued, so…

Challenge accepted.

Except… my recipe may not be as healthy as some.  After all, I do love all things delicious and sugary (with a few exceptions).  It’s a problem.  Do they have meeting for sugar addicts?

My take on traditional trail mix will tantalize your taste buds – a little spicy, a little salty, a little sweet – and 100 % delicious!

{Homemade} Gourmet Trail Mix

For the Granola Clusters:

Preheat oven to 300° F (148° C)

  • 3 cups gluten-free, organic whole grain rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup golden flax seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg white
  1. Combine oats, pecan pieces, flax seeds, coconut flakes, and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Beat egg white until frothy.
  3. Add syrup, oil, and egg white.
  4. Stir until completely combined.
  5. Spread out evenly on large, greased baking sheet (think jelly roll pan).
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring around the 20 minute mark.  Check on the granola toward the minimum baking time and follow your nose to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  7. For larger clusters, skip stirring and bake to the maximum time.  Be aware the mixture can burn, so keep an eye on it.
  8. Let cool completely.  Break into chunks (whatever size you want).  Set aside.
Any leftovers can be used in yogurt or pour some milk over it = breakfast!


For the Cinnamon Roasted Almonds:

Preheat oven to 300° F (148° C)

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/6 cup (8 tsp) sugar
  • 1/6 cup (8 tsp) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups unblanched organic almonds
  1. In a medium bowl, beat egg white until frothy.
  2. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, combine sugars, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Stir sugar mixture in egg mixture until combined.
  5. Toss almonds in sauce to coat evenly.
  6. Spread evenly on greased baking pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, until almonds are crisp.
  8. Allow to cool.  Set aside.
These babies are so addicting!  Sweet, sugary goodness.

For the Mocha Pumpkin Seeds:

Preheat oven to 325° F (162° C)

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 egg white (but try and use only half)
  • 1 cup unsalted pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds – shelled)
  1. Combine sugar, coffee, and cocoa in a mortar and pestle or small food processor – you’ll want the mixture finely ground.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until frothy.  Stir in pumpkin seeds.
  3. Sprinkle with sugar mixture and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Spread evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking pan.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until dry/not sticky.
  6. Allow to cool in pan, then set aside.
Chocolatey, with a mellow coffee flavor.  Yum!

For the Candied Walnuts:

Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C)

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup walnuts (no pieces)
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cayenne.
  2. In a small saucepan, boil enough water to cover the walnuts.
  3. Add walnuts to water and blanch (boil) for 3 minutes.
  4. Drain well and immediately fold walnuts in sugar mixture until coated.
  5. Transfer walnuts to greased baking pan and bake for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Watch carefully – the sugar can (and will) burn).
  6. Allow to cool. Set aside.

These walnuts have a nice kick to balance out the sweetness of the almonds!


When everything has baked and cooled, add one 5 oz bag of dried cranberries and one 5 oz bag of dried pomegranate.  Mix gently and store in an airtight container.

All together, you get a great combination of flavors – the earthy cinnamon, sweet sugar, slightly bitter coffee, and a subtle kick from the cayenne.  Plus the tart cranberries and pomegranate = a literal party in your mouth.

Go nuts and enjoy!

And if you’re looking for something a little healthier, check out the these great ideas.  You can also find more quick and easy snacks here.


6 thoughts on “{Homemade} Gourmet Trail Mix

  1. It would be a lot healthier if you didn't want to eat it all in one sitting! The Big Guy gave me “permission” to make this whenever I want and the kids are so into it, I'm calling it a win all around. 🙂

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