3 Trail Mix Recipes for the Perfect Pre-Gym Snack

Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit close up
When choosing a healthy snack, trail mix is often a good choice.

by Catherine Santino

When choosing a healthy snack, trail mix might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the colorful bag of goodies isn't just the perfect snack for a long hike — it can also sustain you at the gym! After all, dried fruit, nuts and grains are packed full of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy fats that your body needs before (and after) a workout.

Watch out! A lot of trail mix recipes can be massive sugar traps. Some dried fruits contain quite a bit of sweetener, and many chocolate-filled mixes are essentially just candy with a few raisins thrown in.

That's why it's great to come up with your very own unique and healthy trail mix recipe. Keeping a wide variety of ingredients in mind, give some thought to which ones you select. You don't have to stick to fruit and nuts only — try experimenting with spices and flavors that you don't typically find in ready-made mixes. Also, beware of serving sizes; these snacks are typically loaded with nutrients, but the calorie count can be high. If you are concerned you'll go overboard, try portioning out your trail mixes in small containers or plastic baggies, so you're only consuming one portion at a time rather than mindlessly snacking.

Below are three ideas for unique trail mix recipes that can not only provide you with the energy your body needs, but can prevent you from getting bored with your healthy snacks.

1. The Classic With a Twist

This delicious mix of fruits and nuts comes with an unexpected twist in the form of sea salt and cinnamon. In a bowl, combine almonds, hazelnuts, a few chocolate chips, dried cherries and cranberries. Then, sprinkle on some sea salt and cinnamon to taste.

By adding that pinch of seasoning, this classic snack transforms into a unique flavor combination that excites your taste buds and satisfies your snack craving.

2. The Modern Mix

Who says that trail mix recipes can't be savory? Combine some cashews, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and raisins (to add a different texture) and season them with garlic powder, sea salt, ground cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper. With this combination of ingredients, you can create a hearty and satisfying snack that packs a flavorful punch.

3. The Nostalgia Blend

Throw it back to your schoolyard days with this tasty blend of peanuts, granola, banana chips, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and dried apricots. This "PB&J" style trail mix recipe is super satisfying and makes the perfect snack when you're on-the-go. Just remember to keep an eye on the sugar content by using the peanut butter and chocolate chips sparingly. Or, go ahead and indulge — simply reserve this trail mix recipe as your treat for the day.

Best part? These are only some of the recipes you can try. Mix it up with your own combinations and enjoy the endless possibilities of this delightful (and healthy!) snack.