Car Camping Adventures for Families

A blog detailing the ins and outs of car camping with children throughout the Carolinas region and beyond. Learn about kid friendly campgrounds, fun camping activities and healthy, tasty camping food that your kids will love!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Trail Mix Musings

Inspired by a fellow blog reader, I decided to do a post on trail mix.  And honestly, what's not to like about trail mix?  It's healthy, it's fun, it's versatile, and it's easy to make.  There are so many ways to make trail mix that you could create a different mix every day for a year and still not run out of choices to make it unique.  All this talk is making me hungry so let's get started!

Trail Mix typically consists of dried fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, and sometimes chocolates. It was originally created for the outdoor enthusiast because nuts and fruit offer a good combination or protein and sugar to keep you energized and moving forward.  Today, it's eaten everywhere from the great outdoors to the office for a mid afternoon pick-me-up.  Some common ingredients that tend to be in most trail mixes include peanuts, raisins, almonds, cashews, and M&M's.  But why stop there? There are so many great additions that you can add to make a trail mix your own personal favorite.  How about dried cherries?  Sunflower seeds?  Or maybe yogurt covered raisins?  The possibilities are endless.

When I set out to make a trail mix, I typically like to head over to my local natural foods store where I can find bulk bins with all my favorite ingredients.  This way I can get a little or a lot of each ingredient and save money while doing it because I only buy what I need. Sometimes they have pre-made trail mixes in the bins as well if you'd rather just get something that's already been mixed.  Here in Charlotte I tend to like Healthy Home Market as they have the largest selection of bulk bins in the area.  Find something similar in your area and check it out.

If you want to go a bit more gourmet you can visit one of several online "create your own" trail mix shops including Nutty Idea and You Trail Mix.  You can also make trail mixes that have a bit more substance to them, such as a coating of yummy goodness that gives them additional flavor.  Here are a couple gourmet recipes to try the next time you're looking for something a little different!

Carmel Goodness Trail Mix

9 Cups of Rice Chex Cereal
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup each of your favorite mixings (ie. nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate)

Spread cereal on a greased baking sheet.  In a medium sauce pan melt butter.  Add brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla and bring to a boil.  Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove mixture from heat and stir in baking soda.  Pour mixture over cereal and stir until all pieces are coated.  

Place mixture in a preheated 250 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Pull out of oven and let cereal cool for 5 minutes.  Then stir in addition mixings.  Allow to cool completely and then break into chunks.  Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Very Cherry Trail Mix

1 Cup of uncooked Oats
2/3 Cup of Chopped Dried Cherries
1/4 Cup Chopped Almonds
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/4 Cup Honey

Grease a large jelly roll pan.  In a large bowl mix together oats, cherries, almonds and salt.  Pour butter and honey over the top of mixture and stir until evenly coated.  Spread evenly onto greased pan.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes stirring occasionally.   Let Cool.  Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!


  1. Our family is gearing up for Spring and we will be going on our very first camping adventure this year so your blog will definitely come in handy. I will be saving your recipe for trail mx and using it soon. It's great even for afternoons out with the kids. I am your newest follwer fro SITS! Happy Friday!

  2. I'm really digging your Very Cherry recipe.

    I may sound a bit clueless, but I never thought of toasting trail mix in the oven. I haven't actually *made* my own trailmix, but I'm so used to thinking of it as just a bag of nuts and raisins. But the idea of butter, honey, and salt toasted on really does warm a girl's heart.

    Happy camping!
    (also thank you for the kind congrats.)

    -Ed Wilson

  3. Hey Julie
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Is this a Flashback post? It looks like it's a new one.

    If you did a flashback post just email me and let me know so I can check it out!

    Have a great day!

  4. Stopping by from the Lady Blogger's Tea Party because I noticed you were in the Carolinas - we're in Charleston :) We don't take our kids camping as often as we should... great ideas and posts though! Will be back :)

  5. Another Carolina girl here. This post was very timely because we hope to get out for a hike at Raven Rock (central NC) later today. We're new(ish) to camping, but have enjoyed hiking as a family for years. Great recipes!

    *Stopping by from the Lady Bloggers' Tea Party Social.

  6. Hi there! I'm stopping by from the Lady Blogger's Tea Party.

    You're blog is so much fun! I love the concept and all the outdoorsy goodness. Also, that Caramel Goodness Trail Mix recipe sounds divine. Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by guys! I just stopped by now and saw all the comments. You really know how to make a girl feel important! Kelly, you'll have to let me know how Raven Rock is. We can't wait to get out and spend more time outdoors. It's just been so darn cold and wet, it hasn't been much fun outdoors. We have our first camping trip on Easter weekend to Huntington Beach State Park and I can't wait to report back! Thanks again for stopping by!

  8. Oh my gosh, these look so yummy!!! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to get out and go camping and hiking this season. Great blog!

    **Stopping by from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party!

  9. The first time I saw this blog, I immediately tried the recipe and it is absolutely delicious and it is superb. I have added the recipe to my collections.


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