7 Healthy Trail Mix Alternatives

Alternatives to trail mix main

Summer is synonymous with road trips, beach days, long hikes, and camping. While a stress-free day in the sun may be just what you need to unwind, being away from a kitchen can be challenging for health-minded guys. If you typically feel forced to reach for not-so-healthy snacks, like trail mix loaded with chocolate and dried fruit, it’s time to change things up.

“There are way more nutritious and creative ways to fuel your day away from home,” says adventure junkie Mike Allsop, whose resume highlights include climbing Mount Everest unassisted, completing seven marathons in seven days on seven continents, and authoring a memoir of his adventures. “When you’re on the go, it’s important to pack lightweight foods that won’t melt and are easy to prepare. But beyond those parameters, there is tons of room for creativity.” Here, Allsop shares his favorite non-perishable, healthy recipes, perfect for a day on the go.

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Roasted Chipotle Chickpeas

“This is a great snack filled with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which help you feel full and provide the energy you need on an intense adventure,” says Allsop. “It even tastes good on a hot day.” 


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2¼ tsp of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend

13-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix oil and seasoning blend together.
Add chickpeas and toss well to coat.
Spread seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chickpeas are done when they are crunchy but not burned. Cook additional time, if needed, until firm.

Makes: 1 13-ounce tray

Spinach and Apple Fruit Leather

“This recipe is fantastic for long hikes because it doesn’t melt,” says Allsop. “It’s also packed with nutrients like fiber so you’ll feel satisfied, but not too full.”


6 small green apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup baby spinach


1. Preheat oven to 175ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the chopped apples, water, and cinnamon in a large pan on top of the stove.
3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the apples are softened.
While the mixture is simmering, stir and crush the apples occasionally with a large wooden spoon to create a smooth texture.
5. Allow the apples to cool slightly, and then transfer to a food processor. Add the spinach and process until the mixture is smooth.
6. Pour the apple mixture onto the center of the sheet and evenly spread the mixture over the paper using a spatula.
Bake for three to five hours, until it is dry to the touch but still pliable. Once you reach the three hour mark check on it every 20-30 minutes so it doesn’t overcook.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool.
9. Cut leather into strips, while keeping the parchment paper backing attached to the leather.
Roll the strips and store them in a plastic bag or airtight container.

Makes: 1 tray

Tea-Infused Protein Shake

“I’ve been able to make this shake successfully in any kind of weather,” says Allsop. “I like to use a low-glycemic protein powder, like USANA’s Nutrimeal™ because it delivers long-lasting, steady energy.”


12 ounces water
1 herbal tea bag (Allsop likes to use a peach variety)
3 scoops French vanilla protein powder


1. Let tea steep in water until the desired flavor is achieved.
2. Combine with protein powder, stir and enjoy.

Serves: 1

Nut-Berry Energy Bites

These homemade LÄRABAR-style bites are packed with protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats. “This super healthy and tasty snack is easy to throw in a bag and eat on the go,” says Allsop. The one caveat? They taste too good. “I could scarf them down in one go,” he jokes.


1 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/4 cup dried cherries
2 tbsp hemp hearts


1. Put all ingredients in the processor and blend.
2. Spoon out mixture and form the dough into little balls.

3. Place on a plate and cover with foil.
4. Pop in the refrigerator until they harden.

Makes: 15 half-ounce bites

Chilled Berry and Almond Oats

“I find this type of snack to be very satisfying, regardless of temperature or activity, notes Allsop. “Plus, this is easy to throw in a backpack.”


3/4 cup rolled uncooked oats (not the instant kind)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Drizzle of honey, to taste
2 tbsp dried blueberries
2 tbsp dried cherries


1. Mix oats, milk, cinnamon, honey, and berries together in Tupperware, making sure the berries have plenty of liquid covering them.
Cover with lid and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Before eating, stir gently. Add additional almond milk as needed. 

Serves: 1

Crispy Garlic-Parmesan Kale Chips

“This is a fantastic snack for those who crave chips. It’s convenient and provides plenty of nutrition,” says Allsop. The only catch? “Chips can get crushed in a backpack, so save these for the beach or a road trip.”


32-ounce bag fresh kale, rinsed, stems and center ribs removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 tsp salt
3 tsp garlic powder


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces.
Wash and thoroughly dry kale with salad spinner and paper towels.
4. Add kale to a large bowl and mix with oil, cheese, and spices, making sure the leaves have been completely coated.
5. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Spread kale on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for eight to twelve minutes, or until kale is crisp.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes: 8 cups

Chocolate Almond Protein Shake

“This protein shake is great for recovery after a tough climb or outdoor workout,” notes Allsop. “I drink shakes pretty regularly, so I like this recipe because it’s different and adds some flavor variety.”


3 scoops chocolate protein powder (Allsop likes Nutrimeal™)
12 ounces water
tsp almond extract


1. At home combine protein powder and almond extract.
2. When you’re ready to drink the shake, c
ombine with water, stir, and enjoy.

Serves: 1

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