Anyone else love the combination of bananas, chocolate and nuts together? There is just something about this combination that gets me!
You might be used to the Chunky Monkey Ice Cream that every kid loves growing up but now I am making the classic chunky monkey flavor into a healthy hike ready snack for all ages!
Chunky Monkey Featured Ingredients
Cereal of choice (I love cheerios or chex cereal for this mix!)
Cereal gets a bad rap for being high in sugar and carbs but not all cereals are created equal and the truth is the body needs carbs for energy!
Look for lower sugar cereals (less than 5g of sugar) like cheerios, chex cereal, and special K. These are all lower in sugar and are made with whole grains that contain fiber which help to slow digestion and fuel your body for the entire hike!
The oats/granola and pretzels that you choose to use are also a key carb source that help fuel your body through the entire hike!
Look for whole grain products when possible! Whole grains will keep you fueled much longer than simple refined grain products but are still a quick source of energy.
Dried Pineapple and Banana Chips-
Dried fruit is another great option for snacking on when hiking as they provide fiber, a quick carb source as well and an extra boost of essential vitamins and minerals that fruits contain naturally!
These are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, they help reduce inflammation in the body. This can help to offset some of the stress that your joints take while backpacking and hiking!
Research also shows that eating walnuts can help reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which means more healthy days spent outdoors!
Coconut is the perfect addition to this trail mix as it is loaded with easy to digest fats and provides a good calorie boost to your snacks!
Coconut is made up of medium-chain triglyceride fat (MCT), which is broken down in the body at a faster rate than the long-chain triglycerides of animal fats.
MCT puts less strain on the digestive system while providing a quick source of energy.
I mean who doesn't love chocolate!
This ingredient is optional but it does provide a nice sweet addition to the mix while adding in an extra boost of carbs and fats to power through your hike.
Why Trail Mix?
Some may ask why is trail mix so great for hiking?
It's an easy snack to pack, meal prep and travel with on the go. Whether you are hiking a few hours or a few days, trail mix is one of those snacks where you can pack the amount that you need, doesn’t take up much space, and weighs very little!
Trail mix can be customized to your liking and needs! You can add any nut/seed/ cereal/ dried fruit of your liking and be fueled properly! Just be sure to have a quick source of carbs like dried fruit and cereal because the body will use this first to keep your energy up. Add in healthy fats to help maintain energy throughout the entire hike. Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and also contain a good source of protein which can help maintain lean muscle mass.
Trail Mix is relatively cheap! If you are buying energy bars these can add up fast especially when hiking and you need to grab one every 2-3 hrs. Making your own trail mix at home and packing it for the trip can reduce costs and trips to the grocery store to stock up on those bars. Energy bars also contain a high amount of added sugar which is good for energy however, getting energy from dried fruits and whole grains is a healthier way to get quick carbs for fuel.
Chunky Monkey Trail Mix
3 cups Cheerios/Cereal of choice
½ cup oats/ granola
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried pineapple, diced
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
3/4 cup banana chips
10 mini pretzels
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and stir together.
Store in snack sized zip lock bags/ reusable bags/ tupperware of choice. This will last 3-6 weeks at room temp and is perfect for those long hikes and camping trips because you don’t need to keep cold!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 273, Fat 12g, Carb 42g, Fiber 3g, Protein 3g
Ways to Store:
There are a few ways you can store this mix:
Reusable storage bags
Great for hiking trips, road trips, school snacks and more!
Great for storing larger portions at home, taking to parties, and picnics!
You can store this trail mix at room temperature for 2 months as none of the ingredients will spoil without refrigeration. If you want to make a giant batch and save some for even longer you can store this mix in the fridge where it will keep it’s quality longer and fresher!
Tag me in your remakes and hiking adventures @hikeyourwayhealthy when you go exploring!