Observed annually on August 31, National Trail Mix Day honors the mix developed as a healthy snack to be taken along on hikes.
- Two California surfers claim the creation of trail mix. In 1968, they blended peanuts and raisins for an energy snack.
- However, in the 1958 novel The Dharma Bums written by Jack Kerouac, the two main characters mention trail mix when planning meals for their hiking trip.
- The recipe for trail mix is most likely European in origin, where it has been known as a snack under various names in various countries since the 17th century.
- Trail mix has been eaten by Native Americans for thousands of years, and originally included buffalo meat.
- The combination of nuts, raisins and chocolate as a trail snack dates at least to the 1910s, when outdoorsman Horace Kephart recommended it in his popular camping guide.
- In Australia and New Zealand they call trail mix Scroggin.
- Trail mix is also called GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts or Granola, Oats, Raisins, and Peanuts)
- According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the verb gorp, means “to eat greedily”.
- Portability – Be sure all the components can withstand heat and bouncing around. For example, potato chips and caramel baking bits probably won’t survive the trek or heat. However, pretzel rods, M&Ms, and other candy-coated chocolates hold up under stress.
- Protein – Choosing the right nuts and seeds adds healthy proteins and fats, too. The following are the top protein-producing seeds and nuts to add to your trail mix:
- almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hemp, pepito, sunflower, flax, sesame, chia, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
- Salty & Sweet – Not only does the flavor factor increase but the salt, along with drinking plenty of water throughout your hike prevents dehydration. When we sweat, we lose essential electrolytes, and trail mix helps to replenish them. The salt comes from the ingredients already added to the mix. There’s no need to add more. And the sweet? Well, that all depends on your tastes and how much additional glucose your physical needs require.
- Spice – Kick the flavor profile up a notch with some spice. Here are a few combinations to try:
- Fall blend – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger
- Savory blend– garlic powder, dill, lemon pepper
- Spicy blend – wasabi, mustard powder, lemon pepper, dried cilantro, dried lime zest
- Spicy sweet blend – paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, a touch of brown sugar
- Energy Booster – For a twist, add chocolate covered roasted coffee beans to your mix. This is especially nice if you don’t have time or a way to make a cup of java while roughing it. You’ll get your caffeine and your breakfast while seeking the next fantastic view.