Trail mix is one of my favorite snack foods! It's perfect for a day out on the trails or a snack in between classes. My favorite trail mix brands include the BJ's Black Forest Trail Mix (almonds, peanuts, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, cranberries, and cherries) and Grandy Oat's Antioxidant Trail Mix (almonds, raisins, walnuts, cranberries, goji berries, and mulberries). Here are the best (and worst) trail mix ingredients. 

12. Dried Blueberries

One of very few ingredients I'll go out of my way to pick out of trail mix. The texture is weird, they're not sweet, and I'd rather eat a cup of fresh blueberries on the side. 

11. Dried Cherries

I just don't think dried cherries have much flavor! They're a cross between a dried blueberry and a raisin, so I really would prefer they stay out of my trail mix. 

10. Raisins 

Oatmeal raisin cookies might be considered a sin (although I really enjoy them), so many people have aversions to raisins in trail mix. The occasional stem is off-putting for me, so I'd rather not have raisins in my trail mix. 

9. Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) 

Pepitas: a little crunchy and very fatty. They pair well with cranberries, mulberries, and pistachios, but not well with peanuts.

Phillip Massey

8. Dried Cranberries 

Cranberries and I used to not get along, but we're working on it. They need to be added to trail mix GENTLY and with careful thought. 

7. Pistachios

Pistachios are wonky because they don't belong in EVERY trail mix, especially ones with chocolate. But in a jar of mixed nuts (which I guess counts as trail mix), they're a great addition! 

6. Pretzels 

Why aren't more trail mixes pretzel-inclusive? I wonder this often. Pretzels are crunchy without too much fat, so they can provide some relief from the nuttier elements. 

5. Roasted Cashews 

The occasional cashew in my trail mix is really refreshing, if I'm being honest. They're a softer nut, so too many can throw off the crunchiness of the trail mix. Roasting the cashews beforehand can help maximize crunchiness. 

4. M&M's or Reeses Pieces

My one caveat with sweet candy is that it needs to complement rather than overpower the other ingredients. If you're eating a bag of trail mix with 80% candy, you're just eating candy with 3 almonds in the bag.

candy, chocolate, sweet, cake, chips, goody
Ellis Linsmith

3. Dark Chocolate Chunks 

Chocolate is the perfect addition to trail mix because you always need something sweet and creamy! I like dark chocolate because it doesn't disrupt the flavor of the nuts. 

2. Roasted & Salted Peanuts 

If you have a peanut allergy, I'm terribly sorry that you'll never get to experience peanuts in trail mix. They're nostalgic, crunchy, and delicious additions to any trail mix. The Planter's Peanut Butter Chocolate trail mix was my favorite when I wasn't a vegan. 

1. Roasted Almonds

Literally the king of trail mix. Roasted almonds have the perfect crunch when you bite into them and they contrast softer nuts like cashews and pistachios so well.