Sweet, salty, and full of crunch. This popcorn trail mix has it all! Pack it for work, school or a road trip for an easy high fibre snack.
You know those terrible moments when you're stuck in traffic, feeling absolutely ravenous and wishing you had something to much on? Or what about sitting at your desk at work, trying to ignore your growling stomach because you forgot to bring afternoon snacks?
I've been there, and I know it sucks. That's why I'm bringing you the easiest and tastiest solution to all your problems: popcorn trail mix.
Trail mix is one of those holy grail snacks because it's shelf stable and can easily be taken anywhere. As much as I love my yogurt parfaits or turkey and cheese pinwheels, I don't always have access to a refrigerator. I've taken my popcorn trail mix on beach days, road trips, picnics, you name it! It's also super satisfying because you get a good mix of sweet, salty, savoury... perfect for all my indecisive snackers!
I also firmly believe that trail mix is one of those snacks that should always be made at home. Not only is it more affordable, but you can add all YOUR favourite mix-ins! I love adding graham crackers and roasted chickpeas to mine.
Popcorn trail mix is one of my go-to balanced snacks for a reason. You need to try it!
Why This Dietitian Loves This Recipe
As a dietitian, why am I always recommending this recipe? Let me tell you:
- High in fibre. Fibre is one of those nutrients many of us don't get enough of, and this popcorn trail mix adds a 5g boost to our day. If you don't know why fibre is so important, make sure you read this article for all my dietitian tips.
- Customizable. Whether you're gluten-free or have an allergy, this recipe can easily be modified for your needs. It can also be made higher protein, or lower in fat. Whatever you prefer!
- Batch prep. I love making a giant batch of popcorn trail mix and leaving it on the counter throughout the week. This makes for a super convenient healthy snack option for my family and I to have on hand.
Everyone will love this trail mix, so be warned- you'll be making this on rotation before you know it!
- Nuts and seeds
- Roasted chickpeas
- Shreddies or cereal of choice
- Dried bananas
- Graham crackers
- Hemp seeds
In a large bowl or glass jar add popcorn and layer with toppings of choice.
Use a large spoon (or pour into a large Tupperware) to mix together the trail mix ingredients.
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: Make sure ALL of your ingredients and certified gluten-free. My recommendations include: puffed rice cereal, chocolate chips, gluten-free pretzels, nuts and dried fruit!
To make nut-free: Skip the nuts and use sunflower seeds, dried coconut or any other nut-free ingredients you have on hand.
To make vegan: Use dairy-free chocolate.
Get creative and adjust this recipe to your preference. Here are some more ideas to switch it up:
- Chunky Monkey: Mix in chocolate chips, peanuts and dried bananas
- Candy Bar: Add chopped pieces of all of your favourite candy bars
- Salty: Skip the chocolate and sweet mix-ins. Stick with crispy chickpeas, nuts/ seeds, cereal, pretzels and any other savoury dried toppings you enjoy!
- Fruity: Try adding in dried fruit like dates, apricot, raisins or cranberries. Freeze dried fruit like strawberries or blueberries are also delicious.
- Tropical: Add chopped dried mango, shredded coconut and pistachios.
This popcorn trail mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month. For best long-term storage, ensure it is kept in a cool, dry cupboard. However, if you know you'll finish the trail mix within a week, it's fine to keep on the counter.
I highly recommend pouring all the ingredients into a large Tupperware container with a lid (or even a large Ziploc bag) if you have one. This makes it easy to shake up the contents and ensure the toppings and evenly spread throughout the popcorn.
In terms of mix-ins, I like to stock up at a bulk foods store or Costco. This is a great way to save money and make sure you aren't overbuying ingredients that will just sit in your cupboard. Going to a bulk foods store also gives you the flexibility to try new mix-ins!
I find it pretty easy to make my own crispy chickpeas using this recipe, but note that store-bought crispy chickpeas also work.
Frequently Asked Questions
I typically try to use an air popped popcorn that doesn’t contain too much added salt or butter. Skinny Pop, Lesser Evil and Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP are all great options. However, feel free to use whatever popcorn you have on hand. You can also make your own air popped popcorn!
I would say it’s definitely a great option for a grab and go snack! Popcorn is full of fibre and pairing it with some mix-ins like nuts, seeds and chickpeas are a great way to make this a more balanced snack. If you are really looking for a lower sugar option, skip the chocolate and sweeter mix-ins (although I will never personally say no to chocolate!).
I will note that this popcorn trail mix may be higher in sodium, but that is dependent on the ingredients you use. If this is a concern for you, make sure you are using lower sodium ingredients like unsalted nuts/seeds and reduced sodium pretzels.
Yes! The beautiful thing about this trail mix is it’s 100% customizable, no ingredient is NECESSARY (except the popcorn), so feel free to use up the odds and ends from your cupboards. As a dietitian, I would recommend making sure you have a source of protein or healthy fats to make this snack even more filling.
You can always increase the amount of dried chickpeas to boost the protein. Some other higher protein mix-ins include dried edamame, dried peas, and chopped jerky.
Use around ¼ cup of kernels if you're air popping your own popcorn.
More Easy Snack Ideas
I'm all about the easy snacks. If you enjoyed this popcorn trail mix, give these other snacks a try:
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this popcorn trail mix, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
The Best Popcorn Trail Mix
- 6 cups popcorn of choice
- 1 cup pretzels
- 1 cup nuts or seeds almonds, cashew, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds etc.
- ½ cup chocolate
- 1 cup roasted chickpeas
- 1 cup Shreddies or cereal of choice
- ½ cup dried bananas
- ½ cup crushed graham crackers
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- In a large bowl or glass jar, add popcorn and layer with toppings of choice. Use a large spoon (or pour into a large Tupperware) to mix together the trail mix ingredients.