Picture this: you’re on a hike surrounded by natural beauty, feeling strong and accomplished, and also in need of a serious power-snack if you plan on making it back to your car. Traditional trail mix has a bad rap for either being nutritious, but bland and boring, or loaded up with poor quality oils, salt, sugar and other unhealthy additives. No one wants to munch on cardboard, but does a deconstructed candy bar seem right in this vignette? We think not.

We’re obsessing over this protein-packed, nut-free trail mix recipe from holistic health counselor, Pamela Salzman. Not only is it easy to make, but it provides the best of both snack worlds by being good tasting and good for you!  Get the recipe below…

Packaged trail mix is often nothing more than peanuts and candy-coated chocolate. But when you make it yourself, you can prepare a much more healthful snack with additive-free dried fruit, organic nuts and seeds and better quality chocolate. You can also add other ingredients for a different twist on typical trail mix, like spices and even roasted chickpeas.

Chickpeas are a high-protein, high-fiber, but low-fat legume that can become super crunchy when you roast them in the oven.  I like tossing them in coconut oil, salt, maple syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne for a really delicious flavor combo. Crunchy chickpeas are also great on their own as a snack or even on a cheeseboard.  Just beware though: They are highly addictive!

Protein-Packed Trail Mix With Chocolate + Chickpeas
Makes 2 ½ cups


1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 ½ cups cooked
1 Tbsp unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ cup goji berries or other dried fruit
¼ cup dark chocolate pieces
¼ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
¼ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flake


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Pat chickpeas dry as much as possible. Remove whatever skins are loose. Place chickpeas on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add coconut oil, maple syrup and salt and toss to coat. Put back in the oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. If a few pop, that’s ok.

Turn the oven off. Toss the chickpeas with spices. Return pan to the oven and with the oven door closed and the heat off, allow the chickpeas to sit in the warm oven for another hour or until perfectly crunchy. You’ll have to test one to be sure. It should be dry and airy. If they’re still not crunchy, leave in the oven with the door closed and the heat off until they are crunchy through and through. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

Combine chickpeas with dried fruit, dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds. The crunchy chickpeas combine well with many different ingredients for a trail mix, so feel free to make swaps according to what you have on hand or what you like.

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