Before you head out for a summer hike through the mountains, whip up a quick and easy snack that will last past each mile post. Grab a bowl and mix peanuts, seeds, and dried fruit to create one tasty and high-energy snack: trail mix.\nGrab a few handfuls and enjoy this satisfying snack on the go \u2013 whether you’re on an outdoor trek, a road trip, or just sharing a treat with friends. The beauty of trail mix is that it’s not only portable and easy to take along on any trek, you can create a personalized snack that speaks to your unique nutritional needs, cravings, and taste buds.\nLoad up your trail mix with ingredients that will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but also provide you with protein and essential nutrients. Some common choices to include in the mix are nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, and sweets.\n\nNuts\n\nUse raw, dry-roasted, and unsalted nuts to avoid adding too much extra fat and sodium.\nRaw tree nuts (including pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and hazelnuts) have been linked to lower cholesterol, better heart health, and weight control.\nOut of all nuts, walnuts contain the most antioxidants, which help protect your body from the cellular damage that contributes to heart disease, cancer, and premature aging.\nCashews are rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to all of your cells, as well as zinc, which is critical to immune health and good vision.\nCompared to other nuts, almonds contain the most fiber and are the richest in vitamin E.\n\nSeeds\n\nSunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamins E and B and are also rich in protein and heart-healthy fats.\nChia seeds are high in iron, folate, calcium, and magnesium.\nHemp seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which promote healthy hair and skin growth. Omega-3s also reduce inflammation and boost brain and cardiovascular health.\nPumpkin seeds are a tasty source of vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, and protein.\nFlax seeds help lower cholesterol, make you feel fuller longer, aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels, and benefit eye health due to their omega-3 fatty acids.\nAs with nuts, choose unsalted or low-sodium options.\n\nGrains\n\nChoose whole grains instead of highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.\nWhole grains provide magnesium, a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles.\nGrains also contain selenium, which is important for a healthy immune system.\nAdd grains to pack in nutrients such as dietary fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid) and minerals (iron and magnesium).\nGain extra crunch from whole grain cereal, mini pretzels, and toasted soybeans.\n\nDried Fruits\n\nThese will add natural sweetness and fiber to your trail mix. Try unsweetened dried cherries, applies, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates.\nNutrients become more concentrated in dried fruit due to dehydration.\nJust a \u00bd cup of most dried fruits have about the same amount of B vitamins as 1 cup of fresh fruit.\nAccording to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, dried fruit retains 100 percent of the fresh fruits minerals.\nBe careful not to overload your mix with dried fruit. The same number of calories fit into a smaller handful, so watch your portions.\n\nSweets\nAdding a little something sweet, like a sprinkling of chocolate candy pieces, is okay \u2013 just make sure to add these treat-like options sparingly.\nRecipes\nCranberry-Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix (makes 2 cups)\n\n\u00bd cup dried cranberries\n\u00bd cup chopped toasted almonds\n\u00bd cup toasted pumpkin seeds\n\u00bc cup toasted walnuts\n\u00bc cup raisins\n\nMountain Trail Mix (makes 1 \u00be cups)\n\n\u00bd cup cashews\n\u00bc cup peanuts\n\u00bc cup almonds\n\u00bd cup raisins\n1 package (about \u00bc cup) candy-coated chocolate pieces.