Nut-Free Monkey Munch Trail Mix

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Ready to grab a quick snack for the road? As part of the DIY Convenience Foods series, we’re making our own nut-free trail mix.

Nut-Free Monkey Munch Trail Mix | Good Cheap Eats

When I was a kid, trail mix was somewhat of a novelty. A hippie novelty. Usually a melange of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and CAROB chips, it was a fun snack to take camping or on road trips.

Today trail mix has become almost a dessert! I checked out the commercially made versions at the store last week; some are only nuts and chocolate covered candies! I don’t see that being all that different than a candy bar. And it was $14.59 for a 44-ounce container. Not necessarily a good cheap eat.

What’s so silly is that trail mix is probably the easiest thing under the sun to make!

Since my daughter’s nut allergies were reconfirmed this past week, I’m on a mission to make more peanut- and walnut-free foods so that I know that she can enjoy them without negative repercussions. This nut-free Monkey Munch is just the thing!

Making trail mix yourself

Making trail mix yourself.

Making homemade trail mix is not difficult at all. It’s only a matter of throwing a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and giving it a good stir. I did put some thought into my ingredients, though.

We had dried cranberries, banana chips, roasted and salted sunflower seeds, chocolate chunks, and roasted and unsalted pepitas. I worked toward a balanced mixture of salty and sweet. Though my daughter could have other nuts, like almonds or cashews, I chose to make this one nut-free which makes it close to being completely allergen free.

As an experiment I bought a bag of Enjoy Life Chocolate Mega Chunks which are Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free. Well, that covers things, doesn’t it? I worried that they would be taste-free, but they are quite good!

Obviously, if allergies are not an issue for you, you can use whatever nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and chocolate you’d like.

Making it cheaper.

I bought all my ingredients separately and I bought premium ingredients from Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. You don’t have to do that. Grab what fits your financial, dietary goals.

Here’s how it went for me:

  • allergen-free chocolate chips $1.27
  • sunflower seeds $0.60
  • pepitas $1.50
  • cranberries $1.00
  • banana chips $0.50

Total spent for 32 ounces of mix: $4.87. This works out to be 15 cents per ounce. Alternatively, the grocery store “candy mix” turns out to be 33.2 cents per ounce.

My trail mix is about half the price and way better for you! FYI: I’m not a huge fan of banana chips, but I really liked them in this mix. In honor of banana chips cooked in coconut oil, I dub this Nut-Free Monkey Munch Trail Mix.

Nut Free Trail Mix

diy-convenience-150This is part of the DIY Convenience Foods series.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Tanya W says

    This looks *super* yummy! My DD5 is gluten intolerant so we often use the Enjoy Life products. We loved being able to use their chocolate chunks when she was also dairy free. (The fact that they are yummy helped immensely!) School is nut-free so this is a perfect lunchbox snack for my littles. Thanks so much!

  2. Kristin says

    We’ve been using the mini chips! So good in homemade granola bars!

  3. Allie Zirkle says

    Ours looks like this with coconut too. I need to find date pieces, probably at Sprouts, to go with this. Super yum! I do prefer the Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips though; something about how they feel on my teeth. Great pic too

  4. KDavis says

    Thanks for a recipe without nuts! My vegetarian son is allergic to all nuts, except peanuts, and so many healthy snacks include nuts as a primary ingredient, it can be frustrating for him.

  5. elena says

    Made this for my nut-free kiddos and we (ALL) loved it! Somehow I always think trail mix is out because of nuts but this was great. thanks for the idea!

  6. Jen E says

    Thank you for including nut-free ideas. My son has tree nut allergies and sometimes it’s difficult to remove those products fully. I am excited to see what other recipes you come up with! (Fyi regarding sunflower seeds: according to our doctor and my son’s allergy tests, sunflower seeds are in the same category for those with nut allergies. Who knew)?

    • Yeah, the related stuff is very complicated. At the moment, our allergist isn’t concerned, and my girl has challenged fine with sunflower. I’m trying to be observant of changes, though. Her tree nut issue is currently only walnuts.

      • lindsay says

        Legitimate question: isn’t coconut/coconut oil part of the nut grouping? My BIL is allergic to nuts and can’t have coconut. Want to make sure I make something school-safe.

        • I have heard mixed opinions on that, and never from a doctor, so I can’t tell you for sure. My daughter is only allergic to peanuts and walnuts. She can have other nuts just fine, but we are careful that they aren’t cross contaminated with the “bad nuts”.

          The recipe, however, doesn’t call for coconut. You would just need to check that coconut oil wasn’t used on the banana chips.

  7. Amy says

    thanks for this. I can not have nuts and all you find in the store are munch mix with nuts. Nuts in every bag. Hello don’t people know about allergens? Crazy. so this was great to see. thanks for sharing

  8. C.K.O. says

    I made this today, I added seeds, dried apples, dried cherries, and raisins. It’s super yummy, and makes it wonderful for me since I work with people who have nut allergies!

  9. Kasia says

    I have looked everywhere for sunflower seeds without any additives that don’t say may contain tree nuts. Do you have a brand or place to suggest ?

    • I have found them at Trader Joe’s, but it’s hit or miss. Sorry I can’t be more help!


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