Healthy, Homemade Gifts: Trail Mix

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The holidays are a hectic time of year. So many people, so many gifts, and so little time and money! The dailySpark has decided to ease a bit of the burden this year. Starting today, we're offering 12 healthy, homemade and affordable gift ideas for people in your life. Many of these gifts are great projects for kids, too.

With a balance of carbs, fat, and protein, trail mix is a great snack. Plus, it eliminates one of life's toughest decisions by mixing salty and sweet. Store-bought versions can be pricy, so why not create a custom mix for the people you love?

GORP, chow mix, trail mix, scroggin. Whatever you call this tasty mix, this gift is great for college students, commuters, outdoor enthusiasts and even children. Trail mix doesn't need to be refrigerated, travels well and is easy to eat.

Buy nuts, dried fruit and cereal from the bulk bins at your supermarket to cut down the cost of this gift even more. Package it in a pretty jar (I save spaghetti sauce jars for this purpose) with a ribbon.

The basic recipe is:
2 cups grains
1/3 cup dried fruit
1/3 cup nuts or seeds
1/3 cup of sweets (optional).

Some suggestions:

Mini pretzels/dried cranberries/pistachios/yogurt raisins
Cheerios/raisins/walnuts/chocolate chips
Puffed rice cereal/dried blueberries/almonds/coconut flakes
Mini pretzels/peanuts/chocolate chips
Sesame crackers/dried apricots/cashews/candied ginger
Life cereal/raisins/almonds/white chocolate chips

You're only limited by your imagination. Because the ingredient lists are so diverse, nutrition counts can vary. (Use SparkRecipes to determine your nutrition info.) Remember that a serving size of trail mix is about 1/4 cup. Once you choose your ingredients, print the recipe from SparkRecipes so your friend or loved one can make more trail mix!

Need more ideas? Try one of these SparkRecipes for trail mix.

What do you call trail mix? Growing up, my Brownie leader (aka my mom) called it GORP. Does anyone know what GORP stands for?

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Good ol' raisins and peanuts or granola, oats, raisins and peanuts. This is also called Scroggin in New Zealand. (Scroggin sounds like an acronym to me for something you don't say in polite company.) Report
Thanks for the tip. I always wondered what the right ratio would be! Report
I like using Nature's path granola cereal, cheerios, sunflower seeds, a few peanuts, a few chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. So good! Report
I like

Raisins: M&Ms: Cheerios: Peanuts. but that is definitely a guilty pleasure! Report
thanks. i will be making this today!! Report
My husband & I have been making our own trail mix for quite a few years.
We've always added either dried cherries, cranberries or golden raisins & sometimes have even dried strawberries & pineapple. We have a food dehydrator so it is easy to dry our own fruits when in season. Report
This is a great idea for an inexpensive and healthy gift! It's also a good idea to make and keep for when you get those snack attack! Keep you from grabbing something less healthy! Report
I love making homemade gifts, and this is a wonderful idea! I have made chocolate spoons and dry cookie mixes before as gifts, but never trail mix! Much healthier to make than the others I mentioned! Thank you for the idea! Report
I was really glad to see this article, I plan to make up some trail mix for the families at Church Report
Die hard GS Leader here. We used to make GORP all the time (Granola, Oats, Raisins & Peanuts OR Good, Old Raisins & Peanuts---depending on how old of a GS you are....LOL). YUM! Report
This is a good idea for a DIY gift for my kids at work to make. They have decent jars at the Dollar Tree, too. Report
This is a great idea! I think it will be a good way to give a healthy gift.
Thanks. Report
That's a neat idea! :D Report
Great idea !! Report
EXCELLANT This is one great idea Report
This is a very good idea and a money saver for kids snacks. Thank you! Report
I just joined Sparks and my morning emails help to get me started out right. I've been eating Go Lean Crunch cereal with yogurt and a cut up apple every morning at work for several years. It goes great with a cup of coffee. Making your own and making it for gifts really sounds like a wonderful idea. Thanks. Report
WOW yyum thanks Report
This is a great idea! I fill tins with my homemade cookies as a little extra gift but now I'll make this to give too & to have at home as a snack! Thanks! Report
Yum - thanks for the reminder! Report
What a great idea. I have been trying to come up with a simple gift for the people that I work with. Now I know. Report
I like to mix a cup of yogurt with 2-3 tablespoons grains,some nuts,a teaspoon honey and a little bit of cinamon,vanilla or cocoa.Adding raisins or dates makes it my favourite dessert,it's even sweeter than a chocolate mousse! Report
I love trail mix and like the idea of making my own ... and I really like the idea of putting it in little gift bags to give away. I think my co-workers will love getting it for Christmas! Report
I have some cute holidays bags like treat bags. Think I'll make these for my son's daycare teachers! Plus the ladies I work with. THANKS! Report
I was introduced to GORP by my husband when we were in the Outing Club at the University of Maine. (Of course he wasn't my husband back then!) Report
Great recipe and idea!

I make my own and stuff em in baggies. Opposite of Sherri i ahve diabetes. It's a great protein booster snack. Report
GORP could be an acronym for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, Gobs of Raw Protein, or Granola, Oats Raisins and Peanuts. Report
I cannot make trail mixes because I always end up picking the nuts out and eating those separately. I've told myself not to do that, but it doesn't help. So I just avoid trail mixes completely.

JoanW1 Report
I will try this one soon!!! Report
The GORP we made always contained: Granola, Oats, Raisins & Peanuts...... Report
I've been making GORP since the 70's!! We always brought GORP with us when hiking or on our many canoe trips ~ a good substantial treat!! There are so many different variations & healthy foods you can add to suit your own preferences. Report
I remember my uncle called it GORP standing for good ol' raisens and peanuts. Report
My sister is a vegetarian and a real healthy eater. So also hates waste so most gifts seem like overkill and I never know what to get her. This is perfect. Report
Hey, I remeber that being called GORP. I remember eating on camping trips with my father. Don't have a clue why though. Report
According to, GORP stand for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts (trail mix) or Granola, Oats, Raisins, and Peanuts (trail mix).
I love this idea. I think it's great for those with diabetes, to carry around with them in a small container or baggy, while out running errands or so.
As we need to watch our sugar for dropping around mid afternoon.
MistyPaws Report
Great idea. I just need to come up with some modifications for toddlers. Would the Cheerios or pretzels absorb the moisture from the dried fruits and get soggy? Report
Well I'm with the rest of the girl scouts and always stood for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.

It would be a great gift idea if I weren't the only one who would eat it/appreciate it......I have a picky bunch LOL Report
Great Idea Report
Very Cool. Great ideas. Can't wait to give these gifts. Report
I like this idea just for me as a snack.

I had all the gift bought before I joined SP and NOBODY is getting food. We do not usually do that. i will have to think about this gift idea for next year though to save some money. Thanks for the GREAT idea. Report
Great idea! We have no money to spend this year and I still want to give...this sounds like the perfect way for me to do it. Thanks! :) Report
I love this idea! Thanks! :-) Report
Not a bad idea for the last minute giving....Thank You. Report
Great idea...I'm also doing sugar free jellies and regular jellies...Happy Holidays! Report
As a former Girl Scout we always thought it stood for "Good old Raisins and Peanuts"
We make trail mix alot. My kids love it and it is great to take on car rides. Report
This is a clever idea. I often bake cookies for the holidays, but was looking for something healthier this year. I think I have found it! Report
When I was a girl scout leader, I had each of my girls bring something in and we made a giant container. Every time we had a meeting or did a field trip we took our trail mix. We put mini marshmallows in ours and the cereal would dry them out so that when they were eatin' the would explode in your mouth. The girls loved it. Report
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