Keto Trail Mix: 6 Surprising Ingredients to Make Your Own Low Carb Trail Mix

In central Texas the Fall season comes with slightly cooler weather, more rain, briefly changing leaves, and a whole lot of outdoors.

Despite the increased chance of rain and flash floods, outdoor-loving Texans usually seize the opportunity to enjoy nature after months of 100 degree weather.

The same is true of almost all regions in the world. After the weather changes and people can enjoy the splendor of our planet Earth, the outdoors become enjoyable once again.

Spending time in the outdoors often burns more calories and requires a quick, simple snack, but not everyone wants the standard sugar-filled gorp (granola, raisins, peanuts, and M&Ms).

Being powered by fat is surprisingly easy with the right keto trail mix. We will break down a few delicious ingredients (and recipes) to add some healthy calories to your adventures.

Why Use Low Carb Trail Mix?

For the nerdy science types, we’ll touch on a brief bit of information that makes sense in the context of exercising and low carb trail mix.

Most activities where people need trail mix are relatively low levels of exertion, but over long periods. For example, walking 10 miles on a beautiful scenic trail through Glacier National Park in Montana will take many hours, but the intensity is not high.

The same can be said for almost all outdoor activities including camping, fishing, hiking, and others and here is the key:

Low intensity exercise burns more fat for energy and high intensity exercise burns more carbohydrates for energy.

Most outdoor activities burn more fat than carbs, which is why low carb trail mix helps refuel with the right calories efficiently.

fat burn chart 300x200

My personal experience mirrors this chart fully. Even when I recently traveled to the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho to hunt elk for 7 days, we climbed up and down mountains all day and I still felt better eating nuts and more ketogenic friendly foods than carbohydrates.

In fact, for many people who are experiencing the outdoors (or simply need a snack that doesn’t take a long time to cook), fasting or having butter coffee in the morning is a great way to maintain ketosis with some light grazing on low carb trail mix later on.

Finally, for people who have spent a long time getting into ketosis and don’t want an outdoor or camping trip to mess that up, a low carb trail mix option can prevent losing the hard won state of ketosis.

6 Keto Trail Mix Ingredients

Beyond carrying jerky wherever you go (not a bad idea), one of the greatest ways to maintain ready to eat keto snacks are through select ingredients and nuts in particular.

The right nuts are high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates, and help to provide efficient fuel for those doing a ketogenic diet.

These next ingredients are perfect fits for you to create your own keto trail mix if you desire.

#1. Dried Coconut

Even though coconut is not often considered a “nut”, an unsweetened, natural, dried coconut product is low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and calories. Half a cup of dried coconut can pack 280 calories with only 3.2 grams of naturally occurring sugars.

What makes coconut unique is the high saturated fat content. Any keto trail mix should have a healthy combination of fats (including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) and coconut is the only plant-based source of saturated fat.

Dried coconut is a staple of FORAGE Texas Trail Mix that we’ve developed for this specific reason.

#2. Pecans

The nut with the lowest carbs goes to… the pecan!

The native tree nut to America and the state tree of Texas is a bounty of healthy fats with a low quantity of carbohydrates.

Not only are pecans keto friendly, they also have a different fat profile than something like coconut. Pecans are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Pecans have generally one of the tastiest (and most local / sustainable) tree nuts for Americans, which is why it’s another staple in FORAGE.

keto trail mix

#3. Macadamia Nuts

Another low carb trail mix option are macadamia nuts. These round, buttery, and delicious nuts are exceptionally high in monounsaturated fat with a low dose of carbs.

The only problem with macadamia nuts are their exorbitant cost, which could reach $20 or more per pound compared with $9-11 for some of the other nuts on this list like pecans and walnuts.

If money isn’t an issue for your keto trail mix, pick up some macadamia nuts as they are full of micronutrients like manganese, thiamine, and copper. We recommend getting raw or dry roasted.

#4. Walnuts

On the list of low carb nuts are walnuts, which are unique for their flavor and their omega-3 fatty acid content.

Numerous studies show omega-3 fatty acids are important for cognitive and physical health. Even though walnuts are filled with alpha lipoic acid (ALA) versus more healthy DHA, it is still valuable to include in your diet and, in particular, your trail mix.

#5. Pumpkin Seeds

Nuts and seeds are similar in their family, but it’s valuable to have a fair mix of both. Often referred to as “pepita” in Spanish, the pumpkin is native to America and Texas in particular.

Besides a solid balance of fats, pumpkin seeds are full of potassium, folate, iron, and zinc. They are on par with nuts in their caloric density too.

#6. Brazil Nuts

Similar to macadamias, brazil nuts are on the expensive side, but highly nutritious. They consist of a healthy combination of fats, are filled with micronutrients and magnesium in particular, but they still have a low carbohydrate load.

What About Other Nuts?

The most common trail mix product is the peanut, which isn’t really a nut at all. This legume comes with a host of baggage not only because many people are allergic, but also because peanuts seem to be in everything we eat.

This kind of consistent exposure to peanuts may not be in our best interest. Peanuts do have a decent profile of fats and carbs (as far as nuts go), but we wouldn’t recommend them for other reasons.

Cashews, almonds, and pistachios are all common and delicious nuts, but also higher in carbohydrates on a per pound basis.

Even if cashews have 8 times more carbs than pecans, it still isn’t extreme. If cashews make you happy in a keto trail mix, go for it.

Low Carb Dried Fruit

Fruits get a bad reputation these days. Between low carb, keto, and paleo style diets, fruits have been villainized due to their fructose (a special kind of sugar) content.

The theory goes, fructose is stored in the liver as fat, but this only happens with an energetic surplus (too many calories).

Fruits aren’t inherently bad, but they can create problems for people on the ketogenic diet because some are high in sugar.

Some fruits are better than others and berries are generally the “good guys” as they are lower in sugar. Low carb dried fruit like blueberries can work great in your trail mix where the standard raisins would not.

For example, Texas rabbiteye blueberries are lower in sugar and, when combined in our FORAGE, only has 2 grams of sugar per serving (obviously no added sugars).

Even eating a couple of servings of this per day is fine for many people to remain in ketosis and the added slight sweetness goes a long way in the mix.

low carb trail mix

Replicating Our Ancestral Way

For many people who follow a ketogenic diet, a main objective is to replicate an ancestral way of being. This is one of the guiding pillars of creating Oyasin.

Out of the six best keto trail mix ingredients, we have included four in FORAGE. The ingredients are native to central and eastern Texas, which is why they are foods that Comanche and Tonkawa native Americans would have consumed when meat was scarce.

By not only creating a keto trail mix that fits within diet guidelines, but also combining ingredients native to a particular area, we can best take advantage of what we humans were supposed to eat.

What Works For You?

Even though we have developed a keto trail mix that works for hundreds of our customers, doesn’t mean that it will work for you.

Pay close attention to how your body feels using certain ingredients and make a keto trail mix out of some of the ingredients we have outlined.

Once you have a mixture, buy in bulk and mix it all together in a large bowl for usage whenever you need.

Whether using a low carb trail mix at work, in between activities, or out in nature, the snack will help you to maintain your goals in an easy and sustainable way.