Need a trail mix that is a salty sweet snack that’s great for a low-carb diet? Try this chocolate coconut keto trail mix recipe! It’s easy to make and has a great blend of flavors. Plus, it lasts a while, making it ideal to keep in your pantry or in your gym bag, whenever the snack cravings strike.
IS TRAIL MIX KETO-FRIENDLY?
Nuts – the main element of trail mix – are acceptable on a keto diet. However, most store-bought trail mixes or recipes that you find are not keto-friendly because they usually contain either dried fruit or regularly-sweetened candies or chocolate. Those extra ingredients push the carbohydrate count higher than ideal on a low-carb diet.
HOW TO MAKE A LOW-CARB KETO TRAIL MIX
Instead of buying it at the store, we can easily make our own low-carb trail mix to enjoy.
For this recipe, I chose to use macadamia nuts and pecans. These two types of nuts are lower in carbohydrates and higher in fats than other types. For example, an ounce of pecans (about 19 halves) contains 20.4 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrate (source). Similarly, an ounce of macadamia nuts (about 10-12 full nuts) contains 21.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates (source).
Compare these to other nuts and you’ll see why I lean towards the two above. For example, cashews clock in at 8.5 grams of carbohydrate per ounce (source), and pistachios have 7.7 grams per ounce (source). So using macadamia nuts and pecans helps keep the total carb count in check.
Alright, once you’ve got your macadamia nuts and pecans, you’re going to start this recipe by “candying” them (in a diet-friendly way of course).
To do that, you’ll first whisk up a little egg wash with egg white, vanilla, and water. You’ll toss the nuts in there, then coat them in a keto-friendly granulated sweetener and a little salt. I like to use Lakanto Golden for this recipe (the combo of both monkfruit and erythritol tastes similar to regular brown sugar) but you can use any low-carb granulated sweeteners that you like.
You’ll then bake the nuts for a bit so that the coating solidifies and you get those amazing holiday-style candied nuts (we love making these solo around Christmas with our keto candied pecans recipe).
Now right when you pull the nuts from the oven, I want you to toss them with a little unsweetened shredded coconut. The key is unsweetened because the sweetened stuff has added sugar. I generally buy NOW Foods unsweetened shredded coconut online.
Tossing the nuts with the coconut right out of the oven will help the coconut stick to it a bit. I have forgotten to do this on numerous occasions (like, um, when we took the photos for this recipe) – it still tastes amazing, but the coconut just tends to drop to the bottom of the jar or bag. Not a big deal at all, but if you remember to, toss it with the nuts right out of the oven.
The last step is to wait for that to cool down, then mix in your keto-friendly chocolate chips! I’m a huge fan of Lily’s dark chocolate chips. I honestly can’t notice a difference between them and regular ol’ chocolate chips.
Now your sweet and salty trail mix is all done, ready for you to enjoy.
KETO TRAIL MIX RECIPE FAQS
Here are some common questions you might stumble across as you make this recipe:
- Do you have to candy the nuts? You most definitely do not have to do this. You could just combine a package of pre-roasted macadamia nuts and pecans along with the chocolate and coconut, and that is quick and easy. We just prefer the taste and texture you get when you coat and toast the nuts.
- Can you use coconut flakes instead of shredded coconut? Definitely!
- Are there any other nuts you can use instead of what’s listed? If you’d like, you could also sub in brazil nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts.
- How long does this trail mix stay good for? As long as you made it correctly (i.e. there’s no wet egg white mixture left on the nuts after cooking and cooling) – this should last for a while. I recommend using it within 2 weeks for best quality.
Each quarter-cup serving of this trail mix contains 221 calories and 3 grams of net carbs.
Remember, even though the total carbs on the full nutrition analysis (located in the recipe card) look a bit high, we subtract out the erythritol (present in both the sweetener and chocolate chips) to get the final net carb count. This is more accurate since erythritol does not contain calories and is extremely unlikely to impact blood sugar.
Here’s the macronutrient breakdown based on net carbs:
- 90% fat
- 5% net carbs
- 5% protein
Pretty nice for a keto snack, huh?!
OTHER FLAVOR COMBINATIONS
If you’re not a fan of this chocolate-coconut combo, here are a few other options to consider:
- Instead of coconut, try mixing in a few unsweetened dried cranberries. Regular dried cranberries are packed with sugar, and most grocery stores don’t carry unsweetened – so you’ll probably need to order them online.
- Make a savory trail mix. Toss your nuts with olive oil and spices like salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder.
- Try a maple cinnamon version by using butter, Lakanto maple syrup, and cinnamon to coat and toast your nuts. You could even toast up a few apple peels (just the skins – they’re mostly fiber) with a little keto sweetener until dried, and chop these and put them in.
- For fall, why not try a version that includes pumpkin seeds? And you can add a little pumpkin pie spice to the coating.
- For another savory version, try mixing nuts with chopped beef jerky sticks and cheese crisps.
KETO SNACKS TO NOT INCLUDE IN YOUR TRAIL MIX
- Raisins – I often get the question, ‘Are raisins keto?’ from people who are unsure if they should have them for snacks. But the truth is, having raisins on keto can kick you out of ketosis as it’s high in carbs. The dried fruit has some benefits, but even a small serving is bad for you as it contains high levels of sugar.
- Dried cranberries – Similar to raisins, dried cranberries have a high net carb level and should be avoided at all times. 100 g of dried cranberries contains a whopping 82.8 g carbs and 72.6 g sugar!
- Cashew nuts – Despite their delicious taste, cashew nuts are a big no for any keto dieter. 100 g of the nuts contains 30.2 g of carbs, which is well above your daily intake.
- Almond nuts – While almond nuts are high in fat, which is suitable for keto dieters, they also contain a lot of carbs. A cup (135 g) carries 21.9 carbs.
Keto Trail Mix – Chocolate And Coconut Recipe
- 1/4 cup Lakanto Golden Sweetener (or another low-carb sweetener)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup Lily’s dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside for now.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sweetener and salt. Set aside for now.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, water, and vanilla, until frothy.
- Add the macadamia nuts and pecans to the egg mixture in the large bowl, being sure to stir them around well and get all the nuts coated.
- Add the sweetener and salt mixture, tossing the nuts well to make sure they are all fully coated.
- Spread the nuts on the baking sheet in a single layer. Place them in the oven.
- Bake at 300 degrees for about 25-35 minutes, stirring after the first 15 minutes, then again after another 10 minutes, then every 5 minutes thereafter, watching closely to ensure they don’t burn. When done, the nuts will be golden brown and should only feel slightly damp (if at all) to the touch. (If you choose to touch them to check, remember that they are very hot).
- When removed from the oven, toss the nuts with the shredded coconut and let then let cool completely – about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir the nuts with the chocolate chips and then enjoy! Store in a jar or zip top bag for up to two weeks for best quality.