Outdoors with Onions: Sweet and Smoky Onion Snack Mix

Savory Trail Mix via National Onion Association

There is no shortage of snack options when hiking and camping, but the one thing that most snacks have in common is that they are sugary sweet. You can only have so many energy bars and so much plain dried fruit before the idea of one more sweet bite is completely unappealing.

While the main goal may be to replace all the calories you are burning during your hike, it’s a much more pleasant experience if the food tastes good. I find that putting together my own snack mix allows me to get the right balance of flavors that I crave on the trail.

I also have a little secret ingredient that gives it an unexpected sweet and savory kick. Onions! While onions may not be the first thing you think of when creating a trail mix, trust me, you must give it a try. In this recipe tiny bits of onion are caramelized and stirred into a sweet and smoky mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

Savory Trail Mix

You can portion it into small containers and it will stay fresh for up to three days. It is a great option for hiking when you need to break out of boring snacks!

Sweet and Smoky Onion Trail Mix

Yield: About 2 ½ cups
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes


½ cup finely diced yellow onion
1 cup raw walnuts, halves or pieces
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup raw or roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup dried cranberries
1 large egg white
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon fine ground sea salt
¼ teaspoon of chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Spread the onions in a single layer on the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring the onions every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent burning. The onions will begin to caramelize. Some will darken and other pieces will remain white.
5. Remove from the oven and let cool, and transfer to a small plate or bowl.
6. In a medium bowl, stir together the walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and cranberries.
7. In a small dish, whisk together the egg white, honey, salt and chili powder or smoked paprika. Whisk well for 30 seconds or until the egg white becomes frothy along the edges of the dish.
8. Pour the egg white mixture over the snack mix. Stir well to coat everything evenly. Stir in the onions.
9. Spray the same baking sheet you used to bake the onions with more cooking spray. Spread the snack mix in a single layer on the baking sheet.
10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. The nuts should begin to brown and the mix should become dry and crumbly.
11. Remove from the oven, cool and transfer to an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Savory Trail Mix

Happy Hiking!

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