Sweet, crunchy cereal covered in a chewy candy coating makes for a deliciously indulgent snack. Filled with sunflower seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds this healthier for you snack mix is completely free of nuts, making this an allergy-friendly find. This Dessert Tropical Trail Mix is free of: wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts & tree nuts. It’s also top-8-free and vegan too!
If you’re like us, we become extra snacky during the summer. I don’t know if it’s because we’re home more, but we find ourselves scrounging for food all throughout the day–especially my hungry boys.
At first, I wanted to make a regular trail mix, you know–the kind that is dry…kinda like this one. But, then my sweet tooth took over and I thought it’d be much more fun to have a candy coating covering the cereal. I mean really, it’s from a strategic stand point, because it makes it easier to eat, since it’s all stuck together now.
I wanted something tropical since it feels like the tropics outside with the weather hitting in the high 90’s week after week. So, I thought dried pineapple, would be a fun twist instead of the typical raisins. It has such a great burst of sweetness, and I love the texture. I could only find pineapple rounds at the store, so those were easy to dice up and throw in. Toss in the shredded coconut and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for a tropical trail mix.
The base of this tropical trial mix is cereal. Since it nut free, you still want a good crunch. We have TONS of the generic rice chex cereal laying around, so it was a double win getting to use up a pantry staple. I find that this is a lot cheaper than assorted nuts, so even though who aren’t allergic to nuts might enjoy this variation.
The only thing you should be warned about is that this makes a ton! Which was great because I made it over the 4th of July and extended family helped us eat it down. I think for just my family of 5 next time I’ll half it, so I don’t end up eating quite so much!
Besides the sweeteners, this really isn’t that unhealthy though. I love the sunflower seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Not only do they help with texture but they give a good boost of nutrients as well.
One final tip: make sure you have the cereal already measured out, so that once the sugar mixture is hot enough, you can dump it in quickly and start stirring immediately.
Still have questions about the Nut Free Dessert Tropical Trail Mix? See these frequently asked questions below.
How to adjust a trail-mix to make it more allergy-friendly:
- Can I swap out the cereal? Absolutely. You can use corn chex, if you can’t do rice, or any other type of crispy cereal. Keep the same amounts.
- Can I use all rice chex and omit the Frosted Flakes? Yes. Frosted flakes do have malt–which comes from barley, which therefore makes it not gluten-free, just wheat free. If you need it to be gluten-free, just use all rice chex instead (so 9 cups total).
- Can I use a different fruit other than pineapple since it can be hard to find? Yes!
- Can I use pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds since my child is allergic to sunflower? Yes you can!
- Can I omit the chia and hemp seeds since I don’t have those on hand? Yes! Just add in 1/2 more cup of rice chex to make up for it.
- I can’t do coconut because I’m allergic–what can I do? You can omit the shredded coconut, and use a vegan butter instead of coconut oil.
- 1/2 cup chopped, dried pineapple
- 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut*
- 6 cups rice chex
- 1 cup salted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 3 cups frosted flakes*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light-corn syrup
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dried pineapple, coconut, rice chex, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and frosted flakes. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir the corn syrup, sugar and coconut oil. Bring it to a boil for two minutes. (This will be a soft ball stage.)
- Pour the boiled sugar mixture over the large mixing bowl and stir well until everything is coated.
- Pour the coated cereal mixture onto the lined baking sheet to cool.
- Enjoy once it is cool enough to touch.
- Crumble and keep covered in an air tight container or baggie.
*If you want, you can use unsweetened shredded coconut.
**Frosted flakes are wheat free, but not gluten free due to the malt. If you need this to be gluten-free omit the frosted flakes and use 9 cups of rice chex instead.
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Looking for more allergy-friendly snacks? Check these out!