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March 21, 2023 3 min read

There’s nothing better than snacking on homemade trail mix. 

True story: whenever I make a fresh batch of this homemade trail mix recipe, I eat most of it in one sitting. I just can’t help myself. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, and I find myself eating it by the handful whenever I venture into the kitchen (which is often). 

The good news is that, unlike many store-bought trail mixes, this recipe is made with fresh ingredients and some superfood ingredients so you can feel good about your snack habits. 

  • Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious and are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like zinc and selenium. 
  • Pecans are loaded with several key nutrients, including fiber, copper, thiamine, and zinc.
  • Dried cranberries contain many beneficial antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin C.

The other benefit of making homemade trail mix is you can completely customize your trail mix recipe to include what you like and leave out what you don’t. Even the recipe listed below can be completely customized. You can replace the candied pecans with walnuts, almonds, or peanuts. You can even add hot sauce like sriracha or wasabi peas if you want a spicier kick! 

Here’s the Jones Family’s favorite sweet and spicy trail mix recipe!

Sweet & Spicy Trail Mix Recipe


  • 1 cup candied pecans (recipe below) 
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds in a single layer.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Sprinkle the spice mixture over the nuts and seeds and use a spatula to toss everything together until the nuts and seeds are evenly coated.
  • Bake the trail mix for 12-15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the trail mix cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the trail mix has cooled, add the dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips and toss everything together.

Spicy Trail Mix Recipe Tips:

  • Store the trail mix in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • This trail mix is perfect for snacking on the go or as a pre-workout snack. 
  • You can adjust the spiciness to your liking by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe. 
  • You can also experiment with different types of nuts and seeds for added variety. 

A white plate with candied pecans on a blue background

Pepper Jelly Candied Pecans Recipe 

These pepper jelly candied pecans are a perfect addition to our sweet & spicy trail mix recipe or as a standalone snack! 


  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pepper jelly (We recommend cranberry habanero!) 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans in a single layer.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the pepper jelly, brown sugar, and salt to the melted butter and stir until everything is combined.
  • Pour the mixture over the pecans and use a spatula to toss them until they are evenly coated.
  • Bake the pecans for 8-10 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  • Remove the pecans from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.

Pepper Jelly Candied Pecans Recipe Tips: 

  • You can adjust the amount of pepper jelly to your liking depending on how spicy you want the pecans to be. 
  • You can also experiment with different types of nuts, Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly flavors, or even add other spices like cinnamon or cumin for a flavor boost!
  • For a sweeter nut that pairs well with trail mix, try our cranberry pepper jelly

Take Your Snacks to the Next Level with Pepper Jelly

If you’re looking for one staple condiment to always have on hand, it just has to be pepper jelly! Whether you’re looking to make the perfect homemade barbeque saucejazz up your salads, or heat up happy hour with a new cocktail, Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly is a truly versatile ingredient. 

Looking for more sweet and spicy snack ideas? Be sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest ways to use pepper jelly. 

If you’re seeking the best pepper jelly for sale, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to buy a jar for yourself, a gift for a friend, or one of our many pepper jelly variety packs, we have everything you’re looking for. Browse our full selection today!