Whether you’re road tripping the Big Island, hopping from beach to beach on Maui, checking out Hawaiian roadside attractions, or merely want to get in the Hawaiian spirit, I have the road trip snack for you. This tropical trail mix recipe combines all the best flavors of Hawaii and will have you saying Aloha in less than five minutes.
What’s in this Tropical Trail Mix?
Dried Pineapple Chunks
If I asked you to name a Hawaiian fruit, you’d probably say pineapple and so this Hawaiian snack mix starts there with dried pineapple chunks. Though native to South America, pineapple was first introduced to Hawaii in the 1500s. Today, the state produces almost one third of the world’s pineapple crop and supplies nearly 60% of all canned pineapple products.
Bananas are another fruit typically associated with Hawaii. Though it’s a declining industry, and most of the bananas we find in grocery stores come from other parts of the world, Hawaii is still the largest producer of bananas in the United States. The banana chips in this recipe bring a crisp texture to contrast the soft pineapple.
The coconut tree (niu) was introduced to Hawaiians by the original Polynesian settlers hundreds of years ago. The fruit thrives in the humid air, warm climate, and lush soil of the islands and so coconuts grow bountifully on all eight of the Hawaiian islands. The palm trees grow up to 100 feet in the air and are a quintessential backdrop to the ideal Hawaiian landscape. If you’re visiting Hawaii and road tripping the islands there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself eating the meat or sipping the water, so coconut chips (or shredded coconut) are a must-have ingredient in this mix.
Every trail mix needs a nut and if you’re going for a Hawaiian-themed snack, there’s only one nut you can use: Macadamia Nuts. The Macadamia Nut industry began in Hawaii and almost all of Hawaii’s macadamia nuts come from the Big Island. The state has more than 700 macadamia nut farms and the nut is one of their biggest exports.
Cacao (or Dark Chocolate Chips)
Cacao in its original form looks like a coffee bean and produces a bitter base for the chocolate we know and love. While Hawaii is known for its tropical climate, its actually the coldest place in the world that cacao can grow and the only US state that grows the crop. For this recipe you can use cacao nibs for the chocolate element, or dark chocolate chips if you can’t find it.
Li Hing Mui Powder
Li hing mui powder is a salty, sweet, sour spice made from pickled plum. It was introduced to Hawaii from China in the early 1900s. The ingredient is staple among native Hawaiians and can be eaten in its original form or as a powder coated over snack, dried mango, or fresh fruit. It’s hard to come by on on the mainland (you can buy it on Amazon here), so it’s an optional ingredient in this Hawaiian snack mix. The snack will still taste delicious without it, but sprinkling the mixture with Li hing mui powder will heighten the taste and give it a new, unique flavor.
Ready to say Aloha to this Hawaiian-themed trail mix? Well, grab a lei and a mixing bowl and hula on over to the recipe below!Print
This Hawaiian snack mix combines all the official state snacks and best-known tropical flavors into one treat that’s perfect to take on the road.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry area.
- Category: Snack
- Cuisine: America
Keywords: snack, road trip, snack mix, trail mix, Hawaii, Tropical