Foodie With Family Gorp. A.K.A. Trail mix and Scroggin

I know most of us have had/heard of/eaten our weight in G.O.R.P., but when was the last time you thought about it?  Or ate it?  Or made your own?  Forget back-to-nature, let’s start a back-to-G.O.R.P. movement.  Let me enummerate the reasons why…
Gorp, trail mix, scroggins... It's a delicious, quick pick-me-up no matter what you call it.
Gorp.  Super fast to make and makes you super fast.  Or at least super energetic!

There has been a whole lot of sunshine around these parts lately.  With the sunshine comes a whole lot of playing outside and very little time spent in the kitchen.  There have been quite a few little feet like these pattering around the house lately…


…And most of those feet come attached to mouths like this.

Ohmygoodness.  Where DID those teeth go?

Ohmygoodness. Where DID those teeth go?

…And since there is a little extra real estate to fill in those mouths these days owing to a massive exodus of teeth it seems there is even more food flying off the shelves than usual.  What to do when you have five very hungry and very busy little honyaks* standing drooling around in the kitchen?  Gorp to the rescue.

*Busy?  Oh yes.  They have riddled our yard with an “archaeological dig” and fantasy lands.  They have partially tunnelled under the shop and laid bits of broken animal bone and interesting sticks found in our woods near the tunnel.  They have gathered massive piles of rocks and decorated said pile with weeds and mud in order for it to appear older.  They have named their dig “The Ancient Place”.  All five of them sit and dig in different parts of “The Ancient Place”.  I love late Spring.

Gorp goes by various names. I’ve heard it called trail mix, scroggin, and Pink Buggie, but the basic concept remains the same.  Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grains, and other goodies combine to form a salty/sweet energy boost.  The protein-rich nuts and the dried fruits (and in my case M&Ms and chocolate chips) provide a quick blast of energy from carbohydrates while the whole grain (oat cereal in this case) gives that energy boost a little staying power.   And to top it all is the fact that you can make enough Gorp to feed a viking horde for a week in under five minutes.  It is true.  I’m sure I read that somewhere…

There is nothing at all refined about Gorp.  Unless you count the refined skills of my youngest in picking around the raisins… There is ,however, something exceedingly ‘summer’ about Gorp. You toss everything together in a devil-may-care way in your biggest mixing bowl.  You herd that massive bowl full of goodies all willy-nilly into the largest airtight container you can find.  Then you cram as much in a zipper-top bag while flying out the door to go hiking with the kids. Shy of tossing it on the floor and letting the dogs have at it you just can’t harm the stuff.  Gorp does not require finesse or kid gloves.

Gorp, according to Wikipedia,  does not mean what I thought it did. I was always told that Gorp was an acronym for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.  But  honestly, it doesn’t really require any specific ingredients.  You can adjust, substitute, omit, add, or forget to purchase any of the ingredients I have listed below without panicking.  Just try to add a little somethingsomething from each of these categories:

  • Dried Fruit (Raisins, cranberries, blueberries, etc…)
  • Nuts and/or Seeds (Peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc…  In short, whatever flicks your Bic.)
  • Whole Grain something-or-other (Granola, oat cereal, etc…)
  • Goodies (Pretzels, chocolate chips, M&Ms, dried flaked coconut, dried salted mackerel*)

*Just seeing if you were actually paying attention…

Did I mention this is a very frugal recipe?  You don’t have to have name-brand anything to put in here.  The components can be as expensive or as cheap as you want/need them to be. The entire point, as I see it, is to have a quickly made snack food that boosts your energy and gets the kids (or yourself) back out in the sunshine.  And for us, the tastiest combination is salty and sweet. Whatever you call it, and whatever you like in it, this is a holiday weekend.  Do YOU want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen or do you want to be up and doing and out and about?  It’s a good weekend for Gorp!


…Oh! One more thing before I jump to the recipe.  We have a set of Gorp rules around here that have developed out of necessity.  Does anyone else have to do this kind of crazy law-making?

  1. No cherry picking in the Gorp Jar.  Whatever lands in your bowl is what you get.
  2. No refilling your bowl until you’ve eaten everything in it.  Yes.  That includes the raisins.
  3. No sneaking your raisins into your brothers’ bowls.
  4. No sneaking your brothers’ M&Ms and chocolate chips into your bowl.
  5. No paying your brother to eat your raisins.

For a photo-free, printer friendly version of this recipe, click here!

Foodie With Family Gorp

One additional note.  This recipe uses ratios (1 part this, 3 parts that) instead of hard and fast measures.  This is because I fully recognize that not everyone who reads this is feeding a family with appetites the size of the entire Detroit Red Wings team.  While I use  6 cups of peanuts, 6 cups of raisins, 6 cups of oat cereal, 2 cups of chocolate chips, etc… that is, admittedly, a bit much for many folks to get through.  So no matter the size of the crew you’re feeding you’re good to go here!



  • 3 parts roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted, according to preference)
  • 3 parts raisins
  • 3 parts oat cereal (such as Cheerios or off-brand substitute)
  • 1 part chocolate chips
  • 1 part M&Ms (regular or peanut, according to preference)
  • 1 part skinny, salted pretzel sticks

Add all ingredients to a big container. You can use the most enormous mixing bowl you own like I do:







Then use the best kitchen tools known to man to gently toss together your Gorp (Pssst…  I mean use your hands…)


Doesn’t this look delicious?


On the other hand, if you don’t have a massive mixing bowl, you can always use a big pretzel barrel or other large, airtight container to mix together your Gorp.  Like so…






Oh gee.  Hang on a second.  I accidentally added two extra M&Ms.  I’d better eat those to keep my ratios intact…



Pop the lid on and alternately shake back and forth gently or roll until all items are evenly distributed.


Store in an airtight container and toss in the backpack on your way out the door.  Happy unoffical start of Summer!




  1. says

    I love this! So easy and yummy too! In the big ol’ pretzel jar, it would make a great gift. Thanks for the recipe and pictorial tutorial. I’m planning a dash to the grocery store to buy m&m’s and pretzel sticks asap. 😉

  2. says

    We absolutely have those rules otherwise dd fishes out all the goodies & leaves the ‘other’ behind.

    Ah, so nice to know I’m not the only one with a dig site in her yard. We’ve gone so far as to finally make it official – bordered it & everything. I figure (eventually) it will be a flower

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