Nuts and Bolts Homemade Snack Mix
There are two types of people in this world: those who snack, and those who don’t. Three square meals a day just don’t cut it for me. Sure, if I had big meals at each sitting, maybe, but I tend to get full quickly so my meals are often smaller, which means I get incredibly hungry long before it’s time for another meal. When I was packing my bag for the hospital I spent significant time shopping to make sure I had enough SNACKS. Priorities, of course. Actually, snacks may have been just about all that I used out of that much-thought-about and planned-to-the-nth-degree hospital bag, but I digress…
I love having things around the house that I can easily munch on throughout the day. Chex Mix has always been one of my favorite road trip staples, and after I made a homemade version last year, I was immediately hooked. A friend of mine posted her husband’s grandmother’s recipe for “nuts and bolts” on Facebook and as soon as I saw the ingredient list, I added everything to my grocery list.
How to Make Nuts and Bolts Snack Mix
The secret, killer ingredient in this snack mix? BACON DRIPPINGS. I asked if there was a substitute and I got the feeling that using anything else would be sheer blasphemy, so bacon grease it was! Trust me, you won’t want to use anything else either, but if you absolutely, positively MUST, then use butter.
I played around with the ingredients a bit, as her recipe didn’t include the bagel chips or Cheez-Its, but instead had Fritos. I love Fritos, but I kind of thought they would be overkill in this recipe since they’re so salty on their own. After I had made this, however, I realized that there are two other ingredients that would be fantastic: rye bagel chips (you can buy them from Nuts.com) and Bugles. Do they even make Bugles anymore?! I used to love them as a kid… I’d put them on my fingers and bite them off!
This recipe makes an insanely large amount of snack mix; you could cut it in half and make one large roasting pan worth of snack mix. Which is to say, still A LOT.
Give me the scoop on your favorite add-ins to homemade snack mix… I can’t wait to play around with this recipe even more!
Nuts & Bolts Snack Mix
A variation on homemade chex mix that includes bacon drippings!
- 1 (12-ounce) box Rice Chex cereal
- 1 (12-ounce) box Corn Chex cereal
- 1 (14-ounce) box Wheat Chex cereal
- 1 (12-ounce) box Kix cereal
- 1 (8.9-ounce) box Cheerios
- 1 (13.7-ounce) box Cheez-It crackers
- 16 ounces plain bagel chips
- 16 ounces pretzel sticks
- 32 ounces salted peanuts
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup bacon grease
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon onion salt
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Place the cereals, crackers, bagel chips, pretzels and peanuts in a large roasting pan (you will probably need to use two) and stir to evenly combine.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter, bacon grease and Worcestershire sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the seasoned salt, garlic powder, celery and onion salts.
- Drizzle the melted butter mixture evenly over the dry ingredients, then evenly sprinkle the seasoning mixture. Using your (clean) hands or a large wooden spoon, gently stir to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Note: You can yield 1 cup of bacon grease from about 2 pounds of bacon. Just store the drippings in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.