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This healthy puppy chow (or Muddy Buddies, if you prefer) is a delicious twist on the original Chex® recipe, only this version is made without the cereal and white powdered sugar. It’s so delicious!

healthy puppy chow in a gray bowl with spoon

What’s in puppy chow? If you’re not familiar with the original recipe, it’s traditionally made with Chex cereal, peanut butter, melted chocolate chips, and powdered sugar.

It’s very simple, and it’s also very difficult to stop eating it.

Why do they call it puppy chow? As I understand it, this sweet snack mix got its confusing name because it’s appearance can resemble dog food. (But please, don’t let your dogs eat it– there’s chocolate inside.)

When I lived in Georgia as a kid, we called it “Muddy Buddies” which is the name of the recipe on the Chex® cereal box. When I moved to the Midwest, everyone was calling the exact same recipe “Puppy Chow” instead.

So, I suppose what you call it depends on where you live!

Ingredients You’ll Need

healthy puppy chow ingredients in glass bowls

What’s in healthy puppy chow?

  • Sliced almonds
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut sugar
  • Arrowroot starch

These 5 ingredients will give you a similar snack, but with a potentially lower glycemic impact on your blood sugar. Sliced almonds replace the cereal in this recipe, so they will help keep you feeling full and satisfied, with protein and healthy fats.

How to Make Puppy Chow

1. Melt the chocolate. Start by melting the chocolate chips. You can use a microwave to do this in 30-second intervals, but I prefer to make a double boiler by filling a small saucepan with 1-inch of water.

Bring the water to a boil, then place a heat-safe bowl over the top of the pot, covering the opening. (The bowl should be large enough that it will sit on top of the pan.) Add the chocolate chips to the bowl, and let them gently melt, stirring occasionally.

chocolate melted in double boiler with peanut butter added in

2. Coat the almonds. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the peanut butter.

Place the almonds in a large bowl, and pour the melted chocolate mixture over the top. Stir well.

melted chocolate added to almonds in glass bowl

3. Toss in powdered sugar. Instead of using white sugar, you can make your own “powdered” coconut sugar in the blender!

Simply add the coconut sugar to a dry blender, and process it for about 60 seconds, until it’s finely ground.

powdered coconut sugar in blender

Place the coconut sugar in a large container with a lid, so that you’ll have room to shake the almonds around. Pour the chocolate-coated almonds into the container with the coconut sugar and secure the lid.

Shake well, to coat the almonds in the powdered coconut sugar.

almonds coated in powdered coconut sugar

When the almonds are evenly coated, add in 2 tablespoons of the arrowroot starch. Cover the container and shake again, until the almonds are coated.

This gives them the look of powdered sugar, and keeps them from sticking together, just like the original recipe.

almonds coated in arrowroot starch

I usually end up shaking in 1 to 2 more tablespoons of arrowroot starch, until the snack mix looks like it has a white coating.

Once the almonds are coated, they are ready to serve!

Storage Tips

This mix will keep well for up to 5 days at room temperature, so it’s the perfect snack to have out for a holiday party, or anytime you want a little something sweet. I store it in an airtight container, and I imagine it could keep well for up to 1 month in the fridge, if you’d like it to last longer.

(It never lasts that long in our house before we eat it all!) If you’d like to make a big batch to store for later, you could also freeze this in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

healthy puppy chow recipe overnead in dark bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use another nut? One comment below mentions using sunflower seeds instead of the sliced almonds. The resulting snack mix is MUCH smaller, but that could work! You could also try this with whole pecans or walnuts, if you’d like bigger pieces.

Do I have to use peanut butter? Peanut butter is used in the original recipe, but you could use almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter, if you prefer.

Do I have to blend the coconut sugar? Blending the coconut sugar gets rid of its “gritty” texture, so the snack mix will have a better mouthfeel. If you don’t mind biting into sugar granules, feel free to experiment with skipping that step.

Is there a substitute for arrowroot starch? You can try tapioca starch or corn starch instead. I’d start with just 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, because you don’t want to use any more than is necessary to keep the snack mix from sticking together.

healthy puppy chow in a gray bowl with spoon

Healthy Puppy Chow

4.83 from 17 votes
This healthy puppy chow is a sweet snack mix made with sliced almonds instead of cereal. It's less-sweet than the traditional version, but still just as satisfying! This recipe makes roughly 3 cups of snack mix.
prep15 mins cook0 mins total15 mins



  • Make a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 1-inch of water. Bring that to a boil, then set a heat-safe bowl (that is large enough to cover the opening of the saucepan) on top. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl and gently melt them, stirring often. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  • Place the almonds in a large bowl, and pour the melted chocolate over the top. Stir well, to coat the almonds evenly. Break up any large clumps you see.
  • Pour the coconut sugar into a blender and secure the lid. Blend for 60 seconds, or until the sugar looks finely ground and powdery. Let the dust settle before you remove the lid, so you won't make a mess in your kitchen.
  • Pour the coconut sugar into a large container with a lid, then add in the chocolate coated almonds. Secure the lid and shake well, to coat the almonds in the powdered coconut sugar.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch and secure the lid again. Shake well, until the almonds are coated. Add more starch, just 1 tablespoon at at time, until the almonds look like they have a white coating and are easily separated into bite-sized pieces.
  • This snack mix is ready to serve right away. You can store it at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.


Nutrition information is for roughly 1/4 cup, assuming you get 3 cups of snack mix from this recipe. This information is just an estimate, and not a guarantee. Be sure to check the labels on the ingredients you use for a more accurate estimate.
You can swap the peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter, if you prefer one of those flavors more.
Use dark chocolate chips for a less-sweet snack, and be sure that you use dairy-free chocolate chips if you need a vegan recipe.


Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy puppy chow

If you try this healthy puppy chow recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below to let me know how you like it!

Reader Feedback: Did you enjoy Puppy Chow (or Muddy Buddies) as a kid? Any other recipe requests you’d like to see here next?

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. Can you just add the almonds into the same bowl that you melted the chocolate in? I don’t understand why you pour the chocolate into another bowl.

    1. Yes, you definitely can! The bowl that I melted the chocolate in for my double-boiler set up wasn’t big enough for mixing the almonds, so I had to use a separate bowl. But, do whatever works best for you. I’m always a fan of less dishes. 🙂

  2. OMG these are so good! I followed the recipe and they were a hit, I will make them again, I wondered about the arrowroot but it works!! Thank you,

  3. The brilliance of this recipe is starting with the almonds. I’ve attempted a “healthier” version of the original recipe by adding almonds to the chex to cut the amount of cereal needed, but never thought to just use nuts I still like splitting the arrowroot in the recipe as half arrowroot, half powdered sugar for taste and texture, bit it’s great either way.

  4. I wonder how the arrowroot tastes? I’ve used as a thickener, where it’s mixed in, but this seems like it’s more a real element of the recipe that you’d notice. I wondered about using coconut flour instead, would that do the same job? Might it taste better – assuming a person likes coconut, of course 😉

  5. Wow, this recipe is delicious! It really does taste just like the real thing. I used peanut butter, but may try almond butter next time. So, so good! My husband is a muddy buddy fanatic and loved this. Thank you for another great, healthier treat option.