Grain-Free Puppy Chow (a.k.a. “Muddy Buddies”)

I apologize in advance for sharing this recipe, because it’s seriously addictive.

grain-free Puppy Chow in a bowl

Which means it must be pretty darn close to the original!

I don’t know about you, but whenever my family had a bowl of Puppy Chow (also known as Muddy Buddies) in the house, it didn’t last long. If you’re not familiar with this sweet and crunchy snack, it’s a delicious combination of melted chocolate and peanut butter melted over crisp rice cereal squares and then tossed in powdered sugar. It’s no wonder why the original recipe is so addicting– it’s brimming in sugar!

I’ve been wanting to make a healthier version of this treat for a while now, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I’ve reduced the sugar content by using dark chocolate chips and coconut sugar, and I’ve lowered the overall glycemic load of the recipe by replacing the processed cereal squares with protein-rich sliced almonds. What I especially love about this almond substitution is how the slices stick together when coated in the chocolate mixture, creating little clumps that look, and even crunch, like the cereal version! A dusting of arrowroot finishes them off– giving the appearance of powdered sugar without actually needing to use it.

A word of warning: You may want to make a double-batch of these treats.

They go fast!

Grain-Free Puppy Chow (Vegan)
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips*
1/4 cup nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, etc.)
2 cups sliced almonds
2/3 cup coconut sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons arrowroot (optional)

*Be sure to buy vegan dark chocolate chips to keep this recipe vegan-friendly.

Directions:

Toss the coconut sugar into a blender and blitz it into a fine powder. Be careful to not open the lid right away– let the dust settle in the blender while you melt the dark chocolate chips over a double boiler on the stove. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the peanut butter (or nut butter of choice) until smooth, then stir in the sliced almonds and coat well. making grain-free puppy chow

Pour the “powdered” coconut sugar into a large container that has a lid, then add in the chocolate-coated almond mixture. Secure the lid onto the container, then shake vigorously to coat the almonds in the sugar. Feel free to break up any large clumps that form, though some clumping is to be be expected.

making grain-free puppy chow

For authentic-looking results, add in 4 to 6 tablespoons of arrowroot starch and shake again to coat well. Chill in the fridge for an hour to set, then serve chilled or at room temperature.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for up to two weeks.

grain-free puppy chow in a bowl

4.7 from 10 votes
Print
Grain-Free Puppy Chow (Vegan)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A sweet and crunchy snack that is lower in sugar, but just as delicious as the original version.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
Calories: 219 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, etc.)
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons arrowroot (optional)
Instructions
  1. Toss the coconut sugar into a blender and blitz it into a fine powder. Be careful to not open the lid right away-- let the dust settle in the blender while you melt the dark chocolate chips over a double boiler on the stove. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the peanut butter (or nut butter of choice) until smooth, then stir in the sliced almonds and coat well.
  2. Pour the "powdered" coconut sugar into a large container that has a lid, then add in the chocolate-coated almond mixture. Secure the lid onto the container, then shake vigorously to coat the almonds in the sugar. Feel free to break up any large clumps that form, but some clumping is to be be expected.
  3. For authentic-looking results, add in 4 to 6 tablespoons of arrowroot starch and shake again to coat well. Chill in the fridge for an hour to set, then serve chilled or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for up to two weeks.

Notes:

  • I’ve made this recipe with both peanut butter and almond butter, both with delicious results! (The peanut butter version is definitely the most authentic, so it was the favorite among my taste-testers.)
  • For a nut-free version, you may want to try using sunflower butter and sunflower seeds instead of the sliced almonds. Since sunflower seeds are more bitter than almonds, you may have to compensate by adding a little more coconut sugar. Please share your results in the comments below if you try this!
  • For a sugar-free version, you can use unsweetened baking chocolate instead of the dark chocolate chips and sweeten the mixture, to taste, with stevia or xylitol. Then skip the powdered coconut sugar and coat with arrowroot exclusively.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Did you enjoy Puppy Chow (or Muddy Buddies) as a kid?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

Tom @ Raise Your Garden

You might want to make a double batch? How about a triple batch! I’m going to have my wife make this now and in the fall once the football season starts. My buddies are going to love this as we watch the Bills lose, always keeping hope that we’ll get to that Super Bowl again. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about storing any leftovers.

    Josey

    Have your wife make it?

      Laura

      Tom’s wife here, I just checked this post and laughed. He can totally make his own for him and his buddies! Agreed, haha. Like they always say, if you want breakfast in bed, you can always sleep in the kitchen. Another great recipe though. I think I would be with the almond butter.

      Stacy

      Exactly the comment I was about to make, Josey!

maria f

Puppy chow is my weakness!! I am beyond excited about this recipe!

Audrey

I love puppy chow! (I’m 14, so yes, I liked puppy chow as a kid ;))
I just made something like this, but for the coating I used sunflower seeds ground into a powder (I’m sure other nuts/seeds would work; I needed the recipe to be nut free.). I never thought of using arrowroot. Great idea!

Amylee

I’ve made a healthy version of these too, and it was a hit, but I am SO trying this. I’m not going to tell anyone though, I want them all for myself.

Cindy

This is great! We absolutely LOVE Muddy Buddies but quit making them when realizing that the BHA/BHT that is added to cereal for preservative isn’t good for you – they ban it in Europe!! And yet it’s in our kids’ cereal!!!
Can’t wait to make these – my husband will love you! 🙂 I’ve made using an alternative cereal (healthier version) b/c we aren’t completely grain free but the almonds sound good. Thanks Megan!

TA

OMG, this is one of my favorite treats ever and I never knew what to do to make it healthier. Detoxinista to the rescue!!! Thank you!!

Amanda

Ohhh fun! Our children have never had Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies but I’m sure they’ll love this version! Thank you for recreating all of the treats we grew up with but healthier so that our little ones can enjoy them too.

Sophia

I made a Puppy Chow knock off using Cheez-its (instead of ceral) and caramels (instead of peanut butter as there was a person with nut allergies). It’s along the lines of the savoury/sweet combos (parmesan cheese and chocolate, salted caramel, etc.). I think you have enough recipes to reconstruct this– grain free cheezy crackers (with nutritional yeast), and vegan caramel!

Abbi*tarian

This is awesome! Thank you! I actually had never had this until my sister-in-law introduced me to it, just a few years ago!! It was so tasty, but I avoided recreating it because of all the sugars (including the cereal, itself – I think she used corn chex – which turns to sugar too quickly for this hypoglycemic.) I didn’t think of either of your fantastic substitutions – almonds & arrowroot starch – brilliant! So, your recipe makes me very happy! I’ll just skip the coconut sugar. Thank you!

Kathy

You are brilliant! Thank you.

Josey

I have never heard of Puppy Chow. Is that a regional snack? I love the recipe. I use your chocolate recipe (cocoa powder/coconut oil/maple syrup) all the time. Would it work here?

    Megan

    I grew up moving all over the country as a military brat, and I first tried it when we lived in Georgia– we called it Muddy Buddies there, which is what the recipe is called on the box of Chex cereal. When I moved to the Midwest, everyone called it Puppy Chow! So, the name definitely changes by region.

    In regards to the homemade chocolate, I think it could work, but the only way to know for sure is to try it out. If you do, be sure to serve it directly from the fridge or freezer, as the coconut oil will melt quickly at room temperature. And please let us know how it turns out!

Shaina

I’m telling myself not to make these as I made your walnut-date cookies 3 times in the past week (and ate most of the cookies myself), but probably won’t be able to help myself. Your food is amazing.

Rosie

To be honest, I thought you were about to share your natural version of dog food (which I thought I could adopt for my cats) as the only Puppy Chow we get in Sydney is literally dog food – LOL! But having discovered what it is, I can’t wait to try this out on my husband who I’m slowly converting from sugary treats. If only you could have seen his face when I told him I was going to make him Puppy Chow 🙂

Lacy

I know I have visited your blog before, and I enjoy reading it, but I haven’t ever bought a sidebar ad, or anything and I show that I have traffic from your site, so I just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU! For whatever it was on your blog that found mine.

Also, I can’t wait to try this recipe. I don’t need to, but well…your pictures…make it look completely delicious. Anyway, Thank you!

Love and Blessings,
Lacy

Emily @ Glitz Glam Gluten-Free

Omg this looks absolutely amazing! I haven’t had Muddy Buddies in years but these look fabulous- I never thought about swapping out the Chex for something else! Love that they don’t use powdered sugar too! I can’t wait to give these a try but they look seriously addictive!

Jesse @JesseLWellness

I love how easy these are to make but I’m scared to make them because I’ll likely eat them all in one sitting!!!

Jamie

Megan,

This was totally genius, for real. I used to love puppy chow and have made a veganized version before but never thought of adapting it to the way I eat now. I just got an inspired idea, which I plan on using this weekend when I make this. I’m planning on coating them with lucuma instead of arrowroot or coconut sugar. Super low glycemic and delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jamie

sandra

This was delicious! Mine did not turn out quite as pretty, more like clusters, but they were a hit. My 10 year old son really liked them. Might try soaking my almond slivers next time. Thanks for all your hard work and the delicious recipes.

asia

never heard of puppy chow but will definately try. Can i use tapioca starch instead of arrowroot?

Thanks for the recipe.

Asia

    Megan

    I’m not familiar with tapioca starch, but it’s worth a shot!

Tanya

Hi Megan, I cannot wait to make this recipe! I wanted to ask you if I can substitute stevia baking blend instead of coconut sugar and if I can use the baking blend in powdered form to top the almonds instead of arrowroot. What is your recommendation? Thank you again!!

asia

Thank you megan for the lovely recipe. My 10 year old daughter who normally doesn’t eat almonds, loves this and requested to make it second time.

Yolo

what are the nutrition facts for this recipe???

Josh

Amazing recipe! Made this several times and is always a hit. Also, one time I ran out of arrowroot powder and tapioca starch worked just fine for the dusting, not affecting the taste. Thanks so much Megan!

Aubrey

Hi Megan. Do you think I could use “homemade chocolate”, like with coconut oil, honey, and cocoa powder instead of the chocolate chips?

    Megan Gilmore

    You could, but it wouldn’t be able to be served at room temperature that way. It would melt too fast!

K

Tried this with sunflower seeds and sunbutter – I think it would be more delicious (and taste more like the original) with almonds (the sunflower seeds are SO TINY), but…still good!

Heather

Hi! Just tried this recipe to help curb my holiday craving and oh, holy night — it is amazing. I used raw almonds and cashews and pulsed them in the food processor to chop them up a bit. Also did half nutella (bad, i know) and half peanut butter. I was skeptical that the arrowroot would leave a weird taste on the outside but you honestly can’t taste it at all, it’s such a fine starch and it works perfectly to coat. Thank you! Heather

Christyn

Great and easy recipe, it’s very yummy. Thank you!

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter