I don’t know what you grew up on or what you called it: Muddy Buddies, Chex Mix, Puppy Chow, Reindeer Droppings (yuck), but regardless, the peanut butter chocolate cereal mix is delicious. And it is often a staple at holiday parties, at least most of the ones I go to! If you put this mix in front of me, it is over. I just can’t stop! I love it so much.
This year, I decided it was time to come up with a cleaner version of the recipe that I know as Puppy Chow. Call it whatever you like! This ended up not being quite as easy as I hoped but if at first you don’t succeed, right? And trust me, taste testing was a breeze–they all tasted good, the presentation each time, not so much.
The first issue was the cereal. Finding a cereal, even in the natural foods section without a mile long list of ingredients and endless amounts of sugar is not so easy. To be honest, Chex isn’t really the worst option out there as most of the ingredients are recognizable so by all means, if that’s what you opt for, I think it’s still a great option. I went with Puffins though due to the non GMO label. That is the added bonus for me. If you find another ceral that does well and boasts a very limited list of ingredients, please let me know!
The next issue was the powdered sugar. Most powdered sugar is made from refined white sugar. That’s what I try to stay away from for the most part so I was looking for a good substitute. But THAT was tough. I tried just tossing the recipe in cacao powder–no go. Not only did it look disgusting, it just didn’t taste that great and was VERY messy. But then I read that you can make a powdered sugar from coconut palm sugar. It’s still a sugar, but it is much less processed than white sugar and has a lower glycemic index so I decided to give it a go. This was excellent. I was able to whip it up in seconds and it was delicious as well. Sure it’s not the pure white as you would find powdered sugar, but it still did the trick for me!
I made my own chocolate with cacao, maple and coconut oil to further eliminate processed sugars from chocolate chips and FINALLY found the happy place of a new and improved, still sweet and tasty, but much less processed and refined than the original recipe and that is a win in my eyes! So don’t be caught at your next holiday gathering without this. And make sure to bring plenty for everyone!
- 1/3 c cacao powder
- 1/3 c coconut oil melted
- 3-4 T pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Dash of sea salt
- 1 c coconut palm sugar
- 1 T arrowroot powder
- 1/2 c plus 2 T natural creamy peanut butter
- 6-7 c Puffins cereal or Chex cereal
- In a small bowl, combine maple, cacao, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Over low heat, combine peanut butter and chocolate mixture in a small sauce pan and mix until smooth.
- Transfer to large mixing bowl.
- Add cereal and stir to fold in and coat evenly.
- Chill for about 5-10 minutes.
- While cereal mixture is chilling, combine arrowroot powder and coconut sugar in a high powered blender.
- Blend on high for about 20-30 second until it becomes a fine powdery consistency. (Let this sit for a minute before opening the blender or you will be welcomed by a big sugary burst!)
- Add about 1/2 to 2/3 of the sugar mix to a large gallon plastic ziplock bag.
- Add the cereal mixture and shake well to coat evenly.
- Add more of the powdered coconut sugar if needed.
- Transfer to a bowl and store sealed--unless you are chowing down right away!