We take the classic chocolate and nut butter treat to the next level with this vegan puppy chow! Made with only 5 simple "healthier" ingredients like whole wheat biscuit-style cereal, natural nut butter, and coconut sugar, a bowl of this is sure to be the ultimate crowd pleaser. It's deliciously addicting, easy to make, and no-bake - what's not to love?!
Puppy chow or muddy buddies, whatever you call it, is a beloved sugar-coated chocolatey treat. Because it's typically made with powdered sugar and white chex mix, this treat is known for its sugar content. However, with a couple of tweaks and high quality ingredients, we've made a healthier version that just may be even better than the traditional!
- Made dairy free and vegan
- Requires only 5 ingredients
- Made with whole wheat biscuit cereal
- No powdered sugar
- Comes together in 10 minutes
- Kid approved
Ingredients and notes
By far one of the best things about this healthy version of puppy chow is how simple it is to make. In short, all you need are the ingredients listed below, a large mixing bowl, and baking sheet.
- Whole wheat biscuit cereal - The base of the puppy chow. I like to use whole wheat cereal instead of the traditional chex mix to make it a littler healthier with added fiber to keep you full. I used Kashi's Whole Wheat Cereal.
- Dark chocolate - You can technically use any kind of chocolate but I'm a sucker dark chocolate. Most importantly, it adds a more intense, rich flavor with less. To make this puppy chow completely vegan and dairy-free, try these Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
- Cashew butter - Any kind of nut butter will work with this recipe - cashew butter, almond butter, peanut butter. However, the key is to make sure it's the 'creamy' style nut butter and not crunchy. Georgia Grinders is my all time favorite natural nut butter and I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on it! (ps: if you use code 'thefitpeach' you get 20% your order!)
- Arrow root starch - Sounds like an odd ingredient for puppy chow, I know. This ingredient is strictly for aesthetics and totally optional. We add a touch of arrowroot starch to the coconut sugar to give the puppy chow the classic 'powdered sugar' look.
- Coconut sugar - Used to sweeten this treat. I like to blend it up in a food processor so it resembles powdered sugar and is light and airy.
Whole wheat biscuit cereal
I love using Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuit Cereal. Specifically, their Autumn Wheat flavor which adds the perfect crunchy taste and is slightly sweet. However, my favorite part about it is that there are only 3 ingredients!
Much different than the standard chex mix cereal. However, you can use whatever cereal you like best. Some other healthier options are Barbara's shredded wheat cereal, Whole Foods wheat squares, or Post shredded wheat cereal.
What is powdered coconut sugar?
Powdered coconut sugar is exactly what is sounds like - coconut sugar in a powdered form. It makes a great alternative to powdered sugar!
To make it, simply place coconut sugar in a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until it reaches a powdery consistency. To give it a 'powdered sugar' look, add in a tablespoon or two of arrowroot starch and pulse a few times.
Step by step directions
Get ready to make one of the easiest treats around! You will need a large bowl to mix or you can use a large ziplock bag. You will also need a food processor or blender to make the powdered coconut sugar.
Step 1 : Melt the chocolate chips and cashew butter together
In a pot, melt together the dark chocolate and cashew butter until thin and smooth. Throw in a dollop of coconut oil if needed to really thin it out. It should run off the end of a spoon when you lift it up.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the whole wheat cereal in a bowl and toss to coat. This is best done gently with a rubber spatula so you don't break up the cereal. You can also do this in a large ziplock bag and shake well.
Step 2 : Prepare the powdered coconut sugar
In a food processor or blender, blend up the coconut sugar until it becomes powdery (this could take 2 - 5 minutes). Mix in a tablespoon of arrowroot powder at the end to create a "powdered sugar" illusion (optional).
Step 3 : Coat cereal with sugar
Then toss the cereal with the powdered coconut sugar until well coated. Again, this is best done gently in a bowl with a rubber spatula or you can shake well in a ziplock bag - just make sure it's closed!
Spread the puppy chow out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean up. This is important as it prevents the cereal from sticking together.
To create the classic powdery white puppy chow look, sprinkle a little more arrowroot starch over top of the puppy chow (I promise, you won't taste it).
Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set before enjoying!
- High quality ingredients. This is perhaps the most important part in order to make this vegan puppy chow "healthier". Use a whole wheat biscuit cereal along with good-quality chocolate and a nut butter without all the additives. You won't regret it!
- Melt the chocolate and nut butter together until thin. This is the first step in making healthy puppy chow. Depending on the type of chocolate and nut butter you use, you may want to thin out the mixture a touch with coconut oil. If needed, start with a teaspoon of coconut oil and continue to add more until the mixture is thin enough to coat the biscuit cereal
- Use parchment paper on a baking sheet. After we coat the cereal with the chocolate mixture and powdered coconut sugar, spread the cereal out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. We do this to prevent the cereal from all sticking together. The parchment paper will help the cereal from sticking to the bottom of the pan and makes clean up a breeze!
- Reserve a little powdered coconut sugar to sprinkle on top. This is the key to making the cereal look like traditional puppy chow. After the cereal has cooled in the fridge, sprinkle a little more powdered coconut sugar on top before serving
How to store
Keep this vegan puppy chow in an airtight container or bag. I prefer to keep it in the fridge so it's nice and chilled. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge and 4 days out on the counter.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can prepare this treat in a large bag. Just pour in the cereal and melted chocolate and cashew butter and shake well. Then shake in the powdered coconut sugar.
I still recommend spreading it out on a baking sheet to prevent large clumps from forming as the chocolate sets.
Yes, classic plain chex mix are vegan and dairy free.
I recommend using powdered sugar and not granulated white sugar.
Looking for More No-Bake Treats? Check out these recipes!
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Vegan "Healthier" Puppy Chow
- In a skillet, melt the chocolate chips and nut butter together until thin. If needed, add a tsp of coconut oil until you reach a thin consistency.
- While the chocolate and nut butter are melting, prepare the powdered coconut sugar. In a food processor or blender, blend the coconut sugar until it becomes powdery (this could take 2 - 5 minutes). Mix in a tablespoon of arrowroot powder at the end to create a "powdered sugar" illusion.
- Place the whole wheat biscuit cereal in a mixing bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over top. Stir to coat. Sprinkle in more cereal if needed in ¼ cup increments. You want the cereal to be lightly coated in the chocolate mixture.
- Pour the cereal onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle about ½ cup of the powdered coconut sugar over top of the cereal and stir to evenly distribute. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes to let cool. Sprinkle with remaining powdered coconut sugar and enjoy!