Remember Puppy Chow? This Healthy Version Is Even Better
You probably remember the childhood classic recipe often spotted on the back of cereal boxes for "puppy chow" or "muddy buddies." Made of melted chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, this incredibly addictive concoction was always a huge crowd-pleaser. Quick and easy, it was my go-to for any slumber party or bake sale.
As I've gotten older, my palate has changed a bit, as have my eating habits. I've always dreamed about taking this exact recipe and turning into something more nutritious—and this year, as we enter holiday party season, I decided to rise to the challenge.
I replaced rice cereal with fiber-rich Quaker Oatmeal Squares and subbed in cashew butter for peanut butter. You could easily use almond butter or your favorite nut or seed butter (even tahini could work well!). Next, I added cinnamon and honey for sweetness, a deeper, more layered flavor, and even more health benefits. Finally, I swapped out the powdered sugar for a superfood: chia seeds. Yep, I said chia! I love to use chia seeds in my cooking, as their amazing nutritive properties are well-documented. They also add a wonderful crunch to this decidedly grown-up Puppy Chow.
Puppy Chow Remix
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup creamy cashew butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- 7 cups of Quaker Oat Squares
- ½ cup chia seeds
1. In a large pot over low to medium heat, melt chocolate chips, then add cinnamon, cashew butter, and water and let that slowly melt, and make sure to stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined.
2. Add the honey and stir again.
3. Add the squares and continue to stir, making sure to coat the squares with chocolate. Sprinkle chia seeds bit by bit and make sure to move the "chow" around so that the clusters get covered in chia seeds as well.
4. Leave in pot, covered, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Carolina Santos-Neves is a graduate of the Chef Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts and is presently the chef of Hungry Beast, (CDMX) a kitchen & Juice Bar that focuses on flavors from all over the world with a focus on using organic and local products. Raised in Brazil, Mexico, and New York and an avid traveler, Santos-Neves was an editor at Epicurious for five years. She's been dinner partying it up with friends and strangers practically since birth. Her favorite foods are ice cream and Brussels sprouts...but not together.