Whether you called it puppy chow or muddy buddies, you probably remember eating this sweet treat at least once as a kid. It’s simple to make and can be eaten on the go... hence why your mom loved to hand you a Ziploc of it on the way out the door. Ingredients such as protein powder and coconut sugar make these recipes better for you than the original without sacrificing taste—they're still as addictive and almost as easy to make. Throw a baggie in your purse to snack on during your morning commute, after lunch, or on your way to soccer practice. Er, we mean happy hour.
At first glance, this puppy chow looks just like the one you remember from grade school. But by swapping out powdered sugar for vanilla protein powder, it becomes a solid snack that will keep you full between meals. After coating cereal with a pudding-like mixture of milk, chocolate, dark chocolate, and peanut butter, stick the puppy chow in the oven so it comes out crunchy, not soggy. A note for nondairy milk drinkers: Use soy, cashew, or coconut milk; almond milk doesn’t become thick enough when mixed with cornstarch.
More of a salty than sweet fan? This puppy chow will be right up your alley. Using PB2 (a powdered peanut butter) as the sugar component, this recipe cuts the sweetness and amplifies that salty, peanut buttery taste. With just three other ingredients—Chex, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate chips—this one’s for the puppy chow purists.
This Paleo-approved recipe involves a little more work than the others, but it produces the closest result to the original snack (all while avoiding processed foods). To make the cereal, you’ll need almond flour, arrowroot, ground flaxseed, and almond milk, plus a few kitchen essentials. Once those are baked, you’ll add nut butter, chocolate, coconut oil, and coconut sugar to the cereal in a big zip-top bag. Shake it like a polaroid picture, and you’re good to go.
One of the easiest (and quickest) puppy chow recipes we’ve seen yet. The most labor-intensive step is microwaving a mixture of chocolate, peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil. Insert *praise hands emoji.* The honey nut cereal, vanilla protein powder, and vanilla extract give it a sweeter taste without having to add straight-up sugar to the mix.
For those living the grain-free life who want a simpler option, we’ve got you covered. This recipe swaps out cereal with sliced almonds, giving it a slightly crunchier texture. With just a few steps—heat the dark chocolate chips, blend coconut sugar, and coat the almonds with the chocolate and nut butter mixture (peanut or almond give it the most authentic taste)—this puppy chow can be made in 30 minutes or less. Just be patient while it chills in the fridge (it's tough, we know).