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Photograph of healthy puppy chow piled into a spotted pottery bowl on a white table.

Healthier Puppy Chow

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8½ cups (17 servings) 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American


Crunchy, sweet, salty and nutty, this grown up take on a childhood favorite is healthier thanks to a few thoughtful ingredient swaps.


  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup arrowroot or cornstarch *
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • ⅓ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (**optional)
  • 3 cups rice Chex cereal
  • 2 cups wheat Chex cereal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • Pinch salt


Grind coconut sugar to a fine powder in a spice grinder (a high powered blender or food processor also works). Mix powdered coconut sugar with starch; set aside.  

Melt chocolate, almond butter, oil, and vanilla together in a double boiler (glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water) over medium heat until smooth.

In a large bowl or container with a lid, toss together cereal and nuts. Drizzle chocolate mixture over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated; season with a pinch of salt then chill in refrigerator 5 minutes.

Add half of sugar mixture to chocolate-covered cereal mixture and toss to coat (or secure lid and shake), add remaining sugar mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Store healthy puppy chow in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.


* Arrowroot starch is used for two reasons. One, it keeps the chocolate-coated cereal pieces from clumping together too much, and two, it adds that signature white dusting look to the puppy chow. If you don’t care about the puppy chow looking white, you can use just 2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch and be just fine.

If you don’t have coconut sugar and/or don’t want to naturally sweeten this puppy chow, go right ahead and use powdered sugar. Start with ¾ cup and add more until desired sweetness is reached.

** Depending on the vanilla used, the chocolate might look a little off during melting. Just be patient and continue to melt until smooth.

Equipment Needed:

Glass bowl


LARGE mixing bowl

MAKE IT VEGAN/DAIRY-FREE: Use vegan chocolate

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use all rice Chex cereal instead of wheat Chex cereal


  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 219
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Sodium: 109mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg

Keywords: Healthy Puppy Chow, Dark Chocolate Muddy Buddies, Healthy Chocolate Recipe

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