Puppy Chow is not something I grew up eating a lot of. As a matter of fact, I specificially remember the first time I encountered puppy chow was in junior high at a volleyball tournament. I remember becauase I made a total fool of myself. My teammates and I were enjoying some snacks between games when one girl pulled out a Ziplock bag of something that looked pretty tasty. I asked her what she had and she said it was puppy chow. I didn't know this girl really well, but I couldn't believe she was actually weird enough to eat dog food. When she asked me if I wanted some, the disgusted look on my face must have given away the misunderstanding. She then had to explain to me that puppy chow was in fact not dog food, but a delicious combination of Chex cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. She gave me a few pieces to sample, and it was love at first bite. And I'm not talking about puppy love!
Many years have passed since that day, but my love for puppy chow is as strong as ever. And since I am no longer a growing teenager who plays sports every day, imagine how excited I was to find a recipe for puppy chow that is lower in calories than the original version! I had never even thought about how to cut calories in my beloved snack so I was anxious to give it a try.
As I often do, I used this particular recipe more as a starting point and ended up making my own version. But I kept the best idea the same. This recipe uses dried fat free sugar free vanilla pudding mix instead of powdered sugar as the signature white coating on the puppy chow. I never would have thought of that in a million years, but it is a great calorie saver! I also use just the wheat Chex. It is a little denser, but it has 5 grams of fiber per serving, so I feel a litte better about myself when I am shoveling puppy chow into my mouth. After all, I need my whole grains! Other makeover-worthy changes are using margarine instead of butter, Spleda instead of sugar, and unsweetened baking chocolate.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that this doesn't taste exactly like the version of puppy chow you might be used to. It is not quite as sugary as the original version, and has a bit more of a bittersweet chocolate taste. The first time my husband tried this puppy chow, he didn't eat much of it, just because it wasn't what he was used to. But when he had it the second time and knew what to expect, he ate a bunch of it. I won't say how much I ate.
So if you are craving a delicious, addictive, munchable snack, but want to sneak in some whole grains and cut out some calories, take the few minutes it takes to make this skinny puppy chow. Seriously, this is so easy to make, you have absolutely no excuse not to! It will very likely become your favorite thing to eat that is named after dog food!
Skinny Puppy Chow
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup Splenda
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 1/2 cups wheat Chex cereal
1 (1 oz) box fat free sugar free vanilla pudding mix
In a medium microwave safe bowl, or large glass measuring cup, melt together margarine, peanut butter, Splenda, and chocolate on medium power for 1 minute. Stir and put in for an additional 15-30 seconds if needed. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Gently fold in cereal until evenly coated. Allow to cool about 20 minutes.
Place cereal mixture in large resealable bag. Add the box of pudding mix and shake gently until coated.
Recipe adapted from Watch Me Do