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muddybuddies1

If you’ve never tried Chex Muddy Buddies (also known by many as Puppy Chow) read the rest of this post and go make some IMMEDIATELY.  You’ll life will be forever changed for the better!  I can’t resist the stuff and could probably eat it by the bucket load, as could my kids.  However, they are definitely high in sugar and I was eager to find a way not to feel completely terrible for giving it to my girls as a daytime snack.  My solution was this:

Step 1. Replace half the semi-sweet chocolate chips with dark chocolate chips

Step 2. Cut the powdered sugar down to just a 1/2 cup (as opposed to 1 1/2 cups)

Step 3. Add a 1/2 cup ground flax to make up for the reduced powdered sugar to coat the cereal and add a little healthiness

The result is a 44% decrease in sugar!  It goes from 16.8g per serving to 9.4g – still enough to qualify as a treat, but a big improvement and just as yummy (plus consider the fact that most granola bars and flavored yogurts have WAY more sugar than this).  My girls didn’t notice a thing when I made the switch.  So here is the adjusted recipe in full for those who don’t have it memorized like me 🙂

Healthified Chex Muddy Buddies:

  • 9 cups Chex cereal (I use Rice Chex, but you can use any kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural with no added sugar such as Laura Scudder’s)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Put Chex into a bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter together in the microwave until melted and smooth, stirring about every 20 seconds.  Once melted and smooth, add vanilla to the chocolate mixture and stir.  Pour chocolate over cereal and stir to get all the cereal evenly coated.  In another bowl, combine the ground flax and powdered sugar and stir to combine.  Pour the cereal into a large tupperware or zip-top bag, then add the flax/sugar mixture, seal it up and shake so that all the cereal gets coated by the flax/sugar.  Once it’s all coated, pour it out into a single layer onto wax paper and let cool.  Once cooled, store it in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.

Enjoy!

muddybuddies2

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I luuuuuuuuv me a good, healthy smoothie.  It’s the best way to relieve all dietary guilt I feel associated with not eating enough fruits and veggies – both for me, and my kids.  If they have one of these as a mid-morning snack or with their lunch, I sleep a bit better even if they don’t eat their veggies at dinner time, or I’m all out of fruit at breakfast.  Mind you, all smoothies are not created equal – many run the risk of too much sugar when they have too much juice in them, or (Heaven forbid) frozen yogurt.  My go-to mix has just 5 ingredients (6 if you count water).

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I only use a 1/4 cup of OJ and then use water to get it liquidy enough to blend easily (is liquidy a word?).  Anyway, my 2 year old and 5 year old gobble these up – I probably make them 4-5 times a week.  I usually eye-ball the ingredients, but generally, I use:

  • 1 cup loosely packed frozen baby kale (I find the taste of baby kale milder and I can stuff in more without my kids objecting.  I just buy it fresh and then put it in a freezer bag myself)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup OJ
  • 1/4 cup water (if it doesn’t blend easily enough, add more water)
  • 1 or 2 tbsp chia seeds

Then I whip it all up in my Bullet for about a minute.  Yummers.

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