Muddy Buddy Trail Mix makes the chocolaty peanut buttery goodness of the famous Chex Muddy Buddies low carb, grain free, and sugar-free. These Healthy Muddy Buddies are completely delicious and guilt-free.
I've loved Muddy Buddies since I was a teenager. One of the boys would show up to the youth group with two gallon-sized Ziploc bags full. I thought his mom was amazing. I had no idea how simple they were to make. There were many youth group nights when I would eat that tasty treat by the handful.
I took the classic melted chocolate and peanut butter Chex topping and made it sugar-free and then poured it onto a mix of nuts and coconut. It has the flavor and the crunch of regular Muddy Buddies but none of the grains and a lot less of the carbs and is naturally gluten-free. Whether you call it puppy chow, healthy puppy chow, or something else, it is delicious. It is great to gift and bring to a holiday party.
I've seen recipes floating around for making this with pork rinds but I am not that adventurous. Using nuts and coconut seemed much safer.
Unsweetened or Very Dark Chocolate - I use unsweetened baking chocolate when making this.
Butter or Coconut Oil - Either of these work fine. Using coconut oil makes this dairy free.
Peanut Butter - Make sure to choose one without added sugar.
Sweetener - Powdered sweetener works best to avoid a gritty feeling when eating. The original recipe calls for powdered sugar so it makes sense to swap that out for a sugar-free sweetener such as powdered erythritol or powdered monk fruit.
Vanilla - Vanilla extract enhances the rest of the flavors.
Nuts - Any type of nuts will work. I like using a combination of chopped nuts, almond flakes, and peanuts for the most contrast in shapes and textures.
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes - Make sure to choose large flakes and not finely shredded.
How to Make Healthy Muddy Buddies
This is so simple. Just coat your mix-ins with chocolate and then the sweetener.
Step One: Melt the chocolate in a large bowl.
Expert Tip: I melt chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. As long as you do it slowly it should not burn. Start with 30 seconds, and stir. Then 15-second increments, stirring after each, until it is 75% melted. At that point, stop heating it and just stir. The residual heat will melt the rest of the chocolate.
Step Two: Stir in the butter or oil, sweetener, and vanilla.
Step Three: Mix in the nuts and coconut to the chocolate mixture until they are well coated.
Step Four: Coat with additional powdered sweetener. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If the sweetener gets absorbed you can add a little more after this has firmed up.
Expert Tip: If you are storing this in a plastic bag you can pour in a little more sweetener and just shake to cover the healthy muddy buddies.
Without Coconut - If you are not a coconut fan you can make this with all nuts BUT you really can't taste the coconut that much. The chocolate and peanut butter hides a lot of the coconut flavor.
Chocolate - The sweetener makes this pretty sweet but you can use your favorite sugar-free chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate or unsweetened chocolate if you prefer.
White Chocolate - Sub in sugar-free white chocolate chips.
Dairy-free - Make sure to use dairy-free chocolate and coconut oil and this will be naturally dairy-free and vegan.
Peanut-free - Sub in almond butter or another nut butter and don't use peanuts.
Nut-free - To make this nut-free you can use sunflower seed butter and then use mix-ins that aren't nuts. Keto cereal, coconut flakes, and pumpkin seeds work well.
Protein - To boost the protein mix in some protein powder. Start slow and add it to taste.
How to Store Muddy Buddy Trail Mix
I store this in an airtight container in the fridge but it is fine to leave it at room temperature for a few days. Sometimes after making it I divide it into small baggies so I can grab one and go. And the help with portion control.
I used to store this in a huge Tupperware container in the refrigerator but recently I've been portioning out single servings instead. They are easy to grab when walking out the door and that way I don't eat a pound of nuts in one sitting.
You can also just store it in a 1-gallon or 2-gallon plastic bag.
Want a holiday snack mix? Try this low carb holiday snack mix next!
- In a medium bowl melt the chocolate and the butter or oil in the microwave. I melt chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds. You can do this on the stove top over low heat if you prefer.
- Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and sweetener.
- In a large bowl mix the nuts and coconut. Pour the chocolate mixture over the nuts and coconut. Stir well. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment paper. Sprinkle half the topping over the trail mix.
- Refrigerate until firm. Sprinkle the rest of the topping over the trail mix and mix well. Break up any large pieces. Store in the fridge.
Originally Published August 30, 2016. Revised and Republished January 20, 2023.