It’s my daughter’s third birthday today and we’ve got a party tomorrow with a guest list nearing 90 (she’s having a dual party with her best bud, Julia). And while Noemi was very specific on what type of cupcake she wanted—“chocolate underneath with sparklies on top”—she left the rest of the menu to me. So I thought it a good time to introduce a traditional staple of our family gatherings . . . Chex Mix.
Only, me being me, I felt the need to mix it up a bit. First, there are kids in Noe’s class with peanut allergies, so no peanuts or nuts in my revamped mix. Second, I wanted to stay away from artificial preservatives like BHT and TBHQ, which more than a few studies have shown may increase cancer risk, so that means Cheezits and even Chex are out. Third, even though this is simply a snack, I wanted to try and skew it towards something other than just empty calories.
And I think we’ve succeeded ( . . . I write with crumbs on my chest).
For starters, I swapped out the Chex with a mixture of Barbara’s Multigrain Shredded Spoonfuls and Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Heirloom Whole Grain Bites, which was a great combo of slightly sweet and nice and nutty and contributed nearly 5 grams of fiber per serving. Then Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies hopped in for the Cheezits and the pretzels stay put. I updated the spice mix a bit, subbed in healthy Canola oil for some of the butter (don’t try to skimp on the oil or butter . . . we tested a variety of amounts and found that any less fat didn’t completely coat the mixture), and gave it an extra long bake.
Sometimes, to be true to yourself in carrying on tradition you have to mix it up a bit. More on that topic when I write about my take on the Thanksgiving holidays . . . but right now, I’ve got 90 cupcakes to bake.