This healthy whole wheat chex mix is perfect for the holidays or entertaining! It's an addictive blend of cheese crackers, whole grain chex, peanuts, and flaxseeds baked in a spicy mix until crispy. I love to give it as stocking stuffers in mason jars! Hopefully it becomes a holiday tradition in your family too!
Every Christmas, there are two foods we can always count on being at our Christmas celebration. The first is lobster, our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We used to do a big German feast with sausages, wurst, real pumpernickel bread, pickles and sauerkraut - the whole shebang. We did that in honor of my German grandma, but at some point, we realized that most of us didn’t actually enjoy German food (I was one of the exceptions). The family voted, and overnight we had a new Christmas tradition.
The only other food that makes a regular appearance at Christmas is my aunts homemade “nuts & bolts",” a chex snack mix with peanuts (nuts) and bolts (pretzel sticks) along with bagel chips and cheez-its. When I'm around this mix, I tend to throw away all my mindful eating skills and mindlessly much on it while watching Christmas movies, grabbing a handful after walking the dogs, and nosh on it with a glass of champagne while opening presents. It’s so good!
Everyone in the family picks out the best parts of the mix - the cereal and cheese crackers, obviously - and leave everything else behind. By the end of the holiday, it truly is "nuts and bolts" because the peanuts and pretzels are the only things leftover!
But truly, the best thing about it is the spicy and smoky blend of spices she uses - chili powder, smoked paprika, and a little bit of curry. Plus plenty of salt!
So, I decided to make a little healthier version made with whole grains and the same addictive blend of spices - and leave out the “bolts” because I’m not much of a pretzel person. When I make the chex mix myself, I get to choose what gets left out! What I came up with is this healthy whole wheat chex mix recipe! I used whole wheat cereal and cheese crackers along with my aunts seasoning mix, peanuts, and I also added flax seeds for a little extra fiber and a boost of omega-3s.
Recipe Tips for Healthy Whole Wheat Chex Mix
Making homemade chex mix is pretty easy, but there’s a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind. First, be sure not to cut back on the coconut oil - it keeps everything together and helps it crisp up. You’ll also want to make sure you give the mix plenty of room to “breath” on the baking sheet, which allows for it to dry out and crisp up. Use the largest baking sheets you have, and I recommend dividing it between two.
Why Whole Wheat?
I Whole wheat, which is a type of whole grain, it made with flour that leaves the whole grain intact. That means it has more fiber from the bran, and more nutrients from the germ, compared to refined flour. The fiber makes it more filling, so this healthy whole wheat chex mix is perfect for snacking when you want something that satisfies! There’s nothing wrong with the regular stuff though, so feel free to use that if you prefer the taste. I just like the wheaty flavor of whole grains in this mix, and I try to work in whole grains when I can.
Healthy Whole Wheat Chex Mix Recipe Recipe Adaptions
Feel free to swap out different cereals or crackers to make this mix however you like! I think the fun thing about chex mix is that everyone has their own favorites. Just keep the proportions about the same. I often make this recipe with almonds or walnuts instead of peanuts. I used Simple Mill’s farmhouse cheddar almond flour crackers, but you could also use Van’s cheddar crackers or whole wheat Cheez-Its. Just don’t mess with the seasoning mix - it’s perfect!
Of course, my favorite time to break out this recipe is Christmas, but feel free to whip this up any time of the year for a satisfying snack. I like to make baggies of it for a grab and go snack. This healthy whole wheat chex mix is also great for entertaining!
Whole Grain Chex Mix
Makes 10 cups
1 5-ounce box whole grain cheese crackers (I used Simple Mills cheese crackers)
3 cups whole grain cherios
3 cups whole grain chex mix
1 1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup flax seed
4 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together crackers, cereal, peanuts and flax. In a small bowl, mix together spices.
Drizzle oil over the cereal mix, tossing to combine. Sprinkle the spice mix over the top, tossing well to combine again. Spread evenly over two large baking sheets. Bake for an 1 hour and 15 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes and switching positions of the baking sheets halfway through, until crispy and golden.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Will keep at least a week in an airtight container at room temperature.