Grain-Free, Chex-Free, Chex Mix

It is hardly fair that Fall should come and we should miss out on Chex Mix. Not the pre-made stuff you find on store shelves, with chocolate-y sauces and sugar coatings and who knows what else. No, home-made stuff is what I’m talking about. Half of the experience is the smell as it cooks, and the fact that you can eat it steaming hot right out of the oven.

And let’s be clear, this grainless, chex-less chex mix has a very functional purpose: to keep you from gorging yourself on the Chex-FULL chex mix that will be circulating during the colder months.

Until the good folks at General Mills start to offer Pork Cracklings Chex, this will be a fairly good approximation.

Grain-free, Chex-Free Chex Mix
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Grain-free, Chex-Free Chex Mix
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
The Not-Chex
Sauce
Servings: Servings
Instructions
The "chex", which aren't, really
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Add almonds, pecans, and pepitas to a large mixing bowl
  3. Take the plantain chips and crush them a bit. You just want to break them up into smaller pieces so that they mix better with the nuts and seeds. Put them in the bowl with the nuts and seeds.
Sauce
  1. Melt butter in the microwave; 30 seconds on high will do.
  2. Add Worcester sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix thoroughly.
Final Asembly
  1. Into the mixing bowl with the plantain chips, nuts and seeds, drizzle the sauce all over. Gently mix throughly.
  2. Mix until the sauce is spread evenly over the other ingredients. In standard Chex-mix, there's a lot more butter; we use a lot less here because the chips, nuts and seeds won't absorb it. But as a result, you need to spend a bit more time mixing things up here.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Check to see if things have begun to brown. If not, bake for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve as soon as you can get them into your mouth without burning yourself. Devour, preferably in groups, but it's also ok if you want to split this up into several bowls and devour separately.
Recipe Notes

For several reasons, this isn't totally paleo. Most Worcester sauce will have some soy sauce and/or sugar in it, and the seasoned salt we used (Lowry's, of course), has some corn starch in it. Also, it's likely that your store-bought plantain chips were fried, and probably in sunflower or canola oil.

If you want to make this more (if not perfectly) paleo, you can roast your own plantain chips in the oven; use 1 tsp himalayan pink salt, 1/4 tsp paprika, and 1/4 tsp pepper in place of the seasoned salt; and use coconut aminos or anchovy paste instead of the Worcester sauce.

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What’s Old is New Again

Previously, I’ve talked about some of the ways we were investing in Ninja Goat, to try and improve our working environment, make fatCoffee even better, and keep up with soaring demand.

While we have some good things in the works – a better kitchen in the city, where most of our team lives, new packing machinery steaming its way towards a nearby port – we also made some fantastic mistakes.

I was personally really proud of how these packets came out. The look of them was far more in keeping with what I thought made for a better first impression.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with first impressions, these new packets failed to live up to the hype. They were difficult to open when we tried to open them, which slowed down our production. They’re actually slightly smaller on the inside, and only hold about 90% of what our previous packets did. The material is thicker, so they tended to squeeze shut during sealing, resulting in poor seals and spills.

Oh, and they’re a pain to open when you need to actually get the fatCoffee out.

So, yeah: a big disappointment.

But as I often say: there is no failure, only data!

And luckily, we’ve been able to quickly switch back to our old packets. But I was never happy with the look of those – we have been hand-stamping each packet with a rubber stamp and quick drying ink. When we were making 500 or 1000 servings at a time this wasn’t too big a deal. But sit down to stamp 10,000 packets, and you quickly start looking for a better way.

And, luckily, we found it:

Stickering each pouch is still time consuming, and only a stop-gap until we get our packing machine and outfit it with pre-printed packing material, but I’m pretty happy with how these look:

And I have it on good authority that using sticker-dispensing machine to peel off stickers one at a time can be incredibly satisfying, even meditative.

And Another Thing

You may have noticed: IT’S FALLLLLL!!!!!

(At least, here in the northern hemisphere, it’s Fall. And it Pennsylvania, it’s “Fall”. I’m told that others refer to this season as “Autumn”.)

But regardless of what you call it, I think we can all agree: it’s my favorite season of the year. (See what I did there? You literally can’t disagree, because it’s my opinion.)

If you are of a mind to enjoy the “official” flavors of the season, let me humbly suggest our Pumpkin Spice and Mocha Orange fatCoffee flavors. Unlike other folks’ seasonal flavors, our’s get their aroma and taste from actual spices and oils (never extracts, “natural flavorings” or other weird stuff.) In the case of Pumpkin Spice, we use ground organic cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and all spice. Our Mocha Orange uses cold-pressed organic orange oil.