Monday, June 27, 2011

5 ways to use up breakfast cereal

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I don't know about you but I have these grand plans thinking that my kids will eat breakfast cereal and go and buy a couple boxes but, as usual, they fail me and prefer toast for breakfast instead. My son is pretty good and will sometimes have Weetbix or Rice Bubbles but he soon loses interest. I think it's more the point that they're lazy and hate lifting the spoon to their mouth! I always end up with 4 or 5 boxes of cereal, taking up room in my small pantry, so I usually use them up in other ways. These are my top 5 ways of using up breakfast cereal instead of letting it go stale and having to throw it out. At least my kids will eat these things.



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 1.  Rolled oats/oatmeal

It's not like these are ever leftover really as I always have them in the cupboard for baking. My favourite recipe of all is Anzac biscuits or my Chocolate Chip Oat Slice or Breakfast muffins but they're also really good to use in a crumble/crisp mix, like my Apple, Cherry & Walnut Crumble. They're great to to make your own granola which can be eaten as a snack or as a topping with fresh fruit and yoghurt.


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Granola Mix

Using whatever nuts, LSA (Linseed Sunflower Almond) or grains you have on hand, mix together with 2-3 cups of rolled oats, 1 tbs cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of maple syrup, golden syrup or honey. Mix well until ingredients clump together. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for approx 30 mins or until golden. Remove from oven and break up any large clumps. Allow to cool. Stir through any chopped dried fruits you have have on hand like apricots, apples, pineapple or banana. Store in an airtight container.


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2. Rice Bubbles/Crispies

This is another cereal I like to have on hand as it's better used in our house for baking rather than breakfast cereal. There's the usual Chocolate Crackles which can be made with copha or just melted chocolate but the Chocolate Crackle mix can also be spread on a slice as a topping. You could do a no bake slice base as I used in my Chocolate Peppermint Slice and then spread the Choc Crackle Mix over the top. Or even mix in some nuts, marshmallows and jellies to create a No Bake Rocky Road Slice. Another great thing to do with them is dip strawberries in chocolate and then roll them in the bubbles, like this. But the easiest and best way to use them up for a great kid's lunchbox treat is LCM Bars (whatever LCM stands for, seems nobody knows). You can top them with choc chips, 100's and 1000's, sprinkles or coconut for a change.

LCM Bars

4 cups rice bubbles (or any other leftover breakfast cereal)
125g butter
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup brown sugar

Boil sugar, honey & butter for 3 minutes. In large bowl mix in with other ingredients combining well. Press mixture evenly into slice tin. Cut while warm.

There is also another recipe using store bought marshmallows (or you could make your own marshmallows).

200 g of home-made marshmallows (or 2 x 100g packets of marshmallows)
80 g butter
4 cups rice bubbles

Measure rice bubbles and place them in a large bowl. Line a lamington/ swiss roll tray with ovenbake paper. Melt marshmallows & butter over low heat, stirring so it doesn't burn. Alternatively melt butter in microwave, add marshmallows and microwave on high for another 30 seconds. Pour the marshmallow and butter mix onto the rice bubbles. Mix well. Tip into lined tray and press down. Cut when cooled.


3.  Weetbix

This is another one I love to have on hand for baking. It adds a lovely crunch to slice bases as well as being an excellent thickener for rissoles or meatballs. My sons also likes to eat them as is topped with butter and jam, like I did as a kid. Besides adding them to my Breakfast Muffins at times, you can't go past a basic Chocolate Slice which takes no time at all to whip up, ready for the kids for after school. This was a staple in our house growing up and it's another quick one to pop in the oven while it's on cooking the main meal.


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Chocolate Slice

3 Weetbix, crushed
3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs cocoa
1 cup coconut
1 cup plain flour
125gm butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients together, pour over melted butter and mix until all ingredients combined. Spread in a slice tin and bake in 180 deg C oven for approx 20 mins. Cool and top with chocolate icing and sprinkle with coconut, if desired.

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4.  Muesli

Muesli is great just on it's own, sprinkled on yoghurt for breakfast or use as a trail mix for snacking on. The best way, I find, is to make them up into Muesli Bars. Ideal for another lunch box treat. (Omitting the nuts if your school or kindy as a 'no nut' policy.

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Muesli Bars
(recipe courtesy of http://www.taste.com.au/)

3 cups toasted fruit muesli
1 cup chopped dried fruit
1/3 cup shredded coconut
125g butter, chopped
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Grease a 3cm-deep, 16cm x 26cm (base) slice pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on long sides.
Combine muesli, dried fruit and coconut in a large bowl.
Place butter, honey, peanut butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Add to muesli mixture. Stir to combine. Press mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top. Cover. Refrigerate overnight or until set. Cut into 12 bars. Serve.
 
 
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5.  Cornflakes
 
Probably another pantry favourite to have on hand as it's so versatile but it's not one that I'm partial to, eaten as a cereal with milk. A great way to use them up is to use a crumb coating. Just put in a ziplock bag and beat until a fine crumb forms (or whizz in a food processor). Flour, egg and then crumb your chicken, fish or whatever for a lovely golden coating. Honey Joys (or Cornflake Crackles) are a great one for the kids to make. The best way I like to use them up is Cornflake Biscuits, a great memory from my childhood.
 
 
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Cornflake Biscuits
 
125g butter
3/4c sugar
1 egg
1c sultanas (and/or chocolate chips)
1c SR flour
cornflakes (crushed) for rolling

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add sultanas, then flour and mix to combine.Roll into balls of 1-2 tablespoons (small icecream scoop) then roll in cornflakes to coat. Put on tray and bake at 180 deg C for approx 10-15 mins or until golden.

All your 'novelty' type cereals like "Fruit Loops" or "Cheerios" can be used in just about any of the above examples. Waste not, want not is the motto around here. If there's a way to use something up, I'll find it. Make do with what you've got and you'll come across some exciting new treats to create.
 
Check out the Kellogg's web site, for more fantastic ideas.

6 comments:

  1. Wonder why they are called bubble there and crispies here? I also wonder what LCM stands for, but I guess you answered that one fore me (no one knows). We call them rice crispy treats.

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  2. I am LOVING that chocolate slice idea! The girls I nanny always bake "Weetbix slice" - I'm assuming it's a similar recipe. It looks so delicious and easy! Thanks for the great idea xxx

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  3. I'm off to make me some chocolate slice. :P
    Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love the idea of making some homemade granola! And cornflake biscuits! Great post and ideas - I always have so much extra cereal lying around!

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  5. Such great ideas!! I always throw away the last bit of crumbles but what a good idea to actually put them to good use. Mmmm rice crispy treats are always yummy!

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  6. THANKS SO much for posting the recipes. esp the granola . I have been looking for a straight forward, easy recipe ..

    thanks lisa

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