Growing up, if we didn’t like what was being served for dinner…we could have cereal. To my brother and I, that was like saying, “Here, skip straight to dessert!” We were (and are) both cereal-holics. It’s a trigger food. If there’s a box of Frosted Mini Wheats or Honey Bunches of Oats in the pantry, consider it gone. For some it’s chocolate…for others it’s chips or ice cream. For me, it’s cereal.
However, there’s always a box of Kashi puffed rice cereal in my pantry. It’s the one cereal I keep on hand that doesn’t call my name from afar. I mean, it’s good, but it’s no Honey Bunches of Oats…
When Mr. Prevention starts to huff and puff about the over-stuffed (which it very much so is) pantry, he always wants to pick on my box of Kashi. Sure, I don’t eat the puffed rice cereal as is…but it’s on hand for recipes such as this.
Let’s just say no one’s complaining then…
Puffed rice cereal is extremely low in calories and acts as a crunchy filler in recipes such as granola, helping to keep the calories down and the fiber up, up, up!
Berry Cherry Almond Granola slightly adapted from Healthy Food for Living
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen & thawed
1/4 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen & thawed
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup dried unsweetened cherries, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Measure the oats and rice cereal into a large bowl, set aside.
Puree raspberries and strawberries in a food processor or blender. You should end up with 1/4 cup puree. If you’re short short, supplement with unsweetened applesauce until you have a full 1/4 cup of fruit puree.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, fruit puree, and almond extract. Whisk until very smooth.
Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until the oats and rice cereal are evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the sliced almond into the granola, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp.
Remove granola from the oven, toss with dried cherries, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 cups (8 servings; 1/2 cup each)
Nutritional Information (per 1/2 cup serving): 171 calories; 6.3 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 119 mg. sodium; 26.4 g. carbohydrate; 3.4 g. fiber; 4.3 g. protein
Result: I am in shock as to how intense the berry flavor turned out! While most granola offers a sweet taste with commonly a peanut butter, maple, or honey twist, this offers the tang of fruit. This kept well on the counter to nibble on throughout the week. Thumbs up from Mr. P…he loves granola. Or, any carbohydrate that he can get his hands on. Enjoy!
And for a Friday smile..
Question: What’s your favorite cereal? Only one!