Posted April 1, 2014 03:35 pm - Updated April 2, 2014 10:12 am
Some new, out-of-the box recipes, from our friends at Post Foods, makes it possible to enjoy one of America’s favorite breakfast cereals, Honey Bunches of Oats, in ways that are as creative, as they are delicious. Packed with wholesome ingredients, such as honey, dried fruit and nuts, Post’s recipes also contain things distinguished as being “superfoods.” Rainforest Chewy Bars, for instance, are crowded with apricots and almonds (a whopping cup of each), as well as vitamin E-rich sunflower seeds. And, Morning Energy Mocha Balls, a showcase for Post’s new Morning Energy Chocolate Almond Crunch cereal, are likewise endowed, thanks to the inclusion of healthful sesame seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds – a staple in ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures. (If you are not sure what chia seeds are, see description following today’s recipes.) A simple homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe can benefit from the addition of some cereal, too – the one here calling for two cups of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds. The options for breakfast cereal are near endless, and we all have favorites. As part of a healthy-diet, cereal has its place, but keep in mind, recipes for foods intended as in-between meal snacks and treats, should be portioned and eaten within limits – especially those comprised of concentrated amounts of sugar and calories.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morning Energy Mocha Balls
1¼ cups Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch cereal
½ cup walnut halves
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
4 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons espresso powder
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
¼ cup toasted unsweetened coconut for rolling (optional)
Place the cereal in bowl of food processor. Process until finely ground. Add walnut halves, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, almond butter, honey, maple syrup, cranberries, vanilla, espresso powder and sea salt to bowl and process until well blended and mixture forms a stiff dough. Remove dough and form into a compact ball with your hands. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in toasted coconut, if desired. Place balls on a wax-paper lined sheet and let stand for an hour or so, then transfer to a tin or container with a tight lid. The power balls will keep for at least a week at room temperature, or they can be chilled. Makes 20 balls.
Rainforest Chewy Bars
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
1 (10-ounce) package marshmallows (about 36 marshmallows)
6 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal
1 cup dried apricots, chopped*
1 cup almonds, chopped
½ cup sunflower kernels
Microwave honey and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 1 minute; stir until well blended. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1½ minutes, or until marshmallows are puffed; stir until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Press cereal mixture firmly into greased 13 x 9-inch pan. Cool. Cut into 24 bars.*Kitchen Ade note: for ease of preparation, snip apricots with scissors. Or, if you prefer, substitute dried cranberries or raisins for the apricots.
Honey Bunches of Oats Drop Chocolate Chip Cookies
1¼ cups all-purpose flour (measured by spooning flour into a measuring cup, then leveling with the flat end of a knife)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with Almonds
1 cup chocolate chips*
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add egg, beating well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in cereal and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonful’s onto ungreased parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Store in a tightly-covered container for up to one week. Makes about 48, 2 ½ inch cookies.
What are chia seeds?
Believing it to be an energy booster, the ancient Mayans and Aztecs grew the desert plant Salvia hispanica (known as “chia”) for its edible seeds, which could be ground into a meal to produce things like breads, biscuits and cakes. When soaked in water, chia seeds swell, creating a gel to make porridge, puddings and, when fruit juices are added, a cooling beverage. A concentrated “superfood,” chia seeds contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. And, yes, sprouted on terracotta figurines, chia seeds are the stuff from which commercially sold “ch-ch-ch-chia pets” are made.