Here's a post of Marissa's from the archives that you might enjoy!
Being young, married, tight-budgeted college students, my husband and I have been trying to get creative and think of things that we can make on our own, that we would normally pay more for at the grocery store.
Unfortunately, one of those things that a large part of our grocery budget is dedicated to is cold cereal... When we came to this realization, and talked about the possibility of reducing the cereal consumption in our home, there were tears.... Yeah, I cried! I know it sounds silly. But you don't understaaaandd! - My whole life up until now, cereal has always been a part of my breakfast. It has always been there, waiting for me, like a true friend! How could I even think of including any other breakfast food in my morning meal? And all through my single years of college, what would I have done for breakfast and dinner, if I hadn't had my cereal waiting there so patiently in the cupboard for me? I could go on, but I'll spare you my "life cereal" poetry... that's just embarrassing.
As we talked about cutting cereal out of our lives, I thought of my morning bowl of cereal and all its deliciousness and glory. I couldn't bear to let it go. I knew I had to come up with a solution. Well, I actually came up with two!
SOLUTION #1: only cut back on cereal, rather than cut it completely out. Instead of going through 3-4 boxes of cereal per week, cut it down to 1 box, and supplement it with other foods like eggs, toast, fruit and yogurt. It's been working pretty well so far. I tried buying two kinds of cereal and splitting them each in half, so that we could have a variety still, but keep it at 1 box's worth of cereal. That has worked decently well - I just put the other half in a gallon ziploc bag.
SOLUTION #2: (This one is my favorite) Make. Granola. That counts as cereal, and do you realize how much cheaper it is to make it??! I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for really simple granola, with typical ingredients you would have on hand. I have made it 4 times now, each time, changing it a little so I liked it better, and now, I have come up with a recipe that I really like! I'll share it with you because I'm just hoping it will give you as much joy as it has brought to me. :)
Honey Almond Granola
2 c. old-fashioned oats (or 1 c. quick oats and 1 cup old fashioned if you want it to be in clusters)
¼ c. Sliced almonds
¼ c. + 1 Tbsp flaked coconut
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp vanilla pudding powder, divided
½ tsp cinnamon
Scant ¼ tsp. salt
½ c. orange blossom honey (or clover honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1. Combine oats, nuts, coconut, sugar, 1/2 Tbsp vanilla pudding powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Measure 1/2 cup honey into a liquid measuring cup, an then add milk on top of the honey* until it is up to 2/3 cup.
3. Add 1 Tbsp vanilla pudding powder, vanilla and almond extract to the honey and milk, mix together and pour into dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Bake at 280 degrees for 35 minutes. (check every 10 minutes, stirring each time) Bake until golden brown. Let it cool (and if you want it to be in clusters, let it cool before you stir it again), and store in an airtight container.
For a low sugar version - I have made it without the brown sugar or pudding powder, and just let the honey do all the sweetening, and it is still delicious.
I have found that Granola is a very forgiving recipe - you can really tweak it to meet your desires - If you want to add something or leave something out, you can, and it won't mess it up!
*EDIT 7/28/10: I found out that boiling the honey for 1 minute and then adding it to the dry mixture helps to soften the oats so they aren't so hard and crunchy and hard to chew...
**Rochelle's notes 6/18/12: An alternative to using quick oats is to just pulse the old fashioned oats in your blender for a few seconds. I have tried this recipe with agave and it works well. A fun way to change this recipe is to add in some dried fruit after the bake time. I usually go with craisins, but you could add whatever you like.
- ▼ June 2012 (5)
- ► 2011 (41)
- ► 2010 (78)
- ► 2009 (29)