Cereal, jelly can take on different personas

March 19, 2014 

Cereal for breakfast does not have to be the same old concoction with milk and served in a bowl. Neither does jelly have to be spread on toast.

I have been playing around with some cereals and jellies to see what I can make that my family, especially my grandchild, will eat. She likes fruit bars and granola, so I have tried some homemade granola with more protein and breakfast cookies made with a higher protein cereal. The results have been successful, especially if the granola or cookies contain cinnamon. Just like her mom and grandparents, she likes a little spice.

I thought maybe other grandparents or parents might need a little help getting children to eat a good breakfast, or any meal for that matter. My daughter was a picky eater and still has her moments, so it looks like my grandchild is following in her mom's footsteps.

Recently, I had a chance to try a new high protein cereal that tastes nothing like the high protein cereals of the early 2000s. They were nutritious but did not have the flavor that was needed.

Cereals can be more than breakfast foods, too, just like jellies can.

These recipes offer a break from the usual foods. Kids like eating foods that they can eat in their hands or carry with them.

This recipe is one I made from Post Foods, but changed it to have a cinnamon flavor and not chocolate.

MORNING ENERGY CINNAMON BALLS

1-1/4 cups Honey Bunches of Oats

Morning Energy Cinnamon Crunch

1/2 cup pecan halves (original recipe called for walnuts, but we like pecans better)

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

1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut (optional in my household)

Place cereal in bowl of food processor. Process until finely ground.

Add pecan 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 wax-paper lined sheet and let stand for an hour or so, then transfer to a tin or container with tight lid. The power balls will keep for at least a week at room temperature, or they can be chilled.

-- Recipe from Post Foods

HONEY OF A MUFFIN

1-1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1- 1/2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Cinnamon Crunch or any cereal variety

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat egg in small bowl; stir in milk and butter. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.) Stir in cereal.

Spoon batter into greased or paper-lined muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

-- Recipe from Post Foods

If you are in a jam for time or just tired of the same old recipes, grab a jar of jelly and turn that chicken into sweet and sour chicken or pork chops into apple glazed pork chops. This recipe is an oldie that I have had in my files for years. I don't know the origin.

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

2 broiler-fryer chickens, cut into pieces or use skinless, boneless breasts like I do

1 (8-ounce) bottle Russian salad dressing

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 (10-ounce) jar apricot preserves

In large, shallow baking pan, place chicken skin side up, in single layer. In bowl, mix salad dressing, soup mix and preserves. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees, basting occasionally, about 1 hour or until fork can be inserted in chicken easily. Pour remaining sauce over chicken when serving. Serves 8.

APPLE-GLAZED PORK CHOPS

1/2 cup apple jelly

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

4 thick, center-cut pork chops

2 apples, cored and sliced

Combine first 4 ingredients in saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until jelly melts. Add apple slices and cook until tender. Keep warm.

Place pork chops on rack in broiler pan. Broil 5 inches from heat, 7 minutes on each side. Remove from oven; brush one side with jelly glaze and broil 3 minutes. Flip and brush other side with glaze. Spoon apple slices on top.

Reader feedback

Sonja Sheffield, who is a really good cook, tried the crawfish soup recipe by Tammye Moe, but she added one can of Rotel from the first recipe.

"We ate it while my sons visited from Atlanta for Mardi Gras, and it was a big hit," she said.

I love hearing from readers about the recipes that appear in this column. Remember, readers can email or write me with comments.

Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.

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