The Breakfast Club, Part Two

I hope you all had a chance to toast up some muesli last week, because this week I am adding another cereal to the list. This is a little more involved than muesli but still super simple to make. Today we shall make bran flakes! I love raisin bran type cereals, so I figured nothing could beat a fresh flake toasted right from my own oven. And it's true. These toasted flakes are spectacular. So let's start this process, shall we? I discovered this recipe from Willow Bird Baking.

First, measure out your dry ingredients. These include wheat bran, whole wheat flour, almond flour, and a little bit of sugar, baking powder and salt. I found the wheat bran by all the other weird flours. It was a steal at just about $2 bucks a bag. I didn't buy almond flour. I used my food processor to mash up my own. You could probably use other nuts interchangeable with great results. I bet pecan would be amazing...

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Then pour in your milk, water and vanilla while balancing a camera in one hand. Okay, you can skip the camera part.

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Mix this all together to make a squishy, wet dough.bran3

Pat dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Top with plastic wrap, and roll into a very thin sheet. It will almost be transparent in some parts. The thinner you make it, the crunchier your flakes will be.

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Remove plastic. Bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool. You have just made a giant bran flake, but we aren't done yet. The flake will be kind of leathery and bendy.

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Tear your giant mama flake into little baby flakes. I did this by tearing it into three strips, stacking the strips, and tearing all three strips at once into pieces. Spread into a thin layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

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Pour into your bowl and enjoy! My favorite way is to mix the bran flakes with last week's muesli, top with fresh fruit and some whole milk. I can't think of a better way to start my morning. :)

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Bran Flakes Recipe

What are your favorite fruits to add to cereal? Have any recipes to share with me? I love details...

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The Breakfast Club, Part One

I am always fascinated when I go to the grocery store and peruse down the cereal aisle. There are so many cereals to choose from. You can find bunches of oats, flakes made of bran (with and without raisins), puffs of every kind of grain, fruity things, chocolatey things, tiny cookies, and even marshmallows. Despite the nearly a million options, I have a hard time finding a healthy cereal that doesn't taste similar to packing peanuts or cardboard and actually keeps me full for longer than two measly hours. I am not a happy person if my tummy has the rumbles at 9:30.  Furthermore, the ingredient lists on a large number of these cereals are fairly long (especially for what they claim to be.) AND if I do find that lucky one that isn't packing peanutesque, I usually have to pay part of my right leg for it. Because of these reasons, about a year ago I started eating traditional old-fashioned rolled oats for breakfast. After I found a way to make myself choke the oatmeal down without gagging, I was golden. (If you are wondering, it's totally a texture thing. I helped that by adding banana, raisins, and nuts to break up the gooeyness.) Although I have been living in my golden breakfast glory, my poor hubby continues to pour his cereal and milk every morning. Despite much encouragement and subtle (and not so subtle) comments about the cost of his cereal, I can't seem to teach that dog a new trick...er..breakfast, rather. So of course in line with my determination to simplify the ingredients in our diets, complicate my life, and save a few pennies here and there, I decided to try my hand at making some cereal. It was surprisingly simple, tasty, and fairly quick.

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This recipe is for something called muesli. I got my recipe from Easy Peasy Organic.  It's basically oats mixed with whatever you want.  I did find a number of recipes that just mixed raw oats, nuts, and whatever else and served it with milk or yogurt. I chose a recipe that was toasted, because I prefer a toasted oat over a raw oat. I mixed in some chopped pecans, walnuts, and almonds along with a scoop of flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla extract, a spoonful of brown sugar, olive oil, and a combo of honey and maple syrup. The sky is the limit on additions. Any combination of nut, seasonings, sweeteners, or dried fruit will work. You can serve this with yogurt or milk. Use your imagination. Use the scraps left in your cupboard. You can't do wrong, and you won't be disappointed!

Directions are to mix together your ingredients of choice. Spread on a jelly roll pan. Toast at 275 degrees for 20 minutes stirring every five minutes.

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Allow to cool. The oats will crisp some while they cool.

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Pour into a bowl, add milk and fruit, and chow down! (See, I told you it was easy!)

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 Muesli Recipe jpg

Are you also appalled at the sky rocketing price of cereal these days? How do you switch up your breakfast routine? Feeling like you may join the club and toast up some muesli? Please share!

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