Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cereal Killer Muffins: when good cereal goes bad

Cereal Killer Muffins: when good cereal goes bad

This muffin recipe is a quick way to use up cereal that has gone stale and bananas that are past prime. The cereal rises like the phoenix into something new and improved and we don't waste so much food! Good choices.

In the US, nearly 14% of trash headed towards the landfill is food waste; this staggering number accounts for 34 million tons of food waste generated in 2010! Holy cats! Beyond prevention, this food waste could easily be diverted to a compost pile (if you're in the country and aren't supporting a rat family) or a worm bin (anywhere) or fed to chickens (anywhere). Food waste deserves its own posting, but for now, give these muffins a try and do your part to lower food waste ending up in the landfill.

For more information from the EPA about food waste click here.

Cereal Killer Muffins

2 cups stale cereal ('O' shaped cereal works well)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 cup of banana puree (2-3 medium bananas mushed)
1 cup raisins
2/3 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with paper muffin cups
  3. Crush cereal; try a potato masher, the bottom of a glass, or let your kitchen helper use a rolling pin to crush the cereal in between clean tea towels (can we do this without plastic bags?).
  4. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until just mixed (don't over mix*). Distribute batter between the 12 muffin cups evenly and bake 18-22 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a few muffins comes out clean
Note: If these last longer than ten minutes in your kitchen and don't have a big enough storage container, try your stock pot

Measure stale cereal
Crush using a potato masher, the bottom of a glass or a rolling pin
Measure ingredients into large mixing bowl

Mix until just combined

Divide between 12 muffin cups and bake until done

*Food science: muffins are in a classification of baked good called quick breads;  they are fast to whip up in the kitchen and their name comes as an alternative to yeast breads; those breads that get their air bubbles from yeast exhaling inside the bread dough in a process that takes a few hours. Whole wheat bread is created when the flour is kneaded and gluten is pieced together, much like making a paper chain to decorate for a party. The chewy texture comes from the gluten and desirable in sandwich bread.

Quick breads use chemical processes to create air bubbles using the baking powder or soda. The baking soda  If we mix the bread too much, we develop too much gluten and our flaky biscuits or tender muffins quickly turn into rocks. So, long story short, just mix enough to wet the dry ingredients and evenly distribute everything.

Science rules!

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