11 Uses for Cereal Besides Breakfast

View as:

NOVEL USES FOR CEREAL

Cereal is a convenient food that makes for a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Available in a wide variety of grains and flavors, ready-to-eat cereals can also be used to create tasty and reasonably nutritious snacks. Here are 11 ways to enjoy cereal that go beyond a bowl, some milk, and a spoon.

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

There's no shortage of varieties of ready-made granola on store shelves these days, but much of it is expensive. One way to cut costs is by baking up your own using a combination of cereal (usually rolled oats), nuts, and other goodies. There are plenty of homemade granola recipes available online to suit any taste. Ingredients such as dried fruit, seeds, coconut, and peanut butter add to a tasty and personalized homemade breakfast.

CRUST FOR CHICKEN

Chicken breaded and cooked to crispy perfection is just a box of cornflakes away. Simple recipes, such as this one from Epicurious, are easy to find and make a tasty coating for thighs, legs, breasts, or tenders. Simply crush the cornflakes, toss in some salt and pepper, and then roll the chicken in the mixture. Bake on a greased dish or tray until the meat is cooked through and the coating is crispy. Add a flavored mustard for dipping or topping for additional flavor.

TRAIL MIX

Good old raisins and peanuts are classic fuel for hikers and a quick and healthy snack for kids (young and old). Trail mix can easily accommodate any taste preference, whether it's sweet, salty, or spicy. Common trail mix cereals of choice are Cheerios, Chex, and Crispix. Mix them with dried fruit and chocolate chips, or go with dried peas and wasabi-flavored almonds. The possibilities are limited only by imagination. Looking for ideas? Try these suggestions from Greatist.

PIE CRUST

Graham crackers aren't the only kitchen staple that can be used to make a great pie crust. Lots of cereals, including Rice Krispies, cornflakes, or even combo cereals such as Grape Nuts or Honey Bunches of Oats can be used to make a buttery, crumbly crust that will easily rival the flavor and texture of graham crackers. Need a jumpstart on ideas? The Kitchn offers five recipes.

GRANOLA BARS

Combine the idea of a treat bar with homemade cereal-based granola and you can customize granola bars in myriad ways. With simple ingredients such as honey and nuts, who needs prepackaged granola bars?

SMOOTHIES

Cereal can add flavor and texture to a yummy smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to use up the tiny bits of cereal or "dust" that settle at the bottom of the box, which can be used as a thickening agent. Next smoothie, toss in a handful of cereal and discover a new favorite flavor.

ICE CREAM TOPPER

Ice cream is already a wonderful dessert, but topping with a spoonful of cereal adds both taste and texture for an even more satisfying treat. Whether it's plain vanilla ice cream, indulgent chocolate frozen yogurt, or a fruity sorbet, adding cereal turns a plain frozen treat into a special sundae.

COOKIES

To make a tasty treat and get rid of the last bits of cereal nobody wants to eat for breakfast, try whipping up some cereal cookies. Start with a base of dough for the type of cookie you're craving, and then stir in those pesky pieces of Frosted Flakes, Kix, or Apple Jacks for a unique cookie that packs some extra crunch.

PUPPY CHOW

A puppy chow recipe from Show Me the Yummy is sure to be a big hit at your next party (or your next night in with yourself, for that matter). Puppy chow is a delectable mixture of Chex or Crispix cereal, peanut butter, melted chocolate chips, and powdered sugar. This cereal delight will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth.

CEREAL ROLLS

Not much is more alluring than the scent of freshly baked rolls, and there are recipes for baking cereal right into this dinnertime favorite. Cold cereals such as All-Bran put a scrumptious new twist on already delicious homemade rolls.

TREAT BARS

A favorite treat for kids and adults alike are cereal-based treat bars, such as the original recipe from Kellogg's for Rice Krispies Treats. The marshmallow, butter, and Rice Krispies-packed bars, which don't even need to bake in the oven, are tasty and fun to make at home. There are also plenty of variations. Substitute your favorite cereal (or combine multiple cereals) and make the bars however you like.