8 May 2012
I was given the challenge to create a recipe where each serving was packed with one full serving of whole grain cereal, had zero additives, and wasn’t fortified, yet contained a plethora of vitamins and minerals from healthy whole foods.
Initially, it was supposed to be a muffin … but have you ever tried to pack 3/4 cup of whole grain cereal in a muffin tin, even without other ingredients added? I’ll need to invest in some Texas-sized muffin tins before I can make that one happen.
BUT, I think these easy, crunchy clusters are just as tasty as a muffin, far easier to make, and incredibly portable!
To pump up the nutrient volume on this healthy food option, I sweetened and clustered the whole grain cereal with mineral-rich blackstrap molasses and maple syrup, and amped up the vitamins, protein, and healthy fats (for satiety and lasting energy) with a combination of almonds and almond butter. Add a dash of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and a pinch of salt, and you’ve got yourself one healthy whole food breakfast-to-go.
As a full breakfast-on-the-go, the batch below makes 2 hearty servings, each with the following nutrient profile:
398 calories; 17 grams of fat; 15 grams of fiber (yes, 58% of the RDI!); 15 grams of sugar; 12 grams of protein; 175mg calcium (17.5% of RDI); 208mg magnesium (52% of RDI); 808mg potassium (22% of RDI); 14.5mg iron (26.5% of RDI)
As an added bonus, this wholesome crunch is a good source of manganese, vitamin E, vitamin B6, tryptophan, copper, vitamin B2, selenium, phosphorus AND it contains just 150mg of sodium per serving. Take that fortified imposters!
For wholesome 100-calorie snacks, scoop the clusters into eight muffin cups – the cuter the better.
Recipe: Naturally-Fortified Crunchy Almond Clusters
Summary: The deepness of the molasses gives this to-go treat a mellow, earthy flavor. The end product is just lightly sweet (depending on how much maple syrup or other sweetener you use), perfect for early morning taste buds and avoiding a sugar rush.
- 1 Tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses
- 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (see note below)
- 1/8 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 to 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (I adore cinnamon,
and use the higher amount)
- Pinch of Salt
- 1-1/2 Cups Uncle Sam Original Whole Grain Cereal
- 1/4 Cup Almond Slices
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a bowl, stir together the molasses, almond butter, maple syrup (or other sweetener), vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Feel free to adjust the maple to taste.
- Add the whole grain cereal and almond slices, and stir to evenly coat.
- Spread the mixture on your prepared baking sheet. It will be a bit sticky, but I just use the back of the mixing spoon to flatten and spread it a bit.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let it cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet, then break the whole grain cereal into clusters.
- Pack into baggies for the road, or serve up snacks in muffin cups!
The nutrient profile above is based on 1-1/2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup. You can substitute honey, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup for the maple syrup if desired, but I like the flavor and minerals of the maple in this. If you want a lower sugar option, feel free to omit the maple and sweeten to taste with stevia.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Peanut free, Soy free
Number of servings (yield): 2 (for breakfast) or 8 (for snacks)
AlisaCheck out my latest posts here