Divas on a Dime: Cereal squares make for tasty treat

Does the cereal fairy visit your house? She comes to my pantry and eats almost a whole box of cereal, leaving only half a bowl for the next person.

Then she puts the box back in the cupboard, where it eventually gets stale. It must be the cereal fairy because no one, not my kids or husband, has a clue how this happens. We all hate to see food wasted, right?

With this recipe, we can outsmart the cereal fairy. Here’s whatcha do: get an airtight container and collect the odd bits from these boxes of cereal, even the cereal “dust” at the bottom. While we’re at it, add the crumbs from the cookie jar.

Next, gather the almost empty bags of nuts, raisins and chocolate chips hanging out in your baking pantry. When you save about four cups of cereal and two cups of goodies you can make these delicious and somewhat healthy treats. I call them Kitchen Sink Cereal Squares because you can make them with everything but the kitchen sink.

Personally, I don’t like cereal as a meal because of the high sugar content but I do like it as the base of a protein added snack or fun dessert. For that reason, I always add nuts and sometimes I add about half cup of vanilla protein powder for a nutrition boost.

Kitchen Sink Cereal Squares

Yield: 12 servings

Time: 10 minutes active

What You’ll Need:

1 cup peanut butter or almond butter

½ cup honey – or maple or corn syrup or combo

4 to 5 cups of your favorite cereals

Up to 2 cups “add in” ingredients – a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips… etc.

Here’s How:

Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment or wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each side. Spray the paper with cooking spray and set aside. Pour the peanut butter and honey into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted. Add the remainder of the ingredients using a rubber spatula or your hands to coat all the ingredients. This is sticky business.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down to make an even layer. This will firm as is sits at room temperature.

When it appears to be sticking together, remove from pan using the paper overhang and cut into squares. Wrap each in parchment or wax paper. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. That’s all!

A variety of shapes and textures makes it more interesting. For the add-ins, pick up a small bag of trail mix with dried fruit and nuts. That’s much less expensive than purchasing several different items to make a variety. Now the cereal fairy doesn’t seem so bad, right?

Frugal Food Finds contributed by Patti Diamond author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom