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Recession muffins

Posted Jan 26 2010 12:00am
I have to say, despite my experiments with protein-rich breakfasts, I still prefer a bowl of oatmeal or millet porridge (I add plenty of chopped nuts, so there’s your protein and healthy fat). My husband, for his part, is a devotee of Raisin Bran. I’m not a fan of boxed cereal in general -- read the ingredients panel on most brands and you'll understand why -- but when you’re in a hurry, it definitely beats something from a drive-through window.

One thing we agree is what a drag it is to reach the bottom of the box and find a half-inch of crumbs. “Raisin Bran dust,” my husband calls it. No one wants to eat a bowlful of dust, but it’s annoying to throw away all that crushed cereal. Sometimes it looks as if it could be a whole serving’s worth.

Not long ago it occurred to me: if you can make muffins out of Raisin Bran, why not out of Raisin Bran dust?

“Don’t toss it,” I suggested. “Pour it into a plastic container, and when you’ve collected enough I’ll figure out a way to use it.”

Voila! Recession Muffins, made from the crumbs gathered from the bottoms of several boxes of Raisin Bran (I think there was a little Crispix and Life cereal mixed in there, too). Waste not, want not.

Recession Muffins

1 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups Raisin Bran crumbs (I'm guessing 3 to 3 1/2 cups of actual cereal)
1 1/2 cups plain unflavored yogurt or kefir
1 egg
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (more nutritious and less sweet than regular molasses)
1/2 cup raisins

Stir together cereal crumbs and yogurt, or kefir, in a large bowl and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

When the cereal mixture has softened, stir in the egg, sunflower oil, brown sugar, molasses, and raisins. Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix gently.

Spoon batter into a 12-cup muffin pan lined with paper cups or greased with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are firm. These come out dark, moist, and dense like traditional bran muffins, rather than light and cake-y.
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