What is sold more widely than cigarettes, advertised more than any other product besides cars, and consumed by 49% of Americans every morning? Cereal. Americans


The Top 5 Alternate Uses for Leftover Cereal

What is sold more widely than cigarettes, advertised more than any other product besides cars, and consumed by 49% of Americans every morning? Cereal. Americans eat an average of 10 pounds, or 160 bowls per person, per year of the stuff. The breakfast favorite even has its own concession stand, Cereality, in Texas, Ohio, and West Virginia.

But despite its popularity, cereal also has a tendency to accumulate, because it never really goes bad. Handfuls are left at the bottom of boxes as eager consumers shun dusty leftovers in favor of new bags. But don't ditch those remaining bits! Here we have compiled a list of the best ways to use your excess cereal:

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Alternate Use #1: Better Breakfast

Mornings are already difficult, and with an array of breakfast choices they can become completely overwhelming. Who can decide between a glorified cupcake (no frosting = muffin = healthy), golden battered toast, or an assortment of sugar bombs floating in milk? It's an impossible decision, so make your morning easier and just have everything! Add raisin bran, oats, or granola to muffin mixes or banana bread, or live a little and throw whatever leftover cereal you have into pancake or waffle mix for sugar explosions as you eat.

Cereal-Crusted French Toast

You thought you made the best french toast? Is yours dredged in cereal? Any type of cereal works here; we especially recommend trying Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Apple Jacks, Honey Bunches of Oats, or Frosted Flakes. Mix up the sugary coating you use for a unique taste experience every time (that line is going to be part of the new jingle).

3 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-6 thick slices of bread

approximately 2 cups cereal lightly crushed

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour into a pie plate.

Place crushed cereal into another pie plate or shallow, wide bowl.

Preheat frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Lightly grease with butter or nonstick spray.

Soak each slice of bread in the egg mixture, turning once to coat thoroughly. Carefully transfer bread to cereal plate, and press down to coat both sides of the bread.

Cook french toast on preheated griddle until it is cooked through--no liquid should run out when lightly pressed--and lightly browned on both sides.

Adapted from bakingbites.com

Alternate Use # 2: Fourth of July Crisp or Casserole Topping

Summer means berries, and what could make them even sweeter? Topping them with cereal! Leftover plain or sweet cereal can be mixed with even more sugar and butter and layered on top of in-season berries for a crisp worthy of a Fourth of July picnic. Come September, trade in the berries for apples, pears, or sweet potatoes and make a warm fall treat. Blander cereal can also be used as a topping for savory potato, chicken, green bean, or rice casseroles.

Berry Crisp

2 pints fresh berries

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lemon juice


½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cereal (Cornflakes, Special K, Raisin Bran, Grape Nuts, Cap'n Crunch, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, granola, etc.)

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Wash the blueberries and gently pat them dry. Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter the bottom and sides of a 1-1/2 quart casserole.

Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the cornstarch and cinnamon, and toss to coat. Add the lemon juice, mix well, and put the mixture in the buttered casserole. Set aside.

Place cereal in a food storage bag and crush the flakes slightly with a rolling pin. Place the cereal in a bowl and add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the melted butter and combine thoroughly.

Top the blueberries evenly with the cereal mixture, cover, and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and return to the oven for 10 minutes more, or until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.

Allow to cool for 30 to 40 minutes, then spoon into individual serving dishes. Top with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Adapted from mygourmetconnection.com

Alternate Use # 3: Crunchy Meat

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Crunchy Chicken Dippers

Cornflakes have been lending their golden crunch to lean, bland poultry for decades. And while the proper amount of fat-dredging and crispy flakes can give the bird some pep, to really get people clucking over your tenders, try coating them in a more flavorful cereal. One recipe utilizes Honey Bunches of Oats (think of how honey mustard sauce simultaneously spices and sweetens), and others suggest using a whole-grain cereal--or even Frosted Flakes--for added depth. So go with whatever boring cereal you may have (Rice Crispies, Chex, Cheerios, Cornflakes etc.) or grab the Honey Nut instead of the regular Cheerios, reach for that last handful of Cap'n Crunch (Cap'n Crunch chicken is a number one seller on Planet Hollywood's menu), Grape Nuts, or Honey Bunches and see just how much pizazz you can give that white meat. Also try as a coating for fish or pork chops.

2 eggs

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch wide strips

4-1/2 cups cereal, finely crushed (try Honey Bunches of Oats, Cap'n Crunch, Grape Nuts, or any other flake or puffed rice cereal)

optional: dipping sauce of your choice (try honey mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat eggs lightly in shallow dish or pie plate. Dip chicken in eggs, turning over to evenly coat both sides of each strip. Coat chicken evenly with cereal. Place in two 15x10x1-inch baking pans sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 25 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with dipping sauce if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from honeybunchesofoats.com

3B. Fancy Crunchy Meat

Cap'n Crunch Crab Cakes

Chicken not snazzy enough? Fortunately, diners who break out the linen tablecloths, play soft jazz, use polished silverware, and dine by candlelight, but who also find themselves with nothing in their cupboards except Cap'n Crunch and crab, can use this recipe from David Hoffman's The Cereal Gourmet to transform the simple morning staple into an elegant evening spread.

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoons Thai chili-garlic sauce

1 tablespoons lime juice

1½ teaspoon grated lime peel

1 pound lump crab meat

1½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 cups panko flakes (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

2 cups crushed Cap'n Crunch (about 3 ½ cups uncrushed)

Vegetable oil for frying

In a small bowl, blend the mayonnaise, chili-garlic sauce, lime juice and lime peel. In a large bowl, combine the crab meat, cilantro and onion. Stir in one-third cup of the mayonnaise mixture and the egg. Reserve the remaining mayonnaise mixture for garnish. In a third bowl, combine the panko flakes and Cap'n Crunch. Stir 1 ½ cups into the crab mixture. Form into ½-inch-thick cakes, using half-cup mixtures for each. Dredge the cakes in the remaining Cap'n Crunch mixture. Arrange in a single layer on a tray or baking sheet. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the crab cakes and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Serve hot, topped with a dollop of the remaining mayonnaise mixture.

Makes 8 crab cakes

Adapted from ABC News.

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Alternate Use #4: Sugary Snacks

You may realize that box of cereal has been sitting around too long when you reach for a handful and find yourself gnawing instead of crunching. Fortunately, by simply adding even more sugar, once-crunchy leftovers can be reinvigorated into chewy bars that are perfect as a snack or breakfast treat. If you're not a stickler for proportions, make this recipe extra fun by literally throwing any extra cereal you have into a bowl and pouring sticky things on it, then just cook it.

Cereal Bars

1/2 cup honey (or half/half corn syrup, or half brown sugar)

4 melted tablespoons butter

1 cup peanut butter (also used almond or cashew butter, but also left it out)

3 cups left over cereal (now most have some kind of sugar and it sinks to bottom of boxes, but if yours is sugar free you will have to add the above, but cut sugar by 1/2 above)

3 cups rice krispy style cereal or granola (you can substitute 1/2 with whole grain pancake mix)

1 cup frozen or fresh fruit (I have found frozen release moisture into mix and they turn out better)

1 cup white chocolate or regular chocolate chips

3 ounces chopped nuts of your choice

Mix cereal well in bowl; add fruit, chocolate, butter and peanut butter, and choice of sweetener above. Press down FIRMLY into oiled pan, and bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes (depends on thickness of mixture). Do not over cook or it will be too hard to cut. Cool and then turn onto a cutting board to slice.

From: http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-to-do-with-leftover-cereal.html

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Alternate Use #5: Dessert!!

Many of the above recipes are novel because they play with the idea of cereal as more than a sugary indulgence. But honestly, that's what it is. There's a reason kids love cereal, and adults eat their kid's cereal. It's sweet, and lends itself perfectly to baked goods. Maybe the most obvious use is to fold extra cereal into cookie dough, brownies (try Cocoa Puffs, Reeses Puffs or Fruity Pebbles layered in the batter), blend it into milkshake, crush it into piecrusts (see the Cheerios website), sprinkle it on yogurt or ice cream or drench cupcakes with it. Drench? That's the only way to describe how intensely infused the following cupcakes are with cereal. It's such a devious recipe the author actually typed "hehe" at the end. Be warned, your taste buds may never be the same. Try using any other colorful, fruity cereals, or use a chocolate cereal and add cocoa powder for chocolate cupcakes.

Froot Loop Cupcakes

½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ c. plus 3 T. white granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ c. plus 1 T. plain flour

1 cup ground Froot Loops

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

¼ c. milk, soaked in Froot Loops

1 ¾ to 2 c. Froot Loops

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon raspberry extract

1 teaspoon grape extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon cherry extract

Froot Loop Buttercream (see below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners.

Cream the butter and the sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, this should take about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, crushed Froot Loops baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture, alternating with the milk.. Beat in slowly until just combined, be careful not to overbeat! Fold in the extra Froot Loops and the various extracts.

Fill the muffin liners and bake for 18-20minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the middle and comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack until completely cool.

Once cupcakes are cool, ice with a generous amount of Froot Loop Buttercream (recipe below) and garnish with extra Froot Loops.

Froot Loop Buttercream

Vanilla frosting

1/2 cup ground Froot Loops

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grape extract

1 teaspoon raspberry extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon cherry extract

red food colouring

1. Beat butter until softened, add icing sugar a bit at a time beating until creamy.

2. Beat in crushed Froot Loops and the extracts.

3. Beat in red food colouring to achieve that red Frooty Loop colour hehe.

Adapted from the Cupcake Corner blog.

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