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Three Cheers for Cheerios!

Three Cheers for Cheerios!

By Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor
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April 7, 2011

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of General Mills has found that 86% of Canadians are looking for an easy way to help manage their family's cholesterol.

Well, we all know that fibre helps lower the bad cholesterol, and the oat fibre in Cheerios has been proven to decrease LDL levels, or "bad" cholesterol and help maintain a healthy heart. 

While a bowl of Cheerios in the morning is one of the quickest ways to fit in daily fibre consumption, how about blending into some of our favourite foods, like muffins and smoothies?

Good news! Cheerios recently revealed a series of really neat recipes that help tuck fibre into your favourite food ideas.

Fibre, flavour and fun -- sounds like a plan! Enjoy the following recipes which feature Cheerios cereal.

CRUNCHY CHICKEN NUGGETS

3 cups (750 ml) Cheerios cereal, finely crushed

3/4 tsp. (3 ml) salt

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) pepper

1/4 cup (50 ml) milk

2 Tbsp. (30ml) honey

1 Tbsp. (15 ml) mustard

1 lb (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces

2 Tbsp. (30ml) butter or margarine, melted (optional)

Heat oven to 400F (200C). Spray 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) rectangular pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Stir together cereal, salt and pepper; set aside. Stir together milk, honey and mustard in medium bowl until blended.

Dip chicken into milk mixture, shake off excess; coat with cereal mixture.

Place chicken in pan; drizzle with butter, if desired.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden and chicken is no longer pink in centre. Serve with favourite dipping sauce.

Serves 4.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS

2 cups (500 ml) Multigrain or Original Cheerios* cereal, finely crushed

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) flour

2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder

1 tsp. (5 ml) each baking soda and ground ginger

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) each cinnamon and salt

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) each nutmeg and ground cloves

1 cup (250 ml) pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1 cup (250 ml) creamy plain stirred yogurt

3/4 cup (175 ml) lightly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup (75 ml) vegetable oil

1 egg

2/3 cup (150 ml) raisins

Heat oven to 400F (200C). Grease bottoms only of 12 regular size muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, stir together cereal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.

In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, oil and egg. Stir into cereal mixture. Stir in raisins. Spoon evenly into muffin cups. Bake 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.

Makes 12 muffins.

*TIP: Two cups (500 ml) of Cheerios equals 3/4 cup (175 ml) finely crushed cereal.

FRUIT AND NUT SNACK BARS

Snack Mix

4 cups (1L) Cheerios cereal

1 cup (250ml) dried tropical three-fruit mix

1/2 cup (125ml) sunflower nuts

1/2 cup (125ml) dry-roasted peanuts

Syrup

3/4 cup (175ml) packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (125ml) corn syrup

1/4 cup (50ml) peanut butter

1 tsp. (5ml) vanilla

Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix snack mix ingredients; set aside.

In 2-quart saucepan, mix all syrup ingredients except vanilla. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Pour syrup over snack mix, stirring until evenly coated. Press mixture firmly in pan. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered.

Look for a variety of flavour combinations of dried fruit and then choose your favourite.

Makes 36 bars.

BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

1 cup (250 ml) yogurt (any flavour)

3/4 cup (175 ml) Cheerios cereal

1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh, frozen or canned fruit (raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, mandarin)

1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

1/2 banana, sliced

2-3 tsp. (10-15 ml) sugar, as desired

2 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender. Cover and blend on high speed 10 seconds; scrape sides.

Cover and blend about 20 seconds longer or until smooth. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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