We got a lot of reader response to a recent recipe for Red River cereal bread, which is partly a testament to prairie loyalty -- Red River cereal is a traditional made-in-Manitoba food -- and partly a tribute to its terrific nutty taste and texture. This week we have some Red River cereal muffins, adapted from a Robin Hood recipe. And we still have an outstanding reader request for Red River cereal crackers -- the recipe used to be printed on the side of the red box -- so please send that in if you have it. Meanwhile, in the ongoing saga of tasty breakfast bars, Marge sent in a recipe for homemade granola bars with almonds and cranberries.
This week, Carole Robinson has a request for simple carrot-nut loaf baked in a 20- or 22-cm (8- or 9-inch) loaf pan. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Almond-Cranberry Granola Bars
500 ml (2 cups) large-flake oats (not quick or instant)
175 ml (3/4 cup) chopped or slivered almonds
175 ml (3/4 cup) toasted wheat germ
30 ml (2 tbsp) packed light brown sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
175 ml (3/4 cup) dried cranberries
125 ml (1/2 cup) mini chocolate chips, divided (optional)
125 ml (1/2 cup) honey
125 ml (1/2 cup) canola oil
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F). Lightly grease a 22x33 cm (9x13 inch) metal baking pan, line with foil -- with ends extending over the short sides of the pan -- and grease foil. On an ungreased cookie sheet, bake oats and almonds, stirring occasionally and watching carefully, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. In large bowl, combine oats and almonds, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cranberries and 60 ml (1/4 cup) chocolate chips (if using). In small bowl, stir together honey, oil, and egg whites, and then add to oat mixture and stir until well mixed. Transfer to prepared pan and, using wet hands, press really well into an even layer. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool in pan on wire rack for at least 2 hours. When cool, lift from pan using foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off foil and, using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 1 month.
Tester's notes: These are a little chewy and not too sweet. Just be sure not to overbake, as they scorch easily, and really let them cool before you attempt to cut them.
Cranberry Breakfast Muffins
175 ml (3/4 cup) large-flake oats (not quick or instant)
125 ml (1/2 cup) Red River cereal, uncooked
250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
75 ml (1/3 cup) canola oil
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
175 ml (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
3 ml (3/4 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 cup) cranberries (fresh or frozen)
125 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts, chopped
In large bowl, combine oats, Red River cereal and buttermilk. Let stand for 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups. In small bowl, stir together egg and oil. Add to cereal mixture and stir until combined. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, using fingers to break up brown sugar if necessary. Add dry ingredients to oat mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in cranberries (if using frozen, they can be added without thawing) and walnuts, if using. Spoon into prepared muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and set. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn muffins out onto rack and continue to cool. Muffins freeze well.
Tester's notes: There's nothing like cranberries for adding a burst of tart flavour, and the Red River cereal gives these muffins a bit of texture, as well.