When Dorset Cereals offered to send out a box of samples to 15 members of the Food Bloggers of Canada I was all over that like a plump pug on poutine. It was an easy choice because I already know that I really like Dorset granola and, to be honest, I don't really want to be taking free stuff from companies that I don't already like because I hate having to say bad stuff about people's products. It's so much easier to just accept things that I like because I prefer to keep things positive as much as I can. Also, I am afraid that if I diss somebody's Cheesits they are going to send their Cheesit hit men out in the night to whack me. Easier to just accept good stuff and keep it real, right?
To be honest, because I try to cook the vast majority of the foods we eat, I don't buy a lot of cereals and granola. If I am going to buy pre-made muesli, this is already my favourite brand because it's not full of crap, there are no preservatives, the packaging is pretty and I am easily distracted by pretty things, it's tasty and I don't have to feel guilty feeding it to The Kid. We all know, in the end, it's all about The Kid. I am also not an idiot and I realize that not everyone has the time or the inclination to make their own granola and cereal at home. If you can't do it from scratch, this stuff is a great option.
Most people know that these types of cereal are tasty on their own in a bowl with some milk and I do love making fancy pants breakfast parfaits in a wine glass with layers of the honey granola, greek yogurt and berries that we all eat with pinky's extended while we bark orders for more coffee at the dog. I have also started throwing a couple of heaping tablespoons of the fruit, nuts and seeds muesli into The Kid's morning smoothies since he doesn't like cereal with milk. What you might not think of doing is baking with it. I tried throwing a handful in pancake batter with great success and someone suggested mixing the granola in with some softened ice cream and drizzling with dulce de leche which I plan to do and then shove that into a sugar cone and roll around on the ground in it.
There must have been 200 kinds of cereal in the box that came from Dorset. Okay, maybe it was more like 7 boxes. I can't possible get around to opening them all to taste them now because I don't want anything to be wasted so I will try the rest over the next few months and if I do something else tasty with them, I will share. What I did know as soon as I saw the cranberry, cherry and almond muesli was that I was going to throw it into my banyama muffins. The neighbour makes ridiculous homemade granola and every once in a while she whips up a batch of muffins for us and they are loaded with it and I have meaning to make some granola packed muffins myself. Back when I used to have to make snack for The Kid's class a couple of times a month, my banana yam muffins were a constant request. Clearly those dumb kids had no idea that these things were actually full of goodness or they would have been begging for chocolate chunk cupcakes and diet coke but what they don't know won't hurt them, right? When I baked them for school, they had to be totally nut free but when they were for our own consumption, I always scattered chopped nuts over the top for some crunch. This time, instead of the usual nut topping, I thew a combo of muesli and granola IN the muffin. The muesli was full of dried fruit, which added even more moistness and the granola provided a nice crunch.
These moist, tender banana yam muffins are already pretty delicious but I love them even more with all the stuff in there. Total breakfast of champion muffins.
* I was asked by Dorset to make something with this cereal and blog about it so I did and my opinions about the stuff are mine. I might be a cheap date but my opinion can't be bought, yo.
Banyama Muffins with Muesli
1 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
3 smallish or 2 large bananas, mashed
1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour, unsifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Dorset Cereals Super Cranberry, Cherry and Almond Muesli
1/2 cup Dorset Cereals Honey Granola
Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a couple of muffin tins - I get about 20 muffins out of this recipe. Sometimes I use paper cupcake liners, sometimes I just use cooking oil spray on the pans.Mix together the mashed sweet potato, mashed banana, sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir it until all the ingredients are completely mixed. In another bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt before adding those dry ingredients to the wet. Stir the flour mixture in JUST enough to blend it fairly well - if there are still a few spots where the flour isn't wet yet, that's okay. Next pour in the muesli and the granola (you can use 1 1/2 cups of whatever muesli or granola you like of course but this mix of crunchy granola and the dried fruit in the muesli was perfect for me) and just give it a few more turns. Over mixing the batter can lead to a tough muffin.Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and pop the tins in the middle of your oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Check at the 18 minute mark with a toothpick or a skewer - the skewer should come out clean and the tops will just be starting to brown up.Let them cool in the pan for about 5 or 10 minutes before you take them out and let cool to room temp on a wire cooling rack. Store, covered, at room temperature. They also freeze really well.