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'WIC' Challenge: what to do with all that bran cereal?


Bran muffins are a good way to use up WIC cereals

     I know several families who are being helped by the WIC (Women, Infants and Children’s) Nutrition Program. It’s a wonderful source for many essential staples including milk, formula, cheese, beans, rice, cereals, bread and more.
     Someone asked me recently if I knew what they could do with an ever-growing cache of bran cereal, as nobody in their family cared for it as a breakfast item.
    I had recently picked up a book at a yard sale,  ‘MORE Make Your Own Groceries’ by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig,  and noticed a recipe for a bran muffin mix  that called for crushed up bran cereal flakes and dry milk, which is another WIC item not many people know what to do with. (BTW: the book is probably out of print, but if you can find it anywhere, it’s a treasure trove of tricks for the firmly frugal.)
     So that is today’s recipe, not exactly a budget meal, but a nifty way to use up those WIC cereals. And along with a veggie omelet and fruit salad, it makes a good “breakfast for dinner” meal.

BRAN MUFFIN MIX (makes 1 dozen)

2 cups flour
¾ cup bran cereal, crushed
½ cup non-fat dry milk
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts

Mix flour, bran, dry milk, baking powder and salt together a couple of pulses in a food processor.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in sugar and nuts. (This mix will keep in a plastic food storage bag for up to 2 months in a cupboard).

To use, combine mix with  1 egg and 1 cup of water and ½ raisins, if desired.  Bake in greased muffin tins at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until tops spring back when lightly pressed.


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