What can you do with old breakfast cereal you find in the back of the cupboard?
Don’t tell me you’ve never had stale cereal in the house. Something you bought for a special occasion, like having overnight guests, or to try because it was new and different, and then forgot about. Or maybe it’s something you used to like practically every day, and then you just went off it for no particular reason, but you hadn’t used it all up.
Assuming there’s nothing more ‘wrong’ with it than being stale, you don’t have to throw it out. If you still fancy eating it for breakfast, you can try freshening it up. Pre-heat the oven to a low temperature, spread the cereal out on a baking sheet, and heat it up. Check every few minutes to see if/when it improves. …. This technique might not work with a sugar-coated cereal, but for plain flakes it should be fine. Or you could treat it like muesli, and mix it with oats, dried fruit, etc, and then douse with milk or yogurt.
Alternatively, you can use stale breakfast cereals in recipes. I’ve got an old family cookie recipe that calls for cereal (specifically rice crispies, but I have always used anything on hand), and stale cereal works fine in them. And as children, my sisters and I used to see corn flakes added to the tops of casseroles, which always gave them a nice crunch. (Does anybody do this any more, or was it very 1970’s?)
Or you could treat the cereal like bread crumbs, and mix them into stuffings for body. This is what I do most often. It’s not that I frequently forget about cereal, but my husband has a thing about cereal crumbs. Apparently they irritate his throat and make him cough. So when his box of cereal gets near the bottom, and has more broken bits than whole pieces, I dump them into a staging container, until I have enough to use for baking with. Then they get mixed with whatever I want and stuffed into peppers or eggplant and so on.
I’ve recently made a number of dishes like this, so my stash of going-stale cereal crumbs is quite low:
What do you do with old cereal?