General Mills recently sent me a gift with all of the fixings for a festive snack mix for the holidays. The recipe was developed by Rebecca from Foodie with Family and uses Cheerios® cereal, yogurt, honey, pistachios, yogurt covered pretzels, and dried cranberries.
You can use yellow box Cheerios® or Honey Nut, but either way you’ll get whole grain oats. The recipe also uses some yogurt (calcium, protein), cranberries (antioxidants, fiber) and pistachios (fiber, iron, B vitamins, magnesium,manganese). All these foods fit into the DASH Diet lifestyle, with a goal to add whole grains, nuts, dairy, and fruit high in potassium.
Yes, this snack includes some added sugar (honey, vanilla yogurt, yogurt covered pretzels) but it also includes dried cranberries and nuts, as well as whole grain cereal. Sometimes it’s okay to deliver some important nutrients and foods that you need, with a bit of sweetness and fun.
Of course, I always like to experiment a little with recipes, so to make this even more DASH Diet friendly, I reduced the sugar in the Rebecca’s recipe by modifying the following:
- I substituted plain yogurt for the vanilla yogurt
- I used 1/2 cup of honey, instead of 3/4 cup
- You could also just use plain pretzels, instead of yogurt-covered, and use plain (yellow box) Cheerios®
The first step is to mix up the canola oil, yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract, in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it for 30 seconds, the stir to mix well.
Pour this mixture over 12 cups of Cheerios® on a cookie sheet, and bake in a 250 degree oven for an hour and 15 minutes (or until dry and lightly browned), turning to toss every 15-20 minutes.
After the cereal is toasted, allow it to cool, then transfer to a bowl or container. Add cranberries, pretzels and the nuts and toss. Once completely cool, package it up in an airtight container and enjoy for up to two weeks.
The recipe offers just enough sweetness to satisfy that sweet craving, and some satisfying crunch, but also provides some healthy fiber with nuts and oats. Mix up some fun for a movie night or a family party this holiday season (you don’t have to tell the kids there are nutrients in there). Enjoy.
General Mills sent me a free sample of Cheerios®, pistachios, honey, cranberries, and pretzels, along with this recipe; however I was not under any obligation to blog about it, nor paid. My family enjoys General Mills cereals at home.