I like to experiment with substituting things in recipes, often with mixed results (why do I feel like every fifth post on my blog includes reference to “mixed results”). However, here is one time I actually made an improvement.

I’ve made the Baked Oatmeal recipe (most recently posted on Money Saving Mom) a number of times, and I found the original to be kind of oily and overly sweet for our taste. Inspired by Alaina’s brilliant Muesli cookie recipe, and still with loads of Muesli on my hands, I decided to substitute Muesli for the oatmeal in the Baked Oatmeal recipe, use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil, and reduce the sugar to one cup. Perhaps because of the raisins in the Muesli and the natural sweetness of the applesauce, the result was sweet without being cloying, and much lighter than the original. Instead of baking it in one big dish, I made it in two cake pans so I could take one to my mother-in-law to thank her for loaning us her car on Saturday. The result is in the picture above. It doesn’t look like much, but it does taste good, the kids like it a lot, and it’s an easy and filling breakfast dish.

Once I run out of Muesli (if ever), I can see mixing oatmeal with raisins and using that in place of the plain oatmeal in the recipe, or perhaps mixing in some other cereal grains.

In other, tangentially related, news, did you know that if your kids are like mine and hate baby cereal so you have a surplus on hand, you can actually bake things with it? Believe it! I made pancakes with the stuff this weekend and no one complained. Josh ate, like, ten of them in one sitting. There are recipes using baby cereal all over the web, just google “baby cereal and pancakes” or something like that. You can also use the baby cereal in waffles, I have used up to half baby cereal/half flour for the ratio.

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