January 8, 2014

Poppin' Pebbles Berry Almond Muffins

Cereal is a thing my family eats a lot of. I mean, we stock up on cereal like some survivalists stock up on canned food.

Breakfast? Bowl of cereal. Nothing ready for dinner? Bowl of cereal. Need a snack? Bowl of cereal.

So when I got the opportunity to try new flavors of Pebbles cereal, I jumped on it. I was all, "free cereal? I don't even care what happens to me the rest of the week!"
The two flavors I got to try were Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles and Poppin' Pebbles. The Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles are extra chocolate-y, so that it makes your milk taste like an "xtreme chocolate milkshake." I like chocolate cereal, so I liked this, but it was a little too chocolate-y for me. I actually don't like chocolate milk (I know, I'm weird), so chocolate cereal is a fine line for me. I need something on the less chocolate-y side so it won't add too much chocolate to the milk. Chocolate milk fans should totally run out and buy a box, though. As soon as the milk hit the cereal, it started turning to chocolate. It's not overly sweet, either, which is something I like. I can't eat too sweet for breakfast.

Poppin' Pebbles is a berry-flavored cereal with these big green pieces that fizzle like pop rocks. And because I'm actually 5 years old, I think that's pretty awesome. I literally will sit there with the open box, pick out the fizzle pieces, and sit there with my mouth open so everyone can hear it fizzle. Because I am totally an adult-type person.
The cereal itself has a good berry flavor without tasting too artificial. I will admit, I was afraid that it would be grossly sweet, especially after I opened the box and it smelled like candy. It did end up being a little too sweet for me, personally, as a breakfast cereal, but it is great as a snack. It satisfies my sweet tooth without wrecking any good eating I've been doing that day. I've been eating it by the handful. When I'm not picking out the fizzle pieces.
The berry flavor of the Poppin' Pebbles got me thinking how great they would be paired with something almond. A not-too-sweet almond muffin, in fact. An easy-peasy, eggless almond muffin that only needs two bowls and a whisk to whip up. So easy, even the kiddos can help. Whole wheat flour to add some heartiness, almond butter for protein, applesauce and a handful of frozen berries for fruit, and some Poppin' Pebbles for added flavor and sweetness. They are nutritionally dense muffins, but are still soft, moist, and light, packed with flavor.
I was a little sad that the fizzle pieces kind of fizzled out while baking. I was hoping you'd be able to bite into a muffin and be like, whoa. But c'est la vie. This means you can pick out all the fizzle pieces and sit there with your mouth open so people can hear it.
Poppin' Pebbles Berry Almond Muffins
Yield: 16 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup almond butter*
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup Poppin' Pebbles cereal, plus more for sprinkling
Approx. 1/2 cup your choice of berries (optional). I used a handful of frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, almond butter, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla and almond extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until well incorporated. Fold in the cereal and berries (if using).

Line a muffin tin with paper liners, and fill 3/4 of the way or more with batter. Sprinkle the tops with more cereal and bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks before serving.

*I used an all-natural roasted almond butter, with no added oil, salt, or sugar.

Recipe by Kim

*Disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of Post Poppin' Pebbles and Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles for the purposes of this review. I was under no obligation to give a positive review, and I received no further compensation. All opinions are my own*