As a mom who didn’t know what to do with all the baby cereal we had, I was excited for the opportunity to partner with The Women Bloggers and Kendal King Group on behalf of Gerber to bring you this delicious and simple recipe with leftover baby cereal.
When my son grew out of baby food, I had no clue what to do with the extras. Most of it was thrown away and some that wasn’t opened was given away. Little did I know you can use that leftover baby cereal in recipes.
Here are some great reasons you might use leftover baby cereal for baking or cooking:
- Your child has grown out of baby cereal and you don’t know what to do with the extras
- You have a ridiculous amount of baby cereal
- You have baby cereal that expires soon and need to use it up in time
- You are curious what baby cereal tastes like in “grown up” food
- You love experimenting with recipes
- You want to add some extra nutritional value to your recipes
A box of Gerber Cereal and baby food was sent to me to inspire and challenge me to create a tasty recipe. Of course I wanted to create something unique, as always. I figured most would use this as a flour substitute, as it has some of the same qualities and would be great for baked breads, muffins, cakes, etc; so I tried to come up with something I could not see anyone else trying.
Cheesecake immediately came to mind. When I saw the Gerber Lil’ Bits Oatmeal Banana Strawberry Cereal, I knew I had to whip up a no-bake strawberry cheesecake recipe, because…
Who else would try to use a grain like baby cereal in place of dairy products in a recipe?
To be honest, I am not really sure how my brain works sometimes. I’m a little quirky, but it works.
By now, I am sure you are thinking I am crazy.
Baby cereal in a recipe? Seriously?
Then, of course, how could I possibly replace dairy with a grain to make a cheesecake that has the right consistency and great flavor?
Let me just tell you–it tastes amazing.
It’s so tasty, I would actually go out of my way to buy this baby cereal now to make the recipe on other occasions. That is not something I do very often.
You can try this with all varieties of Gerber Cereal. Find them for affordable prices at Walmart in the baby section! Here are some great flavors you should try:
- Oatmeal Cereal Single-Grain
- Multigrain Cereal
- Oatmeal & Banana Cereal
- Lil’ Bits Oatmeal Banana Strawberry
You can taste the light strawberry banana flavor of the cereal, but you cannot tell that it actually has baby food in it. It is sweet, but not overly sweet. This is a great way to supplement your child’s diet while they think they are just eating dessert. Gerber cereal is fortified with Vitablocks®, a blend of six B vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, iron, zinc, and calcium.
My oldest literally did not want to stop eating the mini cheesecakes. When I created the recipe, I actually swapped out the least healthy ingredients with the baby cereal, making this no-bake cheesecake recipe better for you than your average cheesecake. It’s a great treat for adults and young children (old enough to eat solid food).
No-Bake Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
I started off by preparing the crust. Puree graham crackers a bit in a food processor (I have this one and it works great for this) then pour in melted butter. Puree a little more so it all gets wet.
Scoop small amounts of the crust mix into each of the mini muffin liners. I did not put a whole lot, maybe a tablespoon or so, but you can put more.
You will need to “tamper” the crust mix down firmly so it makes a firm crust and can meld together. The easiest way to do this (life hack, here!) was to use the bottom of a little medicine cup as the tampering device. If you’re like me, you have these lying around everywhere. I do have a couple other actual tampers for coffee, but they did not fit completely in the mini muffin cups.
Move the mini muffin pan into the refrigerator so the crusts can begin to chill.
Prepare the baby food! If your child has grown out of baby cereal, like mine has, this might bring back some sweet memories for you. Mix the milk and cereal together.
Blend in the prepared cereal and the sugar. I did a quick mix with the flat beater then I switched to a whip attachment.
Whisk the mixture on medium until well-blended.
Add the lemon and vanilla then whisk on medium until the mixture is well-blended and firms up a bit. It was almost a cake batter consistency.
Scoop the cheesecake mixture into your mini muffin pan on top of the prepared crusts. I used a small cookie scoop for this. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight so they start to solidify.
Once the cheesecakes are fairly firm, top them with a slice of strawberry if you wish. My oldest is not a huge fan of strawberries, so I left them off of his. You can now eat them as they are or freeze them. I froze most of mine.
Per this recipe, the cheesecake is frozen, but you can let it set in the refrigerator and eat it that way if you wish. If you do, you may need to eat it in one bite, as the texture is more that of a whipped pie (it will set to a regular cheesecake consistency if you leave it a couple days OR if you add more crust and less cheesecake mix in your cups.)
To serve, simply thaw the cheesecakes for a couple of minutes (or eat them immediately out of the refrigerator if you chose not to freeze them.). If you wish, you may even top them with some whipped cream!
Notice the “Get Ingredients” button on the recipe below? That makes it super easy to have the ingredients delivered right to you!
- 1 sleeve of plain graham crackers
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 8-oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup Gerber powdered cereal (I used Lil' Bits Oatmeal Banana Strawberry)
- ¾ cup milk
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- fresh strawberries
- Prepare the crust. Puree graham crackers a bit then pour in melted butter. Puree a little more so it all gets wet.
- Line a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners.
- Scoop small amounts of the crust mix into each of the mini muffin liners.
- "Tamper" the crust mix down firmly so it makes a firm crust and can meld together. The easiest way to do this, I found, was to use the bottom of a little medicine cup as the tampering device.
- Move the mini muffin pan into the refrigerator so the crusts can begin to chill.
- In a separate bowl, Mix the milk and cereal together.
- In an electric mixer, soften the cream cheese.
- Blend the prepared cereal and the sugar into the cream cheese.
- Whisk the mixture on medium until well blended.
- Add the lemon and vanilla then whisk on medium until the mixture is well-blended and firms up a bit. It was almost a cake batter consistency.
- Scoop the cheesecake mixture into your mini muffin pan on top of the prepared crusts. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight so they start to solidify.
- Once the cheesecakes are fairly firm, top them with a slice of strawberry if you wish. You can now eat them as they are or freeze them. I froze most of mine.
- Per this recipe, the cheesecake is frozen, but you can let it set in the refrigerator and eat it that way if you wish. If you do, you may need to eat it in one bite, as the texture is more that of a whipped pie (it will set to a regular cheesecake consistency if you leave it a couple days OR if you add more crust and less cheesecake mix in your cups.)
- To serve, simply thaw them a couple minutes from the freezer or eat them immediately out of the refrigerator. If you wish, you may even top them with some whipped cream!
These mini cheesecakes are so delicious. The texture from frozen is wonderfully creamy. The taste is just like cheesecake, but with a delightful and intriguing hint of strawberry banana and a tang of lemon. Seriously. There is baby food in there…and it’s divine.
Want to try another recipe with a very surprising ingredient? Check out my tasty Mashed Potato Shortbread Cookies!
I would love to hear from you in the comments below–-What Gerber cereal are you most excited to try? Have you ever used baby cereal in baking?
One lucky winner will receive a $50 prepaid credit card (that you can use to get the ingredients for my Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Bites recipe!).
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