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All-Bran Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball

If you haven't sussed me out already, I am a glass-half-full kind of gal. It's true, I like my silver linings, and I usually find them without looking so very hard. Hang on, maybe what it's really about is just plain old naiveté, misplaced hopefulness or having a bad case of Pollyannaism. Maybe I'm just kidding myself, living in la-la land while avoiding the harsh reality. Nope, my positivity bias prefers to just go with it and see this first paragraph as having had an opportunity to self-reflect. See?

I think most of us have a cheeky ability to find silver linings in our food. Everyone loves treats and comfort foods, and we extra love it when there's something in there that could actually be considered healthy. A slice of tomato on a cheeseburger, or fresh peaches in a pie, and you're practically a nutrition superstar. Hey, that's what silver linings are all about - justifying pretty much anything by focusing on the positive.

I am excited to be sharing a series of recipes in the coming weeks that are all about adding more nutrition to already delicious recipes. I am reinventing some classic home-made dishes, using Kellogg's All-Bran as the nutritional silver lining. Along the way I will be sharing my first-ever YouTube video of me in my kitchen and giving away a prize pack from Kellogg's at the end of it.

A dessert and main course are still to come, but first I'm sharing this recipe for a bacon Cheddar cheese ball that is rolled in a chopped mixture of bacon, nuts and All-Bran Buds. Bring it to a potluck gathering and munch with some whole grain crackers, knowing you're getting your fibre with every delicious bite. Heck, throw some veggie sticks on the plate and now you're really eating well.

Silver linings are everywhere if you look for them. Even on your plate.

All-Bran Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball
Makes one party size cheese ball
Serving size: 1/3 cup (75 mL) per person

5 slices of bacon
1 package (250 g/8 oz) light or regular cream cheese
1 cup (250 mL) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) All-Bran Buds cereal

Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a plate and place in the refrigerator to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop half the bacon. Set the remaining bacon aside.

Using a stand mixer or electric beater, beat the chopped bacon, cream cheese, Cheddar, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and paprika until combined. Turn out the cheese mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover completely with the wrap, forming into a ball. Set in the refrigerator to chill slightly (about 10 minutes).

Meantime, add the leftover bacon, chopped walnuts and All-Bran Buds to a small food processor or mini chopper. Pulse several times until the mixture forms small crumbs. Turn out the crumbs onto a dinner plate. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll it in the crumbs to coat all sides. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Are you a glass-half-full person? How do you add nutrition to your favourite treats and comfort foods? Leave a comment and share your silver linings.
 Disclosure: I was provided with Kellogg's All-Bran cereal at no cost to myself for recipe development. I am also being paid to develop these recipes and share them here on Family Feedbag. Happiness and fibre for all!