Many of us have cereal memories.
Perhaps you were the poor kid who had to break your teeth on Grape Nuts (AKA Gravel Nuts) and only got the pleasure that is Honey Nut Cheerios on special occasions. Or maybe you were the one who had to make the painful decision between Cookie Crisp, Cap’N Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, et. al. – ultimately deciding based on the color the milk would turn.
Well, I was the first kid, but I had plenty of the second in my neighborhood. =) I was that child who would stare longingly into my friends’ candied pantries and ask if we could PLEASE eat something before we played.
And now I am raising those children. But that’s for another post…
In the meantime, our family has come up with a new alternative to boxed breakfast cereals that everyone seems to be happy with. (Except for the hubs, whose price-love and desire for TJ’s Honey Oat O’s has yet to be broken…)
So you may have heard (or just intuited) that modern cereals are just not healthy for you. In fact, they are actually toxic – even the “healthy” ones! The main reason is that the high pressure and temperatures that the grains are extruded at denatures the proteins, but here’s a more detailed explanation. And this has been confirmed, most notably through a study of groups of rats who were fed Corn Flakes or the box they came in. Guess which ones died first? Yeah, them…
So why isn’t this front page news? Because cereal is a billion dollar industry. And they haven’t spent that money on researching the effects of their product. But, like many things, there are alternatives to buying into the mainstream politics of food.
We do a lot of eggs, porridge, bacon, pancakes, etc. around here, but sometimes you just want a little CRUNCH. As Umami is to Japanese cuisine, so crunchy is to the American palate. I think that’s part of the draw to cereal.
So here is our most recent attempt to satisfy the cereal crunch craving.
Based on Dr. Nick of Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic‘s “paleo cereal,” the kids and I did a little shopping – in the pantry. Like that old joke about Californians, we pulled out all the fruit, nuts (& seeds), and flakes that we could find. And this is what we came up with:
If you don’t have a lot of these things in your pantry, then pick one up each time you go shopping and in no time at all, you can have a weird pantry too!
FuN Sereal (Fruit, Nuts, Seeds)
(You may notice that my units of measurement are a bit loosey-goosey, so play around with the amounts starting on the more conservative side and using a small bowl. It’s filling, so a little goes a long way.)
We started by pouring a bit of the frozen blueberries, raspberries & pineapple (for the kids) in each bowl so it would have time to thaw. Then we put a couple sprinkles each of the small hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds in.
Next I poured a handful of the bigger nuts: macadamia (love!), cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc. and dried banana chips onto a cutting board and chopped it up into crunchy little nuggets to make it easier to eat.
And we finished it off with a scattering of shredded coconut (and/or the bigger coconut flakes).
You can definitely add in other fun things like raisins, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, cacao nibs, and even some trail mix! And many folks believe that soaking and dehydrating the nuts makes them even more nutritious. (When I have it really together, I do that.)
Disclaimer: Now if you are weaning off the sugary stuff, then this will be notably less sweet, so maybe add in some honey roasted or candied nuts to trick your taste buds.
But notice the color of the milk? Take that, Count Chocula!!
So there you have it – a quick, nutritious, kid-approved alternative to modern cereals and one more option for the breakfast rotation. YAY!
What would you add to your FuN Sereal?