Happy National Cereal Day – THEY’RE GRRRRREAT!
Ok, but not always. 🙂
Despite a lot of clever packaging hitting the shelves in recent years, cereals aren’t always a great option for starting your day. Many are loaded with sugars and generally lack nutritional value (read: if is has marshmallows, it’s probably not the best for you). BUT that doesn’t mean there aren’t good options out there!
The key things to pay attention to when choosing a healthier cereal are: sugar, fiber and portion size! Limit your sugar to help improve your heart health and control the empty calories you put in your body. Increase your fiber to help with digestion and help you feel fuller for a longer period of time, cutting down on unnecessary snacking. Keep portion size in mind when shopping – look at the box! A lot of times the recommended portion on the cereal box is way less than what you’re pouring your bowl. While you’re looking at the box, check to look for whole ingredients like whole grain and whole oats, and see if you can get any protein from your choice!
Below are a few of our favorite healthier cereal options PLUS a few recipes to spice up your morning cereal routine!
Healthier Cereal Options:
- Original Puffins: Wheat free, vegan, lightly sweetened, high in fiber (but we do often treat ourselves to the peanut butter Puffins)
- Erhwon Raisin Bran: Only five ingredients! Plus it’s loaded with fiber and protein
- Gluten Free Cheerios: New take on an old classic – low in sugars!
- Kashi Heart to Heart Oats: Loaded with fiber and whole oat flour
- Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes: Whole grain goodness of organic flax, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth
MAKE YOUR OWN:
Not digging the box brands? Not to worry – you can make your own! Try this delicious recipe from our friend Brittney at Eating Bird Food!
- 1 C gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ C raw buckwheat groats
- 1 ½ C cooked quinoa
- ½ C sunflower seeds
- ½ C unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ C maple syrup
- ¼ C coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 5 pitted Medjool dates, chopped into tiny bits
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- In a large bowl combine oats, buckwheat, quinoa, sunflower seeds and coconut.
- In a small bowl combine maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
- Pour maple syrup/oil mixture over the grain mixture and stir well, making sure all pieces are covered.
- Spread cereal mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. Color should be golden brown.
- While cereal is baking, chop the dates.
- Remove from oven and stir in chopped dates.
- Let cereal cool before placing into a covered container for storage.
DRESS IT UP:
Need way more than just your average bran cereal? We’ve got you covered. These may take a little longer, but they’re delicious cereal-based breakfasts to start your day off right!
- Strawberry cream cheese spread (approx. 1.5 wedges)
- 1C almond or skim milk
- 1t agave nectar
- 1C oat & honey granola
- 1C bran cereal
- ½t cinamon
- dash nutmeg
- 1C fresh seasonal berries (we love strawberries/blackberries!)
- In a bowl, blend together milk, cream cheese and agave nectar together.
- In a large bowl, combine cereals and spices.
- Pour the milk mixture over the cereal until it’s well coated.
- If you choose, this is where you would chill overnight. If not, let sit in refrigerator for approx. 30min.
- Add fresh berries and enjoy!
- *NOTE: This recipe calls for you to make it and let it sit overnight, but I ate it same day and it was still delicious!
- 1C whole grain cereal (we love Quaker oat squares)
- 1C fresh pineapple chunks
- 1C Greek yogurt
- 2T granola
- 1T honey
- 1 t cinnamon
- Mix together all ingredients and enjoy!