A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Simple Joy of Healthy Cereal

Cereal, whether hot or cold, crunchy or soggy, healthy or sugary, is a comforting food anytime of day. I’m a proclaimed cereal lover and tend to err on the healthy side the majority of the time. Cereal is my go-to food for a snack/second meal at night, and has been for a couple years now. I will only eat a cereal with whole grain ingredients and nothing over 6 grams of sugar per serving. Stick to these guidelines alone, and you’ll have some tasty options that won’t hurt your health or wallet.

Eat it dry, with milk, almond milk, or yogurt. Mix in fresh or frozen fruit with a few slivered almonds, toasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or whatever nut/seed you prefer. With these things added to a whole grain cereal, it makes for a quick and healthy meal the whole family can enjoy. Make it a fun weekend event with several cereals to choose from along with an assortment of fruits and nuts for each friend or family member create their own mix. This is a great way to get kids to eat healthy without realizing; just make sure you control the cereals offered.

Here’s a look at a few of my favorite cereals. These are the ones I stick to most often, and will select by what’s on sale at the time.

Nature’s Path Heritage Bites
We are subscribed to have a case shipped to us from Amazon and go through them very fast! So good as a snack and in cold milk with berries or banana.

      Arrowhead Mills Puffed Cereals 
My favorite is the Kamut as it is great to mix with the Kashi GoLean or eat alone. No added sugar and whole grain is a big plus. The wheat is my least favorite as it had an off taste to it. All other varieties make for a great treat alone or mixed with a lightly sweetened and crunchy cereal. Website -http://www.arrowheadmills.com/

Kashi GoLean
Not the best finger snack food as the pieces are small, but this cereal has high protein and fiber and will stay crunchy for a long time. Beware, the GoLean Crunch variety is tasty, but has a good amount of added sugar. If you must have the “Crunch,” try mixing with another low sugar cereal like the Arrowhead Mills Puffed varieties to reduce the sugar content. Website - http://www.kashi.com/
Even better with fresh blueberries!

Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls
I’d say this is currently my top favorite cereal. Barbara’s is a great company that supports great causes. Each part of your purchase will go to one of their supported charities. The spoonfuls offer just the right amount of sweetness (from molasses) and crunch that’s good eaten with a spoon in milk or right out of the box. Website - http://www.barbarasbakery.com/

Plain Rolled Oats

Rolled Oats are basically a blank slate to prepare however you want. Cook in your favorite type of milk or just water, sweeten to your liking, add nuts, peanut butter, squash puree, yogurt, fruit, etc and enjoy. Hot oatmeal on a cold day is always comforting and nutritious, but you can let oats soak in milk or water overnight and enjoy right from the fridge the next day.

Remember; always check ingredients for “whole grain” listed as the first thing and hopefully not sugar. Make sure the serving size (normally 3/4 or 1 Cup) has no more than 6 grams of sugar, preferably just 5. This can be used for more than just cereal too, companies can be tricky with their advertising, be cautious of what you feed your body!

Each of the companies I referenced offer an abundant amount of other healthy and not-so-healthy cereals that we can all enjoy. I choose these cereals for their wholesome ingredients and because the companies support the Earth by donating and recycling.

Don’t feel like cooking? Grab a box of wholesome cereal and take it easy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

For this one…Just “Don’t” Add Cayenne…….that would taste bad in cereal.


  1. I've always been a huge fan of cereal. Of course when I was younger that often meant that I ate sugary cereals (um...Reeses' Puffs? Waffle Crisp? Frosted Flakes? Mini Frosted Cheerios? Count Chocula? All old favourites...not anymore). Now, like you, I enjoy healthy cereals. I LOVE puffed kamut and puffed brown rice cereal by Nature's Path. I actually stir about 1/2 a cup into my nightly tofu pudding! A also like Puffins and *embarassingly* I like Nature's Path Envrio-Kids cereals like Leapin' Lemurs or Gorilla Puffs. It's like a healthy flashback to childhood. And of course, nothing beats good old fashioned oats! Nothing could be better. And actually...I've put cayenne in Mexican Chocolate flavoued oats before...just a tiny pinch though, for a hint of spice. It was really really good actually. I can't believe that I haven't posted this recipe yet...

    Great post :)

  2. Wow, I totally remember all of those sugary cereals as a kid....and older too! Although they're fun to reflect on, they make me cringe now. Puffins would be as far as I go for something sugary now.

    Have you had Nature's Path Heritage Bites or even O's? They are perfect for dry snacking or in milk; and stay crunchy too. Man, haven't had any of those in a long time. I only have puffed millet or kamut from Arrowhead Mills and overnight oats.

    So, once again, I agree with you on the overnight oats. You can do so much with them; they never get old! I'd love to see your Mexican Chocolate oats recipe with cayenne! I've done this in coffee, but never oats. Yum! Thanks for the comments!