Eat your own cereal, not Kellogg’s

10 Aug

Bowl of cerealEveryone I know has breakfast cereal in their house. I can’t assume this is a universal trait, but there’s something wholesome and American about a bowl of cornflakes, not to mention great pleasures in Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs and the like. It’s more fun to eat a breakfast cereal you invented than one someone else invented. I’ll tell you a secret, too: it’s easy.

Having been a near-connoisseur on the breakfast cereal scene in the late 1990s (I’m surprised you haven’t heard of me), my gluten-free diet put shocking limitations on my cereal options. After all, tasty gluten-free cereals are few and far between…and never cheap. It also stinks to buy a $5 box of cereal only to dislike it on the first bite. Desperate, I went the organic-health route and found making my own blend was easy, delicious, and cost-effective. That’s a rare win-win-win. You don’t even have to go gluten-free to see the benefits of mixing your own cereal.

What do you want in a cereal? Dried fruit? Nuts? Granola clusters? You can buy most of these ingredients at grocery stores; I get most of mine from Trader Joe’s. I won’t really be satisfied until I can get some custom-made mini-marshmallows (or at least some lightsaber-shaped ones), but it’s easy to recreate most healthy cereals at a lower cost.

Mesa Sunrise cerealJars of fruit and nuts

I buy the tastiest, most nutritious gluten-free cornflakes I can find (Mesa Sunrise by Nature’s Path) in bulk, saving a lot of money per pound. From there, I added whatever I had around the house in various attempts to make them more than just cornflakes. I pile on the fresh fruit when blueberries and strawberries are in season, and I use a lot of dried ingredients that are available year-round. Good shelf-stable ideas:

  • Dried berries
  • Nuts
  • Granola clusters
  • Honey

Close-up of cereal

My usual ingredients (slivered almonds and dried cranberries) are kept in convenient Ikea jars on the kitchen counter. In the morning, I pour cereal into the bowl and add two spoonfuls apiece of almonds and cranberries. The nuts and fruit ensure that my breakfast is a little more hearty and filling without making it unhealthy. By varying the toppings every day, you can eat the same cereal for months without getting bored. It’s easy, delicious, and gluten-free, not to mention cheaper than normal cereals.


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  1. Alex

    09/12/2010 at 8:57 pm

  2. Drew

    09/26/2010 at 12:30 pm

    Alex, that is a great find. Those giant bags containing NOTHING BUT MARSHMALLOWS warm my heart.