I have ALWAYS enjoyed a big yummy bowl of cereal for breakfast and in my lazier years, college and such, when there were more important things to worry about (so I thought), cereal made a tasty, quick, easy dinner! Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch was my weakness and then…I started looking at the ingredients.
Ingredient 1: Corn flour – Wow! This is a really bad start! Corn is one of the U.S.’s top GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), AKA not food.
Ingredient 2: Sugar – The anti-nutrient and catalyst for all chronic disease. Again, bad.
Ingredient 3: Peanut butter – But not just any peanut butter, it is actually listed out as peanuts, dextrose, hydrogenated vegetable oil… So a little more sugar (represented by “-ose”) and trans fats (indicated by the word “hydrogenated”). But don’t worry, this isn’t the “serious” trans fat you should worry about, it is the “other” kind of trans fat. Cap’n’s got you covered. There’s a little asterisk that says “Adds a dietarily insignificant amount of trans fat”. I’m sure the person making this claim is more than qualified. (Yes, you caught me with an eye-roll, I mean I think my eyes are still stuck in the back of my head and I can’t stop with the sarcasm here.) This is a ridiculous claim. My goodness! Should I even continue looking at this? It is appalling.
And how many of us serve these sugary cereal breakfasts up for our kids?! We haven’t even touched on the fact that I was putting cow’s milk on my cereal as well. We’ll get into that another time, but at the very least, please make sure the cow’s milk is organic.
Here’s my journey through cereal…
Fair Cereal Option:
I liked the convenience of boxed cereal, so I took a baby step to a different cereal and yes, still peanut butter. It was Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins. Ingredients are hands down better than Cap’n Crunch and it still tastes good. Quick run-down:
Ingredient 1: Non-GMO corn meal (better)
Ingredient 2: Evaporated cane sugar (still sugar, but not as refined. I also don’t like the fact that it is the 2nd ingredient because that is the 2nd largest quantity of stuff in the cereal)
Ingredient 3: Peanut butter (peanuts and sea salt).
Obviously, there are more ingredients to share, but you can check out the box for more information. My point is this was “better” and helped me with my transition to a healthier option…I wanted to test myself more because I was still not feeding my body a healing-type food and this cereal is not organic. Too many unknowns for me. Next…I tried…
Good Cereal Option:
After more research about live food and the importance of sprouted, I went with Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax. Now these ingredients were impressive for a ‘processed’ food, but what a taste change from the normal, sweet breakfast I was used for…well, my whole life! I’m not going to lie, this cereal does not taste amazing and I found myself having to ‘doctor’ it up with organic raisins and walnuts.
Ingredient 1: Organic sprouted wheat
Ingredient 2: Organic malted barley
Ingredient 3: Organic golden flax seeds
This cereal is organic as well. More ingredients I did not list above, but my point here is from an ingredient standpoint, this cereal is good (not great), but definitely not-so-good from the taste side. Also, the price point on Ezekiel cereal was too high for my ‘taste’. I knew there was a better way to enjoy cereal. That led me to my own recipe.
My Protein-Packed Real-Food Cereal Recipe:
I decided after experimenting with all kinds of modifications I was making to the Ezekiel cereal, I would just use the extra ingredients I added and phase-out the cereal itself and I could make it GLUTEN-FREE…
- 1 cup Organic, raw walnuts
- ¼ cup Organic, raw pine nuts
- 1 T Organic, raw sunflower seeds
- 1 T Organic chia seeds
- ½ T Organic hemp seeds
- ¼ cup Organic raisins
- ¼ cup Organic wolfberries (Goji berries)
Young Living sells organic wolfberries at a reasonable price point (added the link above), but these should also, be available at your local co-op. This recipe is about 26-27 g of protein in one bowl excluding the fact that I pour Almond Milk on it. That is a nice chunk of protein for the day! I eat meat, but not every day. This helps me to stay full and still get a good dose of protein especially when I need it most, which is in the morning.
Possible modifications to this cereal: Anything you want, but I have some tips to sweeten it up especially for people just starting on their journey. Your taste buds will change and crave sweet less, but this doesn’t happen instantly. You can add more raisins, add raw organic honey, or use sweetened Almond Milk.
Caution: I came up with the quantities of each ingredient of my cereal recipe during my current pregnancy, so if this is too much or too filling, just cut back on the walnuts and/or pine nuts. I used to just throw the ingredients together and enjoy, but I wanted to give you an idea of the portions that I think are yummy.
I hope this helps you to see the importance about reading ingredients list of even those yummy tasting, go-to favorites of yours. It makes sense for your body and health to push yourself to find good options that you can still enjoy. Also, as you can see, this was a journey for me and not a quick one.
Your choices do make a difference in your health!