Sunday, May 29, 2011

An ode to cereal - Part I

I have a slight obsession with cereal. I don't think I'm alone in this. After all, cereal is such a versatile food, and covers such a range of textures and flavours. There are so many options with cereal!

I don't just have it for breakfast. In fact, some of the cereals I buy regularly I never have for breakfast. I have breakfast cereals and snack cereals, and sometimes dessert or even lunch cereals.

I cope with this obsession by limiting my purchases to what fits on a dedicated shelf in the pantry. When the shelf is full, no more cereal until I have finished a box and made space for its replacement.

Currently, I'm full up, and in an effort to remind myself what I have (and encourage myself to use up some dregs at the bottom of a few boxes!), I thought I would share what features on the cereal shelf.

Given that there are 9 cereals to cover, I will split this into a few posts, to avoid a cereal overload and a very long post!

First up: The basics

These are the staples I always have. Admittedly, not the most exciting options out there, but reliable and sensible, and certainly nutritionally sound:

Puffed corn, puffed millet, rolled oats, Weet-Bix


I don't think any explanation is needed here. I have them cold with yoghurt in summer, and hot as porridge in winter, and frequently topped with berries. 

Until a year or so ago, I also bought the instant oat sachets, which I thought were easier and more 'fun' than the standard oat varieties. Of course, the sachets also lost a lot of the nutritional benefits. These days, I still make porridge in the microwave, in about 2 minutes, but enjoy the chunkier texture of the oats - and being able to add my own flavouring as required. Mostly, I'm more than happy with just topping with fruit.


This Australian staple features in my childhood breakfast memories (particularly, for some odd reason, the memory of trying to make tunnels in my bowl of warm weetbix with grated apple...).

These days, I don't have it daily, sometimes not even weekly, but it is always in the cupboard.

The biscuits are 97% wholewheat, followed by raw sugar, salt, barley malt extract, and minerals (zinc gluconate, iron) and vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflvin, folate).

I love that they can go from looking like this... this

 just a few minutes flat.

Mixed with chocolate soy milk, topped with berries

Very versatile, and very expandable when topped with liquid! In fact, this is just about the only cereal to which I'll add more than a drizzle of milk. I also like them topped with tinned fruit in juice. 

Puffed corn and puffed millet

I don't usually eat these cereals plain. Being 100% puffed corn and 100% puffed millet, I find the flavour to be a little bland if left as is. 

They do, however, form a good base for adding yoghurt and fruit, and the puffed corn is good for snacking on when topped with cinnamon. Like an easy and healthier version of popcorn :)

Incidentally, millet is a cereal grain that is free of gluten and a source of magnesium, calcium, tryptophan, phosphorus, fibre, and B vitamins. I think of the puffed version as an adult equivalent of Rice Krispies, although sadly the 'crackle' and 'pop' experience isn't quite the same.

The more exciting cereals will follow (promise!), but would you describe yourself as a cereal fan? What would your 'basics' be?


  1. I'm not much of a cereal person because I don't like milk much - I loved weetbix when little because we'd put brown sugar on it and when the hot milk was poured over it, it reminded me of chocolate - but I would also eat them dry with some butter and vegemite or peanut butter - still do that today sometimes

  2. Having just had a lunch of oats and yogurt, yep I think I'm a fan :-)
    Although I've had to ban myself from a bowl of cereal at 9pm, otherwise known as 'cereal-o'clock', a whole bunch of crabs so close to bed wasn't doing me any favours.
    Oats though, I'd be lost without them.

  3. I totally microwave my weetbix into mush. Though, between you and me, I prefer the hi-bran one :D

  4. First of all, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment! I hope you'll return to read some more :)
    Second, I adoooore ceral. I'm a cereal addict. I can eat it for any meal, and any snack. It's actually worrying a bit, how much cereal I can eat in a week. But I guess that's ok, right? :) I am really looking forward on reading more of your posts :)

  5. I am obsessed with cereal, but I eat kid props on your much healthier choices.

  6. @Johanna GGG
    Weetbix is about the only thing I will have milk on, but I may just be motivated to try them dry after those suggestions!

  7. @cityhippyfarmgirl
    Oats and yoghurt is one of my weekend lunch favourites :) As you say, such an essential staple.

  8. @Hannah
    Yay for mushy weetbix :D And I will have to try the hi-bran variety - I never have!

  9. @littlemissminny
    Welcome!! I'm delighted you made it across. And I shall definitely be back to your blog :)

    I most certainly concur that there is no need to worry about excessive cereal eating. Because if there was, I would have to worry too :p

  10. @thehungryscholar
    Well, this is only one-third of my cereal collection...I will confess to some kid varieties in my cupboard too! All in moderation, I say.

  11. I love cereal with almond milk. LOVE. But I try not to eat too much of it because it's hard to find something low GI, and generally, once I start I always want more more MORE! That said, have you tried protein pancakes with your oats? If there's a way to veganise egg whites, I HIGHLY recommend. Best breakfast *ever*!

  12. @Stephanie @
    What a great idea - I'll definitely have to try it. And I also love almond milk with cereal...I only discovered it this year (!) but it definitely adds something good to the bowl.


I genuinely appreciate all comments and the time taken to post them. Occasionally, I may need to restrict commenting to registered users in order to halt large volumes of spam. If that happens, I will lift the restriction within a week.

Want other ways to interact? Bite-sized thoughts is on Facebook ( and Twitter (