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Why cereal shouldn’t be in you bowl

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By Caitlin Murphy

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Recently, I made a commitment to myself and to my family to stop providing and eating cereals for breakfast.

At first it was primarily the fear of genetically modified grains, additives and sugar that turned me off.

But the more I researched breakfast cereals, the more convinced I became that there’s really not much in them worth eating. In fact, I was soon convinced that there’s nothing in them worth eating. If anything, I’d probably be better off throwing out the cereal and just eating the box that it came in!

It turns out that all dry cereals are produced by a process called extrusion which involves first creating a slurry of grains and then using high heat and high pressure to form the grains into the flakes, little O’s, bubbles or other popular cereal shapes.  In his book, Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt tells us that the extrusion process destroys most of the nutrients in the grains, including some of the chemical vitamins that are added to fortify the cereal.

I was doing a fair bit of reading on cereals and quite a bit of reading of blogs. These blogs were mostly written by mothers who live rurally and always seem to be making pesto from basil grown in their garden and preserving fruit from their lemon trees.

As an urban mother, I don’t have the luxury of those same resources but I thought I could certainly try to apply the same ideals to my city habitat.

Straight away, I stopped buying Crunchy Nut Clusters, Sultana Bran and even Weet-Bix. Instead, I started making smoothies, frittatas, sugar free muffins and baked oatmeal. All of these foods can be made ahead and reheated in the morning so they are just as convenient for families rushing out the door as breakfast cereal – but more nourishing.
If you’d like to give cereal-free-breakfasts a whirl with your family, here is my recipe for oatmeal pie.


Ingredients

  • Butter to grease pie pan
  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored and grated (or 1 cup of applesauce)
  • 1 cup mik
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (I am sure honey would do the trick too)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a large bowl, combine berries, oats, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and apple.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, egg and yolk.
  • Stir wet ingredients into oat mixture.
  • Pour into greased pie pan.
  • Bake until firm and golden brown on top, about 50 minutes.
  • Cut into slices.
  • Serve with more vanilla yogurt and fresh berries.

Do you have a nutritious breakfast cereal idea? Share it below!

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Caitlin Murphy - to view all of Caitlin's blog post click here

Caitlin Murphy is a Registered Nurse by day, the blogger Mother Down Under by night and a mother to her gorgeous toddler twenty-four seven! Since giving birth to her son, Caitlin has been reexamining her life and has been focusing on balancing modern ideas with living in a simpler, slower, more pure and wholesome fashion.

Website: http://motherdownunder.blogspot.com.au/

  • My two refuse cereal and insist on eggs almost everyday! It used to irritate me but now I am so grateful! Love all your different breakfast ideas and will definitely try this recipe out. Thanks Caitlin! xx

    • My son will only eat eggs too – they have to be scrambled!

  • Thanks Emma…I hope your boys like it!

  • Thanks for this recipe Caitlin. It looks interesting – I might give it a go this weekend. I’m not surprised to hear that there’s not much worth eating in cereals. For breakfast I try to include a mixture of nuts and berries in whatever I’m eating. Lately it’s been oats. I’d love to get to the point where I’m having a green smoothie for breakfast each day.

  • Interesting read. I am almost Seinfeld-like in my love of cereals. I know they’re often not the best thing for me, but I do love them. I like to make porridge for my children and myself during winter, but the rest of the time it’s usually commercial cereals. You have encouraged me to give it more thought. The oatmeal pie sounds delicious!

    • Love the Seinfeld reference!
      Cereals are good and they are so easy…but now that I am in the habit of making one baked oatmeal dish on Sunday and some sugar free muffins or banana bread later in the week, I don’t even miss cereal!

  • Sounds great – I think I might just give this a go.

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