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