Healthy cereal doesn’t have to be boring.
Oats (in all forms), toast (with alll the toppings), smoothies, and eggs have taken the breakfast world by storm lately, while cereal has been taking the back seat. Not going to lie, I am a die hard overnight oats fanatic and eat it for breakfast at least 80% of the time when I’m at college.
But some days, we all need a little (or a lot of) cereal in our lives. Sometimes it’s because you have less than five minutes to prep and eat breakfast, and some days you just crave the crunch you get when you eat a spoonful of your favorite cereal. There’s nothing like it.
But take a look at the ingredients list on your favorite childhood cereal and you may have second thoughts. One of my favorites as a kid was Cinnamon Toast Crunch. My mom barely ever allowed us to buy Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Cookie Crisp and the like (thank you mom!), but Cinnamon Toast Crunch was somehow more mom-friendly.
Here are the ingredients on a standard box of General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch:
whole grain wheat, sugar, rice flour, canola and/or rice bran oil, fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, salt, cinnamon, soy lecithin, trisodium phosphate, color added. bht added to preserve freshness, vitamins and minerals: calcium carbonate, zinc and iron (mineral nutrients), vitamin c (sodium ascorbate), a b vitamin (niacinamide), vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin b2 (riboflavin), vitamin b1 (thiamin mononitrate), vitamin a (palmitate), a b vitamin (folic acid), vitamin b12, vitamin d3
It’s nice to see whole grain wheat as the first ingredient. But keep moving down the list and you run into things like maltodextrin, trisodium phosphate, and other unnecessary ingredients that crop up in processed foods.
How do you avoid those? Make your own cereal – with whole food ingredients you recognize!
This homemade cinnamon toast crunch is easy, keeps well, and is even more delicious than its boxed counterpart. You can make this the weekend before you head to college and bring it with you, or spare an hour on the weekend to make some as a study break. The cinnamon is perfect for this time of year. It would also make a lovely Christmas (or otherwise) gift. Just put the cereal in a nice jar, and you’ll have just made a new best friend!
Seriously – make it.
Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Time: 40 minutes
When to eat it: Breakfast, traditionally, but any time is just as acceptable
Perks: Delicious and much healthier than its store-bought counterpart
Makes: Around 5 cups of cereal
Sh*t You Need:
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and divided
1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for topping
1 tsp cinnamon, for topping
1. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a food processor, add the whole wheat flour, flour, baking soda, and 2 tsp cinnamon. Pulse to combine. 3. Add in 1/3 cup coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla and honey. Pulse again until dough is in small crumbly pea size balls. 4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 5. Add in the buttermilk and process until a dough forms. 6. Divide the dough into two flat discs. Place one of the disks onto a lightly floured counter and roll the dough as thin as possible, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Brush 1 tbsp of coconut oil on top. 7. Combine the 1 tsp cinnamon and granulated sugar and generously sprinkle half of the mixture onto the first disk. 8. With a sharp knife, slice into 1/2 inch squares. Pierce each square 2 to 3 times withe a fork. Using your hands or a thin spatula, carefully place the squares on the prepared baking sheets. 9. Repeat again with the remaining dough. 10. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on top. After 10 minutes watch carefully. These can go from beautiful golden brown to burnt very quickly. 11. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container. Serve with milk, yogurt, fruit or straight out of the box - just like storebought cereal.
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