Updated: Aug 1
This delicious cereal can be adapted to suit all tastes and textures. It can be made gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. But the best thing is that it is super simple to make and costs a heck of a lot less than store-bought "healthy" cereal.
Finding healthy cereal in the supermarket is almost impossible these days. Especially one that my kids will eat. It needs to be low in sugar, full of nutrients, not highly processed and contain no refined oils. Due to my gluten sensitivity, I also need it to be gluten-free. When I do find one, I have to pay a small fortune for it. So I decided to make my own, and it was surprisingly simple.
I first started by using Nadia Lim's Gluten Free Muesli recipe. I loved it. The kids weren't too keen on the coconut, so we have been experimenting. We have discovered there is a basic formula for making your own healthy but tasty cereal. You will notice the recipe is very similar to Nadia's, so the credit definitely goes to her. However, I have recommended reducing the amount of sugar and increasing the cinnamon. (Cinnamon is known to help stabilize blood sugars). Hopefully, you will realize that making your own cereal is super simple and can be made to suit almost any one's tastes.
Healthy homemade cereal
Makes around 5 serves
In a large bowl, simply combine...
2 Cups of gluten-free grains
At least 2 different types - one light, the other crunchier and denser in texture
Suggested gluten-free grains include quinoa puffs (said keen-wah), rice puffs, amaranth puffs and certified organic gluten-free oats.
1 Cup of seeds
At least 3 different types are preferred. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds are great.
1 Cup of chopped nuts
I love using walnuts, cashews and almonds.
If you have a nut allergy, simply add more seeds or grains, or some coconut threads.
Gently mix together in a small saucepan over very low heat the following ingredients:
1/3 Cup of coconut oil or macadamia oil
2 Tablespoons of pure real maple syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional)
Now add to the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine.
Spread over an oven tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 12 - 15 mins. Stir a couple of times while baking.
Leave to cool before adding...
1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup of chopped dried fruit (optional)
I love finely chopped organic dried apricots (they don't have any sulphur preservatives). You could also add raisins, dates, goji berries, craisins, dried blueberries or blackcurrants, papaya or mango.
Store in an airtight cereal container.
Serve with unsweetened almond or oat milk to keep it dairy-free. Or sprinkle the cereal over unsweetened yoghurt, kefir or coconut yoghurt. Add some fresh fruit, like blueberries for an antioxidant boost.
Tips and notes:
The cereal in the main picture was made with 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of quinoa puffs, 1/3 cup each of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds, 1/2 cup each of walnuts and cashews. Basically whatever was left over in my cupboard.
Make it a crunchy chocolate cereal! I just gently melted in a small saucepan the coconut oil with 1 Tablespoon of raw cacao powder and added 1 extra tablespoon of maple syrup. I even added the cinnamon but skipped the vanilla extract.
If you eat cereal regularly, feel free to double or triple the recipe and spread over a number of trays. When I double the recipe I get around 10 servings with milk. Obviously you will get more if sprinkled over yoghurt.
Crush the nuts into smaller pieces to increase the crunch throughout. Also, I find my youngest doesn't mind eating walnuts if he doesn't realize it's a walnut!
You can puff your own quinoa. https://www.wikihow.com/Puff-Quinoa
Oats are technically gluten (gliadin) free but they are often contaminated. If gluten sensitivity is not an issue for you then organic oats may be tolerated. You can find gluten free oats here at iherb or at some health food stores. For more info on gluten sensitivities & coeliac disease click here.
Chop the dried fruit into small pieces to help include a little sweetness with each mouthful.
Use less dried fruit if you want to keep the sugar content down even more. Or skip altogether and instead serve with some fresh fruit.
Activate your nuts and seeds if you want to increase your ability to absorb the beneficial nutrients.
You could reduce waste by sourcing the cereal ingredients from a bulk bin store and bringing your own refillable containers.