Simple Nutrition: Breakfast Cereal

03.17.14 | Sarah Harnisch

Is there a type of cereal that's safe to eat? (We know sugary cereals loaded with dyes and preservatives are not good, but what about healthier choices, like shredded wheat, or organic cereals?) Morning news anchor Sarah Harnisch and Certified Natural Health Professional Brandee Gorsline tackle the ins and outs of cereal this week, how it impacts your body, and how to make healthier choices.

In the feature, Sarah and Brandee listed three of their fast, nutritious, go-to cereal recipes. Here they are:

   Sarah's Frosted Cornflakes Recipe:

   8-9 cups coconut chips (from Tropical Traditions)

   1/2 cup water

   2 tablespoons pure vanilla

   1 tablespoon cinnamon

   1 teaspoon nutmeg

   1/4 cup raw honey

   Mix in a bowl. Place on two cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes (until golden brown and crispy)

   Sarah's Applesnap Granola Recipe:

   4 heaping cups pecans, soaked in water with a little salt for 12-24 hours* and then rinsed and drained

   2 cups organic unsweetened applesauce

   1/4 cup local raw honey

   1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt

   Blend gently in a blender until nuts are pureed. Then put in a dehydrator at 155 degrees for 24 hours, or in your oven at the lowest setting for 12-24 hours, and the door cracked open. Once it's hard, crumble it into a "cereal" and place in an airtight container.

  Brandee's Homemade Honey Smacks Recipe:

  2 bags organic puffed corn or kamut or rice; Arrowhead Mills or Nature's Path

  2 sticks organic butter (1 cup)

  1 cup sucanat (or raw honey if you cannot do sugar)

  2 tsp vanilla extract

  1 tsp baking soda

  Put puffs in roaster pan while you make the caramel

  Preheat oven to 250 degrees

  For caramel: Cook butter and sucanat in a med sauce pan on med/high heat for 6 minutes.  If you have a candy thermometer, bring it to soft crack stage 300 degrees.  If not, just cook for 6 min. Add baking soda and stir immediately. It will get foamy.  Add vanilla, stir, then pour over puffs and stir until all puffs are evenly coated.  You may want to butter or spray the roaster pan. Bake for about 45 min. stirring every 10-15 minutes.  When they are dried to the point that they have some crunch, they are done.  If you take them out too soon they will be mushy and chewy.

If you are gluten free, Sarah Harnisch's Pinterest page has over 4-thousand recipes without gluten, sugar, or dairy.


Sarah's Favorite Breakfast Sites: (hot and cold breakfast ideas:)

The Healthy Home Economist

Nourished and Nurtured

Heavenly Homemakers


Empowered Sustenance

Loving Life Naturally

101 Cookbooks

Healthy Green Kitchen

Jeanette's Healthy Living

Food Renegade


Here are a few additional sites with cold cereal recipes:

Site 1: Several Cereal Recipes

Site 2: Homemade Cinammon Toast Crunch

  Grain Free Cinammon Toast Crunch (use coconut flour instead of protein powder)

Site 3: Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal (and other recipes)

Site 4: Homemade Granola Recipes

Site 5: Gluten Free Vanilla Almond Cereal Puffs


Go-To Muffin Recipes:

The "Best" Breakfast Muffins

5-minute banana peanut butter muffins

Double Chocolate Zuchinni Muffin recipe (Moist and amazing! I use peanut butter in place of the Hazlenut butter)


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 03.18.14 Joanne commented

Is instant oatmeal any better than regular cereals?

on 03.19.14 Linda commented

Thank you so much for doing this series! I'm trying to help my husband regain his health and teach our children how to stay healthy. I'm relearning what true nutrition is and this series is a big help.

on 03.24.14 Sarah Harnisch commented

Hello Joanne and Linda! Thank you for taking the time to write!

Joanne- oatmeal is definitely better than pre-packaged cereal, but I'd stay away from the instant packets and just go for original old-fashioned oats. If you put them in water overnight, they cook instantly just like instant oatmeal. (And it's much cheaper!) Here's a good article with more information:

Linda: We so appreciate your encouragement! Thank you for taking the time to write such sweet words. Next week is on the Simple Joe-- going from the most basic starting point on healthy eating, written for Joe the listener, who wrote us a few weeks ago. Brandee and I actually have our kids listen to Simple Nutrition for health class-- I even found my 13 year old son sharing one with his friend! The steps and choices you make as a mom will dramatically impact them-- so be at peace, sometimes there is very little to teach. Their tiny minds just observe and copy! You have a great heart and desire to take care of those precious kids-- God will honor that! Thank you for listening!