A big bowl full of “wholegrain” cereal, sometimes not even “wholegrain” but merely some puffed white rice, refined in all it’s glory, strip of all it’s nutrients and then fortified in order to meet legal requirements. No colour, no fruit (other than the occasional glass of orange juice which sometimes ended up in my bowl of blandness instead of milk in my half comatosed early morning state – let’s just say I wasn’t always a morning person!)
We’ve all seen the ads, cereals aimed at kids with the “wholegrain” packed full of vitamins and minerals jargon to please the unsuspecting parents. My mum used to stick to her guns, avoiding the more obviously sugar laden cereal in favour of those with a healthier slogan attached or a reassuring marketing message on the box. You can’t blame parents getting it wrong these days… be it cereal or bread, the term “wholegrain” or “wholemeal” stuck on the packaging in actual fact doesn’t mean a whole lot. Companies are allowed to coin something as “wholegrain” or “wholemeal” once one of the to forms of grain is on the ingredient list, somewhere amongst the refined grains, added sugar and god only knows what else.
So what’s the alternative? REAL WHOLEGRAINS! A good bowl of oats is a fantastic way to start the day and for the most part when I’m craving something quick and easy I find it’s the best option. I haven’t had cereal in what seems like forever. When I think of cereal I think of something light, airy, that loves to soak up milk or sit on a bed of yoghurt and is just ripe for topping with all kinds of wonderfulness. It’s a base rather than a solitary substance!
I’m a big amaranth fan, I just love it’s unique nutty flavour; the amaranth flour banana bread with walnuts really knocked my socks off! I’d forgotten how amazing puffed amaranth can be! Simply placed in a pot over a medium heat, a tablespoon at a time it “pops” and “puffs” up to form a beautiful light nutty, 100% additive free, purely natural cereal! It’s super simple and could be made in bigger batches if you like!
The flavour of the amaranth is amazing, lightly toasted and ripe for combining with your favourite cereal add ins. Sunbutter, coconut, some cacao nibs, sliced banana and raspberries…. all it needed was a good drenching!
I’ve gotten so used to adding Sunwarrior to my oats that I feel a bit off centre without it some shape or form in my morning meal so I decided to whip up a quick suped-up carob banana vanilla protein cereal sauce! It was awesome! Pureed banana, Sunwarrior, carob and a cup full of Alpro Almond milk.
It was the cereal bowl that dreams are made of and kept me nicely fuelled through the morning; unlike the standard supermarket cereal that is likely to leave you wanting to crash and burn and delve in the nearest sweet treat available by about 11 o’clock. Of course there are some exceptions, they’re not all bad, but I have this desire to leave my diet devoid of all things unnecessarily processed and packaged whenever possible and when it comes to boxes of breakfast cereal I can definitely give them a miss! Give me a homemade toasty real wholegrain goodness any day of the week!
Are you a cereal fan? Have you ever looked in depth at the ingredients? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Puffed Amaranth Cereal with Carob Banana Vanilla Protein Sauce
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 10 –12 minutes
- 1/4 cup uncooked amaranth
- 1 small banana (reserve a couple of slices for topping)
- 1/2 scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein
- 1/2 tbsp carob powder
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1/2 tsp desiccated coconut
- Banana Slices
- 1 heaped tbsp Sunbutter
- Fresh mint
- Heat a small pot over a medium heat for a couple of minutes; place amaranth in the pot, a tablespoon full at a time, cover and allow to puff; this will take seconds – shake the pot to prevent burning and make sure to cover with a lid. Transfer the amaranth to your bowl as you puff it.
- Blend together all cereal sauce in ingredients.
- Top amaranth with toppings and pour over cereal sauce. I prefer to pour half and then add more as I go! Dig in!