The only thing better than Saturday Morning cartoons—cartoons plus sugary cereal. Alas, this generation will never know the pleasure of getting hepped up on Booberry while watching the Smurfs cohabitate or that rascally rabbit dodge another anvil. The Practical Cook adores cereal. From the holiday tradition of receiving little boxes of the sugariest of the sugar bombs in her stocking (always trading the Frosted Flakes for her brother’s Cocoa Krispies, which he despised/s) to preschool art projects to life in a college dorm, there’s always been cereal.
Let us pause and celebrate how to get the most from this amazing innovation. Cereal: One Ingredient, Three Ways, including Eat It, Snack It, concluding tomorrow with Bake It.
#1 Eat It: Read It First, Not Just During
How many ways can you eat cereal?
- With milk, in the traditional fashion.
- Top a parfait with it. (Or just mix it with yogurt.)
- Eat it dry, with milk on the side. (My eldest HATES soggy cereal and will only abide it this way. Perhaps this is true for you, too.)
- Eat it hot. I have tried this many times, and it’s not my favorite method, but some people swear by Grape-Nuts made that way.
There are lots of cereal options out there, and wide variation between brands of the same type. Look for sugar, fiber, and serving size:calorie ratio. I stock the spectrum, but you should know what you’re eating before you buy it. The Practical Cook does not take a hard line against magically delicious cereals, but prefers to match the cereal to the occasion.
Some favorite types:
- Whole Wheat Chex
- The entire Trader Joe’s Cereal Aisle: particularly the “purple” box granola and the Peanut Butter Puffins
- Kashi Autumn Wheat (aka, Hay Bales, as my brother and I named shredded wheat years ago)
- Kashi Honey Sunshine
- Gorilla Munch (hello, it’s called Gorilla Munch)
- When no one is looking and there’s time to play “Radar Rat Race” on a Commodore 64 emulator, Froot Loops
#2 Snack It: Trail Mix Recipe
So you have 15 extra boxes of cereal around, and no ideas for snack. Hmmm, what to do? Trail Mix time! This is great for big and little people, and you can customize. Every Snack Week, this is a runaway hit. My soggy-cereal-hating eldest daughter treats this snack like gold. Could it be the marshmallow bribe inside?
Here are some tips and tricks:
- If you’re sending this for a class snack, consider sending separate bags of each ingredient, scoops, and zipper-t0pped plastic bags for a “choose your own flavor adventure” style snack.
- Salty ideas: Chex or Cheerios, Nuts or Seeds, Goldfish or pretzels or bagel chips
- Sweet ideas: Chocolate or Cinnamon or Whole Wheat (or a combo) Chex, dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, blueberries, banana chips, mango, etc.), graham cracker pieces or teddy grahams, marshmallows or yogurt raisins or chocolate chips
- Sweet and Salty ideas: Any cereal will do here, pretzels, dried fruit, nuts, marshmallows or yogurt raisins or chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or M & Ms.
Tomorrow,the riveting conclusion with Bake It: Raisin Bran Muffin Recipe.
Until then, what’s your favorite kind of cereal? Post a comment, send an email (practicalcook at gmail dot com) or join us on Twitter for a lively cereal discussion.