Fruit + Cereal: A Complete Breakfast

Gentle Readers, if you’re new here, perhaps you don’t know about The Practical Cook’s complete and utter obsession with Cereal. It’s a food, a dessert, a snack, a recovery meal, and an ingredient. And it comes in a  bazillion flavors and combinations. For today’s discussion, we’re going to focus on the building block cereals, the unsung heroes.

Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls, Grape Nuts, Trader Joe's Corn Flakes, and a Banana

Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls, Grape Nuts, Trader Joe's Corn Flakes, and a Banana

With cereal, I have a few guiding principles:

1. Cereal needs to be made of, you know, cereal. I borrow this fabulous and true line from my friend and fellow cereal guru, LibrEditor. Cereal is not made of sugar, or air, or vitamin C. Read the label and know what you’re eating. I’m not rebuking Lucky Charms, but I do reserve those cereals with much sweetness for dessert.

Note: I find Trader Joe’s Corn Flakes better than most corn flakes—the kids eat them, and I cook with them, but they’re standing in for Whole Wheat Chex, which I’m currently out of.

2. Plain cereals require fruit. My number one choice is the humble banana. After that, it’s fresh berries in season (I don’t love the frozen ones in there). I think pineapples, plums, and mangoes shouldn’t go into a cereal bowl, but peaches are okay. These are arbitrary guidelines, feel free to have your own quirks.

3. Better to pour two bowls than to be soggy. This is especially challenging with the flake family of plain cereals. No one like’s disintegrating cereal, with the rare exception of my Great Aunt. Just use a small bowl, pour lightly, then refresh. Corn flakes are corn flaps otherwise.

What are your cereal rules? Do you add fruit? Comment below! I can feel you lurking.

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Tomorrow, Weekly Menus!


Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Punt!, Snacks

4 responses to “Fruit + Cereal: A Complete Breakfast

  1. As a child I haaated soggy cereal and as a result I just ate it dry, with no milk at all. As an adult I figured out a solution: Pour the milk in the bowl first, then add enough cereal that can be eaten before sog happens. Repeat, repeat, until milk is gone or hunger is sated, whichever comes first.

    Naturally I don’t eat cereal in public much, but this solution totally works for me.

    • The Practical Cook

      The Eldest Practical Cook Junior is geared the exact same way, and I am no fan of the sog myself. I’ll share your method with her. Her solutions: eat eggs or eat dry cereal with a milk chaser.

  2. Kelly

    I wish golden grahams wasn’t a vacation cereal, I love it so. My go to cereal remains Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheats, which have less sugar than you might think.

    • The Practical Cook

      I am a fan of all 3 of those cereals, and you’re right, the frosted minis are not complete sugar bombs. My current passion is still the “Purple Granola” (Trader Joe’s Granola, which comes in a purple box), but my need for variety drives me! Vacation cereal: Raisin Nut Bran!

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