When the folks at General Mills sent me some of their Gluten-Free Chex cereals to try*, I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone struggling with gluten intolerance who just wants to have a freaking bowl of brand-name cereal like the other kids in school (hello, imaginary inner child). I wouldn’t recommend eating boxed cereal every day, but when the craving hits, it’s good to have an approachable option for those with food allergies and intolerances.
Though I’d love to think everyone wants to go for the high-fiber, low-sugar cereals that have a better chance of keeping them satisfied on fewer additives, I do have to acknowledge that many would much rather reach for a colorful box from a mainstream brand.
I know the Super Bowl is over, but I thought it would be fun to try a few Chex Mix recipes. Inspired by this recipe from the General Mills website, I set out to make a healthier version using ingredients I had at home. I was also maybe trying to use up some blackstrap molasses that was in the back of the cabinet. Feel free to use a lighter molasses if preferred, but I kind of like the dark, earthy taste of this stuff. It’s also happens to be a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium.
This recipe makes about 6 1/2-cup servings, but you can easily double it.
- 3 cups Rice or Cinnamon Chex
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, butter, or margarine
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp brown sugar, stevia, or other sweetener of choice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ c raisins, chopped dates, or crystallized ginger
- Optional: 2 tbsp slices almonds, walnut crumbles, or pecans
- In a large, microwaveable bowl, mix cereal and nuts (if using). Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
- In a microwaveable measuring cup, microwave coconut oil/butter/margarine until melted. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, and spices. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the mixture boils (~30-60 seconds). Stir. Pour over cereal and mix well to coat evenly.
- Microwave on High ~3-4 minutes or until the cereal just begins to brown. Make sure to stir and scrape the bowl every minute. Mix in dried fruit. Spread on the covered cookie sheet to cool (~5 minutes).
- Store in an airtight container.
*Disclaimer: Though these products were provided to me by General Mills, I was not required to post a review. These thoughts—both positive and negative—are my own.
What’s your favorite cereal?
There are some things I like to think it’s okay to be a snob about. Like wine. And teeth—Call me shallow, but I could never date a man with Austin Powers-esque not-so-pearly-whites. Another big one is breakfast. As a dietitian, it’s basically my job to encourage people to put some fuel in the tank within a few hours of waking. I will never understand not wanting to eat in the morning, and I have little sympathy for “too busy/not enough time.” Sorry I’m not sorry. Though Mr. “Cigarette and a Coffee” is only hurting himself, how about growing the f up and taking some interest in your longevity, sir?
General Mills recently sent me a few samples of some new products to try out—no review required, just a little edible FYI. A few of the products, which I’ll likely post about soon, were fairly healthy (my co-workers really liked a new cranberry almond Nature Valley granola with added protein). However, there was one product that had me scratching my head a little:
Though I do like that these contain real-food ingredients like rice, quinoa, and oats, do we really need the artificial food coloring in the strawberry drink? Sugar also happens to be the third (of many) ingredients in each flavor, which doesn’t exactly scream “get up and stay up.” I know that adding some fiber can help temper the blood sugar spike, but 15 grams is still quite a lot of sugar to start your day with. Not that this isn’t a typical American amount, of course. I guess looking at a product that gets quite a bit right, I wanted to see it go all the way .
That said, I can understand the appeal of a product like this for busy parents who’d rather see their picky kids drink this on their way to school than go without a morning meal. Perhaps it could also make a good alternative to pricey oral supplements like Ensure and Boost for elderly and/or sick people who do better with liquid sources of nutrition.
However, when it comes to grown-ass healthy adults, I’m a big believer that one always has time for a real breakfast, even on the run. Feeding yourself doesn’t have to be a lengthy, elaborate affair. Here are a few lightning-quick breakfast ideas:
- Avocado or nut butter on toast
- Greek yogurt with cereal or fruit on top
- A handful of nuts and a piece of fruit
- A hard-boiled egg (easy to make ahead of time)
- Overnight oats (to-go container-friendly)
- Actual cereal and milk
- Skim latte and a piece of fruit
What are some of your favorite quick breakfasts?