Cereals

To start, like many children I was raised on cereal. It was my breakfast in the morning before school. With bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes or other seasonal fruits. It was what was comforting after a bad day, the easy thing for a late supper, the weekend morning cartoon snack… A big deal. I was raised with non-sugar cereals – and quite happy about it actually. Although I have tried a bunch of the sugared cereals now I still go back; well used to, to my staples: cheerios, corn flakes, crispix, rice krispies, and spoon size shredded wheat. Cereal is still a staple in my diet, it makes for easy mornings and still comforts me after a bad day.


Many of you know how big “The Great Canadian Superstore” is. For those who don’t, think Walmart superstore with mainly groceries. Needless to say, it’s huge. The aisles go forever and carry thousands of items. They carry every cereal available in Canada plus ones exclusive to Superstore. I spent almost and hour going through every single cereal to see which ones I could eat. That is to say those NOT containing corn, cornmeal, corn starch, corn by product, natural or artificial flavours. Out of the hundreds of cereals there are three that I can eat.
Three. Spoon size shredded wheat (yes!), Special K Red Berries (yes, specifically. The blueberry, chocolate, vanilla almond, regular, satisfaction etc all contain corn or corn starch.), and Shreddies. To make it worse, I really don’t like shreddies. I like them once and a while but they are not my first choice. In fact they are not my choice at all and I won’t be purchasing them anytime soon… leaving me with two cereals.


Luckily while living a corn free existance I can still consume granola and oatmeal happily. That is to say granola I make myself and pure stone cut whole flake oatmeal.
To share my enjoyment those two recipes are as follows!


Corn Free Granola
Things you’ll need:
honey – your favourite kind. I like creamed honey.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup stone cut oats (certified gluten free if needed, although I’ve learned that 15% of celiacs are still affected by oats even if certified gluten free)
1/4 cup each of your favourite seeds [I enjoy using sunflower seeds, flax and pumpkin seeds, they toast nicely.]
1/4 cup nuts (if you want, I personally don’t)
1/2 cup bran buds
1/4 cup each of your favourite dried fruit (I enjoy dried cranberries and dried cherries. I have enjoyed dried tropical fruits in the past although I suggest adding them at the end instead of cooking them with the rest of the items as they don’t bake well.)
1/2 cup shreddies (I know I said I don’t really like them earlier but they are a nice addition to bulk up the granola)


Method of madness
Preheat oven to 350 F
1. Coat a large baking sheet with oil/butter/pan spray (depends on your preference)
2. Combine spices in a small bowl. 
3. Combine all dry ingredients and whatever your imagination decides in a large mixing bowl.
4. Add the spices and toss.
5. If needed, melt the honey in a microwave safe bowl. Drizzle the honey over the mixture and toss to coat. I find it’s easiest to get sticky and mix it up with your hands.
6. Spread mixture evenly over the baking sheet, you may be required to bake it in two batches.
7. Bake the mixture for 5 minutes, remove from the oven and stir the mixture. Redistribute evenly, and back another 5 minutes. Continue the process until it starts to brown slightly. Allow to cool completely and test for crunchiness. If not crunchy enough, bake a little longer. Cooking time will vary based on how much you’ve put in it. Make sure to keep a close eye on it as it burns very very easily.
8. Once cool, if using tropical dried fruits add them now.
Store in an airtight container for up to a year. Hopefully it’ll be too tasty and you’ll make it frequently!


Corn-Free Hearty Morning Oatmeal -1 serving
This meal is extremely filling – it should keep you full well into lunch. If it’s too much food feel free to scale the recipe back to your liking. I’m in the kind of profession where you don’t eat lunch until 2 or 3 pm if you eat it at all.
Stuff you’ll need
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch cardamom
pinch all spice
2/3 cup raw stone cut oatmeal
1 tbsp dark brown sugar or raw cane sugar (taikoo is the brand i’ve found in Canada that’s pretty affordable)
1 tbsp chia seeds (brand name is salba, there are generic brands out there that are much cheaper!)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 fresh banana
1/2 cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk (or alterna-milk of choice)


Method of Madness
1. In a microwave safe bowl place oatmeal and fill with enough water to just cover.
2. Microwave for 1 minute on high. (This may require more or less time depending on your microwave. The ideal time will be long enough for the water to be fully absorbed but short enough that it isn’t complete mush.)
3. Add spices and sugar, stir to combine.
4. Add the seeds, fruit and “milk”.
5. Enjoy!
You may choose to heat the milk in the microwave if you like a warmer cereal in the morning. I like that the cold milk cools it enough that it’s a quick bite, if necessary.

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