Sometimes my kids want cereal for breakfast. Heck, even I occasionally want a bowl. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a single minimally-processed cereal available at the grocery store that I feel comfortable feeding my kids. Even if the cereal only has a few ingredients, the high temperatures and pressures required to form long strands or puffy balls destroy many of the nutrients. Many cereals are expanded and then spayed with sugar and oil so they will keep their form and crunch while sitting in milk. And the little flakes or rings? Those are grains mixed with liquid until they form slurry. The mixture then goes through a machine called an extruder. The extruder applies high heat and pressure to form the rings, flakes or shreds. According to Paul Stitt, a biochemist and author of the book Fighting the Food Giants, the extrusion process destroys many nutrients, denatures fatty acids, and can even destroy the synthetic vitamins which are added to the cereal.
Now for the fun part. Making cereal at home is easy and you can have control over exactly what goes into your morning bowl. It only takes a few ingredients and some hours in the oven to dehydrate while we all sleep. We like it as a crunchy, sweet alternative to our usual eggs and smoothies. It’s also great as a crunchy topping over yogurt.