I’ve got to say, walking down the supermarket cereal isle really gets my goat. Pushes my buttons. It’s a psychedelic marketing wonderland where health claims are shouted at you in colourful boxes. Where wholegrain actually means processed and high in energy means a bucket-load of sugar.
I rarely step foot in this scary supermarket-ing zone, treading carefully in the fruit and veggie sections – and if I do it’s a mad dash to the very last and bottom shelf for plain traditional home-brand rolled oats. One of the only true wholegrain breakfast options you’ll find there. And it’s the cheapest! Go figure. Above all else it’s the language manipulation that really gets to me – the ‘fruit’ in cereal that is dried and pumped with sugar, the honey-almond-sultana-frosted-flake variety of anything and let’s not even start on Milo’s ‘milk has more calcium when consumed with our high GI chocolate cereal’ statements. I mean come on. It’s purposefully confusing and marketed at mums, kids and ironically healthy peeps like you and me.
Same goes for any television ad promoting liquid breakfasts as a nutritious option for the health conscious and ‘busy’ individual. Cue shots of a lean healthy professional gal grabbing an Up&Go on her way out the door to her glamorous office. I wonder does this happen in reality? A recent study has debunked the dodgy health claims of 23 varieties of Aussie liquid breakfasts – if you’re interested have a read here.
Breakfast is one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s the fuel you need to get through the day, it’s the way you stay balanced and take care of yourself while revving up that amazing digestive system of yours. Hence it’s kinda important to get right!
Another good resource before you take another dance down the cereal isle is ‘A Teaspoon Guide to Australian Breakfast Cereals.’ This details the top 10 cereals in terms of sugar content, and also points you in the right direction giving you the 10 cereal options lowest in sugar (I’ll give you the hot tips – its oats). If you can’t avoid the cereal isle altogether, I encourage you at least check out the sugar content of that box currently in your cupboard. How many teaspoons of sugar are hiding in there?
So, if I don’t eat cereal what’s the alternative?
Here’s the good news! There are so many ways to prepare a kickass breakfast that tastes great and does wonders for your body. Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day, I agonise over what to choose, should I go with a green smoothie, or perhaps a hot porridge or hey what about a savoury breakfast muffin? My mind spins at the possibilities.
Top 5 tips for a kickass breakfast:
- Check the sugar content of any store-bought products
- If going for grains – make sure they’re wholegrains like oats or quinoa. Whole wheat bread is not a wholegrain!
- Throw a green smoothie in the mix as much as you can!
- Go for fresh fruit instead of dried
- Switch up your usual milk with almond or rice milk – even try to make your own!
If you’ve been riding the cereal sugar roller coaster for while now, and are looking at ways to ween yourself off the stuff – I recommend you dip your toe into the art of making your own granola. This oven-baked banana mash granola is high in wholegrains, low in refined sugar and perfect to crumble over smoothies, oats or just on it’s own.
The thing that no one tells you about making granola is that it’s stupifyingly easy. And fun. And you can make it any way you want. And it’s cheap. And healthy And has no refined sugar. Okay, onwards to the recipe! Ebony x
- 2 cups traditional rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 3 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- Good sprinkle cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 ripe mashed bananas
- 1/4 cup brown rice syryp, honey or sweetener of choice.
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- Tsp vanilla extract
How to go about it
Preheat oven to 190C
Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl
Combine all wet ingredients in a pot over medium heat until warm – hot. No longer than a few minutes.
Now, combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Scoop onto shallow tray lined with baking paper and flatten out with the back of a spoon.
Bake for approx 25 minutes stirring once half way through. Remember granola will harden up once cooled.
Mix it up with fresh fruit such as berries, natural yoghurt or some cottage cheese for a protein hit. Store in airtight glass jar or container for 1-2 months.