is there a healthy cereal? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-06-2009, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post

So the answer isn't just "oatmeal", it's SOAKED oatmeal (with some fat for digestion/nutrient utilization!)
this is why, last night, I soaked my steel cut oats all night long and then added a big chunk of butter this morning.

Lots of good info in your post, Holiztic.

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Old 09-06-2009, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
I think the O's are definitely extruded into O shapes, then baked. For marketing purposes the "baked in to O shapes" is fair to say, I would guess. I mean, no one expects the baking to make them O shaped (as in they go into the oven as a slurry and then become O shaped by the heat), something else makes the O before the baking, in this case an "extruder".

The other issue I don't think has been mentioned yet (forgive me if it has) is that the grains in cereals have not been properly prepared as to deactivate the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. So the cereal is hard to digest and is depleting nutrients from the eater.


Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.

Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.


So the answer isn't just "oatmeal", it's SOAKED oatmeal (with some fat for digestion/nutrient utilization!)
I couldn't agree more!

The only cereal we have here is oatmeal which I soak in kefir and to which we then add raw cream, raw milk, butter, soaked nuts, and raw honey. It's SO filling and yummy!
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:20 AM
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sadly, commercial cereal (all of it) really is not healthy. if you're just looking for something that doesn't contain HFCS, excess sugar or transfat, there are a lot of options. Kashi and Cascadia Farms has some options. I do buy some of them, especially the ones that are fruit sweetened only, but I look at cereal more as a "snack food" rather than a source of nutrients. Food For Life probably has the best choices with their Ezekial cereal. Making your own granola with real grains would be better, or oatmeal with steel cut oats!

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Old 09-07-2009, 02:52 AM
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I'm not uber-TF but I do have one alternative to oat porridge - kibbled wheat. I soak it overnight if I remember (just in water, but you could presumably do lactofermenting if you wanted) or toast the dry grains in the saucespan for a moment before adding water. It's a nice change from regular porridge - if I'm feeling prosperous I have it with maple syrup and cream.

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Old 09-07-2009, 02:58 AM
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Is there a healthy cereal? The only thing I can think of is Oatmeal or another minimally processed grain. A lot of pp have mentioned grape-nuts, I personally don't think it's healthy to eat foods with a lot of added vitamins. . .and grape-nuts have a lot of added vitamins.

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:13 AM
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Puffed rice can be made at home by steaming twice, drying, and toasting (apparently in sand in a very hot pot.) Just b/c it can be done somewhat healthfully doesn't mean the boxes of puffed rice at the store are done in the same way though. At least it's possible.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by es1967 View Post
I like Bobs Red Mill Meusli. It has oats, nuts, sunflower seeds etc. I add almond milk and let it sit about 5 min before eating. Then add yogurt and lots of other toppings like-flax,hemp seed,raisins,goji berries,fresh berries,coconut,dried cranberries etc etc.

I've heard good things about this company's cereal but kinda do the same thing myself
That's what we eat, too. It's the only cold cereal we eat- I even got us off granola, someone give me a prize!!! I want to make my own muesli because my daughter doesn't like the fruits in Bob's, but I have to get my stuff together.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:36 AM
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Holiztic & Drummers wife -

can you explain why the oats need to soak? is this regular rolled oats you buy at the store?

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Old 09-08-2009, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ~Mom2thhts~ View Post
Holiztic & Drummers wife -

can you explain why the oats need to soak? is this regular rolled oats you buy at the store?

the next paragraph in the article I quoted/linked:

Most of these antinutrients are part of the seed's system of preservation-they prevent sprouting until the conditions are right. Plants need moisture, warmth, time and slight acidity in order to sprout. Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature. It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.

This goes for ALL grain foods--breads, crackers, pastas, cakes, etc, and for all grains (some have more (wheat!) or less (rice) phytic acid, but they all have some).

So for oats you soak in water (enough to cover the oats by a few inches) and I have lost track of measuring, but I probably add a tablespoon of whey to a cup of oats. You can use lemon juice, but you might not like the lemony flavor in the oatmeal. Soak it on the counter overnight (a warm spot is best), then drain and cook in fresh water (cooks really fast after being soaked in acid all night--like your own quick oats!!)

I highly recommend reading Nourishing Traditions if for nothing other than the grains info--you won't find it hardly anywhere else! Even if you're vegetarian, it's worth it! My doctor is quoted in the reviews--he's a long-time vegetarian who claims even he found a lot of useful info!
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:51 PM
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Really almost any grain can be eating as a hot cereal--rice, millet, quinoa, cornmeal (polenta), etc.
I know it is better to soak it, but have to admit that while I've done that in the past, I now cook it without.
It's the best I can do at the moment, and still much better than packaged cereals, in my opinion.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:56 PM
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Gabriel Cousens who is into raw veg*n cooking discusses soaking in his books as well- well at least the one I have.

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Old 09-08-2009, 09:12 PM
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I'm surprised that extrusion is being named as the culprit. Extruding is just the act of forcing a dough through a tube/disc to form shapes. You could say that those cookie guns "extrude" dough. It works no differently than those play-dough "pasta makers" or "ice cream" extruders. I suspect it's really the process of making the dough from the grains that is what is so bad. You're cooking them to death, blending them into a slurry, and adding god-knows-what. And after it's extruded, baking probably at a high temp. That entire process surely must lower the nutritional value significantly.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:43 AM
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So is shredded wheat or puffed wheat bad?
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:53 PM
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I keep Alf's puffed wheat and puffed rice on hand. It is just that.....puffed rice or wheat. I sometimes add honey to it for little sweetness. When you put honey on the wheat it tastes like Smacks...but is healthier. You can add raisins, nuts, berries, bananas, ect and basically customize your cereal to your pallet. And best of all, it is pretty cheap. It is about a buck a bag and it is easy to Walmart even sells it. I will say that I eat more of it because of it just being puffed though. But I think it is just because so much of the food is just air. So even if you eat more bowls than all evens it self out.

There are other brands that are the same but I have found that they are only available in health food stores and are more pricey. But they have more variety such as puffed millet and puffed corn. Alfs supposedly has puffed corn but I have never seen it.

p.s. It has tons of dietary it definitely keeps you regular!

Natures Path is good too.....
I sometimes eat the Pumpkin Raisin Crunch with Flaxseed
It is pretty healthy and not too bad of price (about 3 bucks a box..give or take a little). But I have found that it is somewhat harder to find as only one of the 3 Walmarts in my town have it....and if you buy it from a health food store it is more expensive (usually).
The ingredients are somewhat basic....but to be honest I prefer more basic. But it is nice that you can just grab, pour and eat. Instead of having to add flavor or eat bland (although to be honest I do not think Alfs is really that bland tasting).
I also eat Natures Path Granola Bars....some are good some are not as good. But they are decent priced in comparison to some of the others.

Hope that helps!
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:38 AM
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I think of it all as technically processed, but I'll buy something at TJs periodically for easier mornings. If it's less sugar and no other junk/hcfs/preservatives I'm OK with it once in a while.

Otherwise I make granola a lot and oatmeal.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:43 AM
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I pop amaranth seed for my breakfast cereal. It is really amazing.

I heat up a pot until it is really hot and toss in a little bit of amaranth and shake it around until it pops. And continue to do so until I have popped all I need. The first back usually gets burnt because I don't heat the pot enough.

Then I pour some honey in, mix it all up and I have breakfast for the next week.

I went to Vandana Shiva's organic farm Navdanya in India and this is what they served us for breakfast most mornings.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
The more I learn about nutrition, whole foods, and TF, the more I am fascinated yet horrified at the same time.

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