So, years ago, in a land far far away, I was a certified cereal fiend. I mean honestly, I used to have no less than five boxes of cereal stacked on top of the fridge at my parents' house growing up, and would swiftly replace them when the stock got low. If a new cereal would come out, I'd call my friends like, "Hey, have you seen the new _____? You have got to try it." I wish I was making that up because it sounds uberlame, but that's how deep I was. Then I went to college, we weren't allowed to have fridges in our dorm rooms (not even mini ones...crazy, right?), and I slowly but surely weaned myself off of my habit.
Although today I'm not addicted like I once was, I still occasionally get a serious craving. Unfortunately for us keto-ers, cereal is generally a huge low carb no-no. So I watch, wistfully, as the people around me enjoy their bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (my fave) and I munch on yet another piece of sausage.
But not anymore! One day I decided I was tired of pining after cardboard boxes and bowls of cold milk. It was time to make my own cereal, dammit. Keto cereal that wouldn't break my macros, and would, in fact, add to them in a good way. Today, I present my first foray into keto cereal: Cinnamon (No Toast) Crunch. Honestly, it turned out so great that I'm fairly positive you'll see many more variations as I try to capture the flavors of my other favorites* I miss. This recipe below makes four servings (which I store in a Mason jar until ready to use) because there's no way you'll want just one bowl. Let's get into it.
- 1/2 cup walnuts or walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup pecans or pecan pieces
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp sugarfree syrup sweetener OR 3 tbsp sugar substitute dissolved in 3 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper OR skillet
- Mason jar or 3-cup storage container
- Heat oven, if using, to 350 or heat skillet over medium heat
- Combine walnuts, pecans, and coconut in jar or container.
- Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, pinch of salt, and sweetener.
- Close container with lid and shake, shake, shake the container until the nuts and coconut are coated.
- If using oven method, spread mixture in an even layer and place in the oven. Check every five minutes until nuts and coconut are crispy, stirring to prevent burning and to ensure even crisping. This should take about 20-30 minutes total, depending on your oven.
- If using stovetop method, empty mixture into your skillet, stirring every minute until mixture reaches your desired crispness. Be careful, because it is easy to burn if left unattended! This should take about 6 minutes total.
- If you used nut pieces, remove pan from heat and scrape mixture into Mason jar or storage container. If you used whole nuts, remove from pan and give everything a rough chop, then add to storage container. Add chia seeds, close lid, and shake again to combine. Remove lid and allow to cool, then replace lid to store.
- To serve, scoop out a heaping 1/2 cup serving into a bowl. Top with 1 cup of your favorite low carb milk alternative: coconut milk and unsweetened almondmilk are great options. I also add an ounce of blueberries (about 16 or so, depending on the size of the berries) for texture, but that's totally optional. A cut up strawberry or two may also be tasty!
This low carb cereal is a winner over here. I hope you'll enjoy it, too! As I said earlier, expect more cereals in the future—I'm thinking a chocolate variation next! What are your favorite cereals? Do you miss them as much as I do now that you eat an awesome low carb diet?
*In case you were wondering, my top five cereals, in no particular order, are Cinnamon Toast Crunch (okay actually, that is def number one), Apple Jacks, Captain Crunch, Golden Grahams, and Clusters. Honorable mentions go to Fruity Pebbles, Corn Pops, Honeycomb, and Rice Krispies Treat cereal, which would actually be number one, except they broke my heart when they stopped selling it in the 90s. They've since reintroduced it, but not only is it hard to find...I'm keto now, so...yeah.
**Fun (?) fact: Although it appears I love the crunchy, sugary cereals (because I suppose I do), a lot of people are surprised to find that I hate Raisin Bran Crunch—it's just too sweet for me! Go figure.