Breakfast Cereal Hell!

On February 7, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

Do you eat cereal for breakfast? I eat cereal for breakfast. Two years of oatmeal did wonderful things for my cholesterol, I’m sure, but OATMEAL BURNOUT. So: cereal. During college I discovered the joys of mixing two or three different cereals together, but I no longer live in my lovely old co-op dorm where we had 24-hour access to coffee, tofu, and fourteen different kinds of cereal. Ah, those heady days when I could roll out of bed, shuffle through a haze of cigarette smoke, and come to while shoveling a bowl of Life/Cap’n Crunch/Grape Nuts into my mouth.

I have to buy my own cereal now. Cereal is expensive, so I usually only have two boxes max on hand at any one time. Right now it’s 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday and my post-yoga, who-needs-food? high is fading, and I’m poised to saunter into the kitchen and construct a bowl of what I have at the moment, which is Post Raisin Bran (I like Post because the raisins aren’t all sugared up like they are in Kellogg’s Raisin Bran) and Peanut Butter Panda Puffs. I love these cereals separately, my God I do, but together they’re somewhat of a disaster. The Raisin Bran sinks to the bottom and gets ungodly soggy while you’re dealing with the Panda Puffs, which have all floated to the top to demand you pay attention to them first.

My breakfast life is hell. Surely you can help. Tell me some good cereal combinations? I feel so lost right now.



87 Responses to “Breakfast Cereal Hell!”

  • I have never heard of this "combining of cereals", and am shocked to learn that I a cereal separatist.

    The Honey Oat cereal from Trader Joe's is pretty fucking good, though.

  • On the rare occasions that I find myself craving cold cereal, I really like Honey Bunches of Oats. There is also a kind of cereal that I used to have all the time as a kid, and I cannot for the life of me remember what it is called, but it's oat-based and has coconut in it, I think, and comes in rounded-squares with holes in the center that look very much like dog food (does that sound familiar?)

    Hot cereal-wise, though, I have lately been super fond of quinoa, eaten like you would eat oatmeal (with whatever sweetener/fruit/extras you might add to oatmeal normally). It's also really good heated up with milk, then put in a ramekin and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and left under the broiler until the sugar gets all nice and carmelized. Mmmm.

  • yes! yum! i combine as well. the very best (and probably cheapest) raisin bran cereal is from whole foods 365. i always have that on hand. i mix it with one of the following (one only): trader joe's maple pecan granola or trader joe's something something ginger granola.
    i use 1% or 2% milk. sometimes i add a banana.

  • Kashi Crunch + Kashi Go Lean = Total Yum!

  • Kashi Heart to Heart + All-Bran buds + 1% milk = heaven and health

  • Fiber One + old fashioned oatmeal (not cooked) + dried cranberries (or apricots or apples or whatever you like). Sort of cheap and full-o-fiber and keeps you full til lunchtime.

  • I eat cereal every day. Sometimes twice a day. My favorite combo is Shredded Wheat and Grape Nuts. I'm a Grape Nut, nut.

  • To those of you suggesting mixes of various Kashis and such, I salute your healthful discipline. But c'mon – LAME! How about something fun like Golden Grahams + Count Chocula?

  • You know what they say–no mix, no hangover. I'm afraid I'm a separatist too.

  • Lazy people like me seek out those cereals that are already awesome combinations of different things – a symphony for your morning mouth!

    I recommend: Lucky Charms. Not only the boring ol' cereal pieces, but yellow moons, pink hearts, orange stars, and green clovers!

    Or how about Cap'n Crunch WITH CRUNCHBERRIES!! You can't go wrong with that.

    We gave up all but the most boring tree-bark healthy cereals about 5 or 6 years ago. I miss them terribly.

    Sometimes I dream about Fruity Pebbles. That's how I know I dream in color. {sigh}

  • I'm shocked to learn that there's such a thing as oatmeal burnout, since I'm a porridge freak, even in the summer (made with milk only! with sultanas in to get fat and juicy!) and always eat most of the Bircher muesli on hotel buffets (they put it in such a titchy serving bowl) with lots of nuts and stewed prunes.

    But cereal? Best ever: rice bubbles on crushed pineapple.

  • Kashi Autumn Wheat + Honey Nut Cheerios.
    ANYTHING with Honey Nut Cheerios.

  • But you have to use 2% or fatter milk.

  • Golden grahams + cinnamon toast crunch. I can't have them separately!

  • My husband makes this concoction for breakfast every morning: hot instant maple + brown sugar oatmeal with a spoonful of pecans or walnuts or raisins (whatever we have handy), cooked with milk, not water. Then add Grape Nuts and a spoonful of peanut butter. It's hot and crunchy and sweet and yummy.

  • Honey Bee Pops and multigrain Cheerios. Organic: meet corn syrup. Now fall in love…

  • I can't recommend of any cereal combos, but recently I ran out of milk…so I found the closest thing to dairy that my refrigerator could offer up – Cool Whip – and threw it on my Special K with Red Berries. The resulting concoction was a crisp-encrusted fluffy mousse…decadent and DESSERT-LIKE.

  • Okay…if your up to it…I buy Honey Bunches, or any of the Target/Archer Farms oat cereal's. Pour into a bowl…pour in either soy milk, hazel milk, almond, you name it…just enough milk that it doesn't actually cover the cereal, heat it up in the microwave…take a teaspoon of pb and stir it around in there while the cereal is hot…its nearly like desert…but oooooooh so good. And if your using flavored soy milk even better. my personal favorite is hazel milk (whole foods is the only place i can find it)….

  • Honey Nut Os + Plain Os + walnuts + almonds

    Trader Joe's Vanilla Almond Clusters + Ikea's Good Cereal (Musli) + nuts

    Gorilla Munch + Peanut Butter Panda Puffs

  • I have two suggestions: mixing Kashi Go Lean Crunch with greek yogurt and a little (pure) maple syrup

    or to help combat your oatmeal fatigue (because it's so good for you and so much cheaper than boxed cereal) try mixing peanut butter into your hot oatmeal. It melts down and gets kind of gooey – oh so good!

    I love breakfast:)

  • Target's Granola in the Apricot and Almond (I think it's almond…it's definitely apricot) mixed with Cheerios is yummy. I take that to work most mornings. The granola gives the Cheerios a little zing.

  • is combining cereals like making designer dog breeds? okay, here's mine: Apple Jacks + Lucky Charms + Grape Nuts = Jacks Lucky Nuts

  • Kashi Go Lean seems to go well with everything, and Trader Joe's Brown Sugar & Maple Shredded Wheats (or something like that) is really good and I generally can't stand sweetened cereals.

    My go-to though is homemade muesli: uncooked oatmeal, vanilla yogurt, nuts, dried fruit and cut-up apple. Most yum.

  • Mother's brand Honey Nut O's (or 365 if you're a Whole Foods type) and Kashi Heart to Heart.
    Also any granola with Fage plain yoghurt and honey. HEAVEN.

  • Fruit loops and yogurt cheerios. Actually anything and fruit loops.

  • Honey Bunches of Oats + Trader Joe's Brown Sugar & Maple Shredded Wheats

    Honey Nut Cherrioh's + Trader Joe's Brown Sugar & Maple Shredded Wheats

  • Miss B, I think you're thinking of Cracklin' Oat Bran, which is about the best thing in the cereal aisle (and that's saying something).

    What would I mix with Cracklin' Oat Bran? Well, I'm not normally a cereal mixer, but it might go well with Special K Red Berries.

  • I vote for Cinnamon Toast Crunch crushed up in Hagen-Daaz Vanilla ice cream (not the Vanilla Bean, as the uber sugar content messes up the delicate loveliness of the vanilla bean flavor). Also, I like to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a layer of Frosted Mini Chex cereal between the peanut butter and jelly. Both are delightful!! Okay, technically they aren't cereal combinations, but they are both good enough for breakfast, if you ask me!!

  • Jesus, I just read all that. 'Oh-So-Simple' the golden syrup version, with a suggestion of milk (from a cow).

  • …correction that should have read:'Oats-So-Simple'. The advantage here is that with individual packets you don't have to run the risk of measuring out the correct amount of oats. The tricky part is getting the amount of water right to avoid the messy microwave eruption.

  • Simple but effective: Rice Krispies (Crisped Rice?) and Corn Flakes are a good combo.

  • Occasionally, (once in a [possibly drunk and half-naked, accidentally-breaking-fences] blue moon) I dream of being an American. For the sole purpose of partaking in all the awesome choices of breakfast cereal that you enjoy.

    America; land of the free, and home of the awesome cereals.

  • I used to be a monster cereal fan, but like everything else good, they've mucked around with it and it tastes terrible now. Count Chocula isn't the least bit chocolaty. So many of the kid cereals aren't as good as they used to be and this makes me sad. Thankfully Cocoa Pebbles are still the same.

    Honey Bunches of Oats and Golden Grahams are nice together.

  • I had a good friend in college who was SO poor that all she could eat (every meal) was oatmeal. This was right when ATM cards emerged. She was very nervous about them. So she would go to the store and pay for her tub of oatmeal with a check. $1.99 check.

    She still can't eat oatmeal, even though she is a certified quinoa-eating health food nut.

    Breakfast cereal hell comes in all shapes and sizes.

  • Ahh..I see I'm not the only one who mixes it up with Kashi Go Lean Crunch. I like it with Crispix, or any Chex cereal.

  • Ok, I'm only suggesting this because you mentioned eating Grape Nuts. This is my current favorite munchy cereal, and it's fairly cheap because you make it yourself, then keep in the fridge. Definitely healthy too. Mix with whatever other cereals you like, or eat plain. FYI, if you make it with almond butter, Costco has giant jars of it for under 10 bucks…but cashew butter is still my favorite. :-)

  • Try Raisin Brand and Cheerios

  • We get the Three Sisters (all natural! because we care!) brand Graham Crackerz (like Golden Grahams) and Cinnamon Sweets (like Cinnamon Toast Crunch). Cereal pieces are roughly the same size, shape, and weight, so they mix gloriously and are similarly buoyant in milk.

    The Graham Crackerz one also mixes gloriously with chocolate chips.

  • Make your own granola (I like the pepita and fruit recipe that can be found on the Sassy Radish and Smitten Kitchen food blogs). Great stuff, and it totally makes plain fat free yogurt exciting.

  • Um, we *do* have 14 kinds of cereal here. But I kind of have a problem there. Admitting it is the first step, no?

    I like to mix bran flakes (or raisin bran) with frosted flakes. Just a small sprinkle of the frosted is awesome. I also love to mix plain cheerios with apple cheerios. That seems like cheating, but seriously, the mix is better than either alone.

    And now I must have cereal. Yum!

  • I think that good yogurt mixed with good granola is my personal heaven. I am not sure that this counts. Whatever.

  • Okay, Kashi people, what about Kashi Heart to Heart with Wild Blueberry Clusters? Are we the only ones who eat it?

    It turns the milk purple. The only thing I mix it with is a thinly sliced banana. Banana and purple milk. Heh.

  • I just plowed through two bowls of Kellogg's Raisin Bran, so I'm of no help.

    Honey Nut Cheerios are perfect on their own.

    Grape Nuts require honey and a banana.

    Frosted Flakes and Capn Crunch are for dessert.

  • I used to be the queen of junk food combos, but I never thought to mix cereals and this hot peanut butter idea is BLOWING MY MIND.

    Going to store right now (not kidding).

  • So this is not a cereal combo, but a good alternative to cereal if you tired of it. Greek yogurt with honey and pistachios. Tangy, sweet, creamy & crunchy. It's delicious!

  • My beloved combines Grape Nuts, those tiny shredded wheat things, Raisin Bran, granola, Corn Flakes and I'm sure there's more I just can't remember.

    Personally I like Super Sugar Crisp and the bargain bag of unsweetened puffed equivalent. Cuts the super sweetness and I like to pretend it's good for me.

  • Cheerioes + Grape Nuts

    Put the grape nuts on top and make sure you scoop down to get both in each bite. It's bliss.

  • I used to combine Kashi Heart to Heart and Kellogg's Raisin Granola into a tupperware container so it was already mixed each morning. So satisfying.

    This makes me glad to know I'm not the only cereal combiner out there.

  • To the commenter who has "never heard of" combining cereals…this reminds me of going to Wendy's with my cousin who said she had "never heard of" dipping chicken nuggets in ketchup. I call BS on both counts. Maybe you don't like it, maybe you've never done it, but you've HEARD of it, c'mon!

    Also, my grandmother could kick all of your asses in cereal mixing. She regularly mixes all kinds of cereals TOGETHER IN THE SAME BOX! That's right. Say your Cheerios are running low – just pour them into the Corn Flakes! When you eat cereal at her house, you never know what you are going to get. She also always has fruit to put on top, but one time I was visiting and she had no fruit, so she offered me…I kid you not…green jello to put on my cereal. I declined and then watched, horrified, as she ate it.

  • Prepare 1 pack Cinnamon oatmeal
    1 pre-cooked apple sausage (diced, nuked) + 1/2 apple, diced

    Stir together.. breakfast of champions!

  • Grape Nuts + Uncooked Oatmeal + fresh pomegranate seeds with milk. My husband eats this every morning when pomegranates are in season in the Fall. He has absolutely no sweet tooth and is disgustingly healthy.

  • We recently discovered that you can seal plastic cereal or chip bags with a food-saver or seal-a-meal. So buy as many different kinds of cereal as you want – seal them after a serviing and they'll stay fresh for a long, long time!

  • Trader Joe's Organic High Fiber Os and Nature's Path Heritage Heirloom Whole Grain Flakes. Crunchy and delicious. You have to put the flakes in first (they sink, anyway) and dig deep down with each spoonful to get a good mixture. I have been eating this every morning for two years and I still get excited about it every single day.

  • I don't recommend actually eating it (for much the same reason Raisin Bran and Panda Puffs doesn't work together), but once I took Life and Kix cereals and mixed them together in a gift bag which I left on my sister's front porch with the note: "Thought you could use a few Kix in your Life."

  • I've never mixed cereals but if you burned out on oatmeal did you doctor it up? I cook a packet of Maple/Brown sugar instant with a chopped up apple and minimal amount of water. Spritz generously with 'I can't Believe it's Not Butter' and top with vanilla yogurt. When short of apples I've used applesauce or even Dutch Apple yogurt. It's often more like dessert than breakfast.

  • To address the "cereal is expensive" issue: we in Atascadero have something called "Grocery Discount Center." It's where all the foods that are dented or crushed go for a second life–a little scary, but you get used to it. There you can find many, many bags (often without their identifying boxes) full of cereal, very inexpensively. My husband buys numerous different kinds & stores/hides them in various cupboards–I bet we often have 20 bags around the house. Sometimes I guess wrong as to what's inside each bag, but it surely makes our cereal FAR less expensive.

  • Shereen,

    I have always dunked my mcnuggets in sauce and I'm sure I've seen people use ketchup instead of sweet and sour or mustard or whatever.

    However, I truly can't recall having heard of mixing cereals before. Or if I had heard of it, it was a simple flake and o's kind of thing –nothing like the gourmet combos appearing here–excepting the oatmeal stuff. Everyone doctors oatmeal.

  • I don't combine cereal but when I was vegan what to eat it with was always an issue. I like Silk now, but I used to eat my cereal with orange juice. It's actually pretty good.

  • plain granola from bulk bin.

    sprinkle w/cranberries.

    with cubed granny smith apples.

    put plain yogurt on top.


  • Anything with a handful of Cracklin' Oat Bran on top. Tastes like oatmeal cookies.

  • This isn't mixing cereals, but Corn Pops drizzled with Hershey's Chocolate syrup is heavenly.

    But then again… what isn't better with Hershey's syrup drizzled on top?

  • Multigrain Cheerios+Peanut Butter Panda Puffs+tiny, *wild* frozen blueberries (Wyler's produces the best if you can find them – AVOID the giant, flavorless *fresh* blue lumps in the market now) = awesome. Sort of like a gourmet PB&J; sandwich in a bowl. With milk. And antioxidants.

  • I don't know if you can get this in the US, but I love Weetabix Grain Shop High Fibre Crisp with a handful of raisins and a handful of almond slivers added. It's oven-toasted bran strands, corn flakes, wheat flakes, crips rice puff and whole oats all mixed up in one lovely, lovely box.

  • Have you ever tried Coach's oats? they aren't like any other oat I've ever had and my sister in NCal depends on my folks (SCal) to bring them to her as NCal Costco doesn't stock it. You're in the land of Coach's!

    I put salt on my oatmeal and eat Grape Nuts with apple juice.

  • Cracklin Oat Bran! Oh manna… that stuff is just, wow.

    My daily mix is Grape Nuts and Kashi Autumn Wheat.

    But now that someone has reminded me of Cracklin Oat Bran, all bets are off.

  • My new guilty pleasure cereals are the chocolate cheerios and the fruity cheerios, but I don't eat them together. I've also always loved grapenuts in lemon yogurt- tastes like pie!

  • addressing the oatmeal burnout… do you do other grains? Since finding out that I was celiac, I actually have a way better and more diverse diet. We make hot amaranth, or quinoa, or kasha, or millet, sometimes cooked with coconut milk instead of water, always with fruit — we stock up on frozen organic blueberries in the summer, freeze peaches, etc. — and nuts — a big bag of almonds or walnuts in the freezer, plus yogourt and the milk of your choice (we're basmati-rice milk fans at the moment)
    Nuts are expensive, but grains are cheap and I think it is still cheaper than packaged cereal.
    (Also? No sugar! I know I sound lame, but I *do* like sweet things, I just like to choose when and where my sweet food gets eaten. And it seems like even the organic lovely cereals have evaporated cane syrup as the 2nd ingredient.)
    Anyway, I love my little breakfast buffet – you can do it up according to your whims (raisins? coconut flakes? hemp nuts? honey? maple syrup? bananas? etc?) and it's one formula but lots of variety.
    Ok done now. :)

  • I used to love Raisin Bran until I found 'Total Raisin Bran' it holds up so much better in the milk. As for mixing, I'm of no help there.

  • I'll apologize up front, because I haven't read all the comments, and therefore, may be redundant in my offering: TRADER JOE's I usually combine a couple of their flake offerings with one of the granolas. And then because I can't get enough crunchy…add in a small handful of their raw pecan pieces, and some banana slices – YUM.

    The other bonus is that their prices are completely reasonable. Hope you enjoy.

  • Man, all the mixers. Even with the eighteen bulk bins in the dorm cafeteria, I still maintained three distinct bowls of cereal (Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks and Raisin Bran).

    Now I cut up a banana, put vanilla yogurt over it and sprinkle on some of my kid's Cheerios for crunch.

  • Corn flakes and Rice Krispies with sugar and banana slices. Also discovered in a college dorm communal kitchen. See, if we hadn't gone to college we wouldn't be so adventurous now, would we?

  • I'm a bit late stumbling onto this topic, but I felt it was important enough to chime in. I lovelovelove Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice (It used to be Perky's Nutty Rice, but there are no nuts, so it got confusing.). It is like Rice Crispies on crack. It holds up to any and all uses without wilting, yet it is way more yielding to the dental work than Grape Nuts. You can mix it with yogurt, milk, or sometimes bittersweet Scharfenberger chocolate and coconut and it is so wonderfully crisp and toothy. I like it with granola (homemade with oats, coconut oil, coconut, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries) and raw milk. The granola soaks up the creamy milk and gets succulent and the Crispy Rice stays crunchy.

    (I have also mixed corn flakes and mini oreos to good effect, lest you think I am a purist.)

  • My kids will tell you Crispix, Kix and Corn Flakes. I think they're nuts but eh, I give them a pass. They're 2 and 4.

  • i am so enjoying the enthusiastic response and sheer volume of comments on your breakfast hell post…

  • I also stay away from cereal because of its expense. I decided to give up sugar for Lent so I am now eating pan fried polenta with yogurt and berries.

  • Hilarious. I've just started mixing my cereals now that I have to eat Bran Buds because I'm of a certain age and take iron. I've become fond of Post Cranberry Almond Crunch (if it's on sale) and Trader Joe's Maple Nut Granola, mixed with the aforementioned Buds. My husband and I can't continue to send our girls to private school AND support my cereal habit, so we'll have to choose. Thankfully, I've heard good things about the new public charter school up the street.

  • Ooooh. I MISS oatmeal and Grape Nuts and Raisin Bran. And Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies. I live in Warsaw, Poland and my breakfast cereal choices are limited to muesli (it's OK, but not anything like my first love) and Cheerios. Yeah. Cereal is just not popular here – traditionally, Poles eat sandwiches for breakfast.

    Have a bowl of Raisin Bran for me, and make the kids Rice Krispie squares on my behalf, OK?

  • Thanks for the college cereal memories. Given the cost of cereal, that tuition doesn't seem so bad.

  • I am a fan of raisin bran, on its own. But the child likes "three way mix" – cheerios, rice krispies and corn flakes. Yeah, we're purists.

  • I've never heard of combining cereals. What a great idea! The thing is, I have no idea on combinations, so am no help at all to you.

  • It's Chinese New Year! Have fried rice, char siu bow, and dan tat.

  • I swear by Honey Nut Cheerios and Cocoa Puffs or Cocoa Krispies.

    It's my mom's fault, I swear. She got me hooked on cocoa (the real, the hot kind) and toast in childhood and I'm all jacked up now.

  • (I just read through the comments: that Kashi stuff tastes like library paste to me, I don't get how they can eat it. And that chocolatey delight Special K? WHAT A FRIGGIN JOKE!! That stuff tastes like wax, save your money.)

  • I'm a separatist too so I'm promoting two (separate) cereals: They have the benfit of oatmeal without the tired texture of oatmeal – Quaker Oatmeal Squares and Kellogs Cracklin' Oat Bran. Both are pricey esp the Kellogs so I try to buy them on sale with a coupon. I lucked out last week when the Kellogs was on sale but sold out and I got a rain check for 20 boxes @ $3/box!

  • banana nut crunch and corn flakes, unsweetend. it does the job. i've been eating that for years.

  • When I was in Ireland we had rice krispie-ish cereal with bailey's irish cream instead of milk. best ever.

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream and cereal?! I must try that!

    Anyways, I find the most important thing about mixing cereals is not the flavors, but the consistency and texture. For example, Cocoa Puffs is horrible with Cocoa Pebbles, but awesome with Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch (it tastes like Reese’s Puff cereal, but better!). Count Chocula also works well with those cereals and other crunchy “puff” cereals. And as strange as it sounds, Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles is actually rather good together. Despite how late this comment is, have fun experimenting!