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Favorite Cereals (No Mix-Ins)

I'd like to discuss some favorite cereals. Please pitch in with reviews of your own. But while I'm a devoted mixer, and would love to talk mix-ins with fellow travelers, let's keep this particular thread, if possible, on the topic of specific brand recommendations, rather than mixing strategies, which are a whole other thing.

1. Kashi Autumn Wheat
There are, I have intuitively grokked, two product managers at Kashi. One is a stern, ascetic, pucker-mouthed wraith who designs their rabbit-food-like items ("Heart to Heart", anyone?). The other is the benevolent genius who concocted Autumn Wheat, which the ignorant describe as a Shredded Wheat clone. It may look like Shredded Wheat, but it's so much more. The only cereal I know that can truly be described as beautiful.

There are two variants: Cinnamon Harvest and Island Vanilla. Both pleasant for a box or so, but too specific for a long term breakfast relationship.

2. Trader Joe's Triple Nut & Flakes Reduced Sugar Cereal
Extremely comforting hangover relief....if you can find a box where the nuts aren't going rancid, joy is possible. Thing is, we're all so accustomed to rancidity that to many of us it no longer is deemed an "off" smell/taste. It's important to learn to recognize rancidity. I've now used the word "rancid" three times, so this paragraph is shot and I'll just move on.

3. Crunchy Corn Bran
From Quaker, a big-time brand, yet virtually unfindable. Amazon has it in bulk <http://bit.ly/2wYznO>, so if you're in their "Prime" club, with fast free shipping, you're in luck. Also, Pathmark often stocks it. If you've been watching all the foodie alarmist movies, you're probably feeling anti-corn, but make an exception for this.

4. Jordan's Crunchy
British granola-esque gem, with all the goodness of palm oil. Found all over europe, but good luck finding it here.

5. Jordan's Sweet Crisp: Strawberries
Just as Britain's malt balls puts ours to shame, they do freeze-dried strawberry cereals so much better. You can find it in Canada.

6. Joe's O's
Trader Joe's knock-off is seriously better than Cheerios. Do NOT get their organic O's, though. Horrible.

7. Trader Joe's Twigs, Flakes & Clusters
I know, I know. Sounds like sawdusty rabbit food. But while I mostly use this for mix-ins, this stuff's even toothsome (though austere) by itself. And so healthy. Woops, I just mentioned mix-ins.

8. Parade Brand Corn Flakes
Kellogs Corn Flakes are pretty damn good, too, but I think this knock-off is better. Corn Flakes are among the most delicious foods human beings have ever devised, but we all have this weird corn flake amnesia: once free of the mid-bowl reverie, we forget how great they are. I discussed this on Public Radio last week, and several kindred spirits subsequently wrote in to corroborate me on this.

Bonus Tip
Nature's Path Organic Heritage Flakes Cereal
Really dull, ploddish-looking product from a company even more musty and ascetic-seeming than Kashi. But I hear they're the cat's meow. I just ordered in bulk from Amazon, getting a further discount by signing up for their Cereal Subscription service....which means they deliver every six months (and I can cancel anytime

)


Avoid: Quisp. Should be called "Neo-Quisp". They've tinkered with the recipe; less brown sugar, less vivid corn flavor. Those bastards.

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  1. I have just discovered Grape Nuts Flakes. They are reminiscant (sp?) of Force Flakes and I am loving them.

    Weetabix.
    Alpen.

    1. Also looking for "Abundance Cereal", a legendary product made solely for Costco and reportedly decommissioned...though still sometimes findable. Any notes out there?

      1. Post Grape Nuts
        *Served cold, the more you chew it the more flavor it imparts. Not the strong flavor of say a granola type cereal (sweet and nutty) or a Honey Bunches of Oats (sugary), but something very elemental and ethereal -- as if you are tasting the goodness of the earth.
        *Served hot, it beats the living daylights out of a bowl of oatmeal.

        1. Jordan's Morning Crips - Chocolate chips

          Same mixture as the strawberry one, but with semi-sweet chocolate chips instead

          1 Reply
          1. re: westaust

            Agree, I like that one as well! Pricey but worth it every now and again as a treat. The Jordan's "Bursting with Nuts", or something like that, is great too.

          2. I guess I'm an old fashioned conservative when it comes to cereal. I have two everlasting favorites.

            First is shredded wheat. I love Barbara's Bakery Shredded Wheat that comes in round, seamless biscuits. Really good! But there are times when I have to search out the old fashioned large biscuits of shredded wheat. There is a great Turkish dessert I make with it that is similar to baklava, in that it has a layer of nuts, butter,and brown sugar with a light hint of cinnamon in the middle. The traditional dessert is made with shredded phyllo dough, but the shredded wheat has a nuttier crisper finish to it. To make it, pinch the seams off the shredded wheat biscuits and separate them into two halves. Line a square or rectangular baking dish with a layer of them packed neatly together. Cover with a layer of nuts (any kind of nut except peanuts) crunched in a food processor with a liberal amount of butter, brown sugar and a touch of ground cinnamon. Spread evenly across shredded wheat. Cover with a top layer of shredded wheat halves finished side up. Drown the whole thing in ghee or drawn butter, cut into squares prior to baking, then bake at 350F for 45 minutes to an hour. I'm an over-the-top kind of cook, and I use enough butter to come nearly to the top of the shredded wheat. Remove from oven, cover with a cake cooling rack and pour off butter. (It will have a nutty flavor to it that is great on toast or for cooking or you can store it in the freezer for next time.) Pour raw honey or a flavored simple syrup over the dish and allow to cool. Serve with Turkish coffee..... It is SOOOO good! But not diet food!

            The other thing that absolutely requires old fashioned square biscuit shredded wheat is gingerbread houses at Christmas time. I use the halved shredded wheat for thatched roofs on my Seven Dwarfs gingerbread houses. Fun!

            For breakfast, a long standing favorite of favorites is oatmeal. But not just any oatmeal. It has to be the long cooking comes-in-a-round-box type of oatmeal, and it has to cook down so thick that you have to hold the pot down when you spoon it out of the pan. Line the bottom of a large soup plate with the oatmeal, top with a generous layer of Kellogg's All Bran, top that with a generous sprinkling of brown sugar, then gently float some milk or Half & Half on top. Do NOT stir! Eat with a spoon as you would a pudding. My #! favorite breakfast cereal for seventy years now. Good stuff!

            I guess I've given up on other types of cereal. The boxes read great in the store, but when I get them home they rarely deliver in the bowl. But every now and then, I do have to have a bowl of Rice Krispies with a banana in it.

            1. Oatmeal
              Cream of Wheat
              Joe's Os
              Special K

              1. Product 19 is my favorite flaky cereal; I hate Total. Total is mostly wheat (and for a wheat cereal, I prefer Weetabix), P19 is mostly corn, but with much better texture and flavor than Corn Flakes (also vitamins). It has survived with its odd name for over 4 decades.

                I will have to check out Joe's Os on Jim's recommendation; I like Cheerios (original kind).

                Grape Nuts rock but calories mount up easily; I tend to eat them most in midsummer heat waves because they are calorically dense and cold and perfect for heat waves for that reason.

                Maybe I will try Kashi Autum Wheat: my introduction to Kashi was very underwhelming.

                1. Nature's Path Organic Optimum Slim

                  This is in the high-protein/high-fiber category a la Kashi Go Lean (original like eating mulch, Crunch way too sweet). Optimum Slim has a very light sweetness and a light maltiness, and is a combo of flakes, squares a bit like a whole-grain Crispix, little puffy things, and twigs, so there's lots of textures going on. All I add is fruit.

                  I like Quaker Corn Bran, too. Barbara's Puffins, original flavor, are a good stand-in.

                    1. Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch or, as already mentioned, regular Grape Nuts.
                      A little more shamefully: Honey Nut Cheerios.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: shanagain

                        I tried the Trail Mix when last in the US of A. Loved it. We can only get regular Grape Nuts here.

                        1. re: cathodetube

                          Trail Mix Grape Nuts are tasty. Even better is the unfortunately elusive Cranberry Vanilla Grape Nuts.

                        1. re: fabian3dg

                          That's my favorite, too! I will also eat Kroger's Active Lifestyle equivalent. I'm not a big cereal fan but I actually crave the Special K Red Berries!

                        2. I barely ever eat cereal but I've started returning to my favorite cereal when I was a kid for snacking on (dry) at work ... Cracklin' Oat Bran. It tastes like hardened cinnamon-y oatmeal and has an interesting texture. It stands up to milk very well if you eat it fast (something about particles floating in milk really grosses me out, hence my lack of cereal-eating), but I enjoy it just on it's on as a crunchy snack that almost melts in your mouth once it gets wet.

                          1. Okay, guess I must be a kid at heart but number 1 in my books is Cap'n Crunch. No, it's not Kashi or any other healthy cereal but it was "Favourite", not "Favourite healthy" cereal.

                            One caveat is, it has to be with milk. Straight out of the box it's Fruit Loops.

                            DT

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Davwud

                              How do you stave off roof-of-mouth abrasion?

                              Also, I'm totally thrown by the Fruit Loops reference.

                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                First of all, I guess the roof of my mouth is tougher. LOL It just never seems to be a problem.

                                Secondly, I don't eat Fruit Loops any other way that straight. No milk, no anything. Straight from the box (or on a plate).

                                DT

                              2. re: Davwud

                                I'll heartily second Cap'n Crunch...oh, Cap'n, my Cap'n! ;)

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  Hey kattyeyes, based on our recent exchange over on the sweet corn thread, I think we are simply on different planets when it comes to sweet stuff. Even as a kid I couldn't stand Cap'n Crunch. It was probably the first food of any time I found to be too sweet.

                                  I'll take the Crunchberries, you can keep the Cap'n. 8>D

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      You're sick. let's not do breakfast.
                                      I vote for Stop & Shop 100% Natural Granola "Oats & Honey". A few berries with it is delish. BTW, sometimes I do mix it with Bran.

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        kattyeyes, I LOVE Cap'n Crunch. But then you and I seem to be in agreement on lots of things.

                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                          as a kid, i loved cap'n crunch and life cereals.
                                          quisp, not so much! ;-).

                                          oooh, remember peanut butter cap'n crunch? and smedley. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnkxoM...

                                          and i can't imagine that this ad for the cereal was not a tad inspired by some trippin' ad execs who listened a lot to sgt. peppers lonely hearts club band (or maybe the byrds, cream or hendrix?): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auu1Fr...

                                2. I recently tried Kashi Cinnamon Harvest after alternating Cheerios and Rice Krispies for nearly 30 years. I love it, I am completely hooked and sometimes eat it more than once a day!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JaclynS

                                    Please try Autumn Wheat. It's so important to be exposed to the theme and not just the variations!

                                  2. I like Grape Nuts and Alpen.

                                    1. Although I never get this cereal anymore unless I'm not feeling well and my husband wants to do something sweet, I love golden grahams cereal with ice cold 2 % milk. LOVE IT!!!!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: cookieluvntasha

                                        Question: is it that golden grahams comes close enough to a real graham cracker flavor to please you, or is it that you don't mind the ways in which it DOESN'T taste like real graham crackers?

                                        To me, that gap is fatal. Though I do still enjoy the cereal once in a while, I wish someone would do a truer version.

                                        1. re: Jim Leff

                                          I realize that the cereal doesn't take like the real cracker, which I also love but don't eat regularly. However, I like the taste of the cereal itself, I don't compare it to the cracker. I dont mind at all that the cereal doesn't taste like a real cracker. Just like I don't mind that cookie crisp doesn't taste like a real chocolate chip cookie. As I said b4 though, I rarely eat cereal, healthy or not.

                                        2. re: cookieluvntasha

                                          Me too! Golden grahams with ice cold milk is the best!

                                        3. Not to ruin a serious cereal conversation, but my favorite cereals are in the Cheap-Ass Cereal Hall of Fame over at The Sneeze.

                                          http://www.thesneeze.com/cheap-ass-ce...

                                          Besides that I remember liking this cereal about 20 years ago, don't recall the name. They were square shaped, with an open-holed center, and pretty dense. Oat something or other.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: tatamagouche

                                            I remembered! Cracklin' Oat Bran. I used to eat it out of the box, sans milk.

                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                              I still eat it out of the box, sans milk!!! See my post above haha

                                              1. re: emmaleeb

                                                How'd I miss that?! Funny. Actually it's good as a frozen yogurt mix-in too.

                                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                                  My dad used to buy this when I was little as HIS cereal. We kids were always sneaking it out of the pantry though! I'm going to have to look for it at my local grocer. A serving in a ziplock bag would be a great afternoon snack for workdays.

                                                  1. re: cookieluvntasha

                                                    YES! It was always "Dad's cereal" but then my mom started packing it in my lunches. Such a good snack. I recently bought a box of it last year and ate it as a late-night studying treat.

                                            2. re: tatamagouche

                                              Love that--thanks for the link. Its in the same spirit as those Weight Watchers cards. LOL!

                                            3. 1. Wheat Chex, just because.
                                              2. Uncle Sam, because it reminds me of how Special K's flakes used to be.
                                              3. Special K
                                              4. Corn Pops, because they still taste the same as when I was a kid.
                                              5. Sugar Smacks, see #4.
                                              6. Grape Nuts, because there isn't anything else like them.
                                              7. Oatmeal, the cook yourself kind.

                                              1. Good-for-you cereals-
                                                Oatmeal
                                                Cream of Wheat
                                                Grape nuts
                                                Malt-o-meal

                                                Cereals eaten as a snack, dry, out of the box-
                                                Chex (any)
                                                Shredded Wheat
                                                Life- plain, please
                                                Cheerios- ditto the plain only
                                                Raisin Bran

                                                Bad-for-you cereals, eaten out of the box as a snack or dessert-
                                                Cocoa Puffs
                                                Froot Loops
                                                Cap'n Crunch, plain or peanut butter (do they still make PBCC?)
                                                Cocoa Krispies
                                                Applejack
                                                Lucky Charms

                                                I guess I never bonded with multigrain granola- type cereals, I wish I did. I never mix cereal unless I'm making some Chex mix, which turns it into a snack.. I'm not a typical cereal fan, I know. BUT- if I'm going to have dessert i'd rather have one of the sweet cereals than ice cream

                                                1. I should admit up front that I always put fruit of some sort on my cereal, so I don't know if this invalidates my answers under Jim's rules. But here goes:

                                                  1. Trader Joe's Twigs, Flakes & Clusters -- Yes! We used to buy the Good Friends cereal that this is clearly a replacement for, and we used to refer to that as "Twigs & Stems", so we were highly amused by the TJ name choice. After a little initial uncertainty, we decided we liked the TJ version better because the texture is just a bit gentler than GF, so less likely to pierce the roof of the mouth.

                                                  2. Barbara's Shredded Oats -- Crunchy, sweet, oaty flavor, yet still high enough fiber to count as healthy.

                                                  3. Trader Joe's Shredded Wheat. I've never had a stale package, which I can't say for other shredded wheat brands.

                                                  Jim, too true about rancid nuts! Not to mention those raisin jawbreakers in any brand of raisin brand you care to name. I'll add my fruit myself, fresh or dried, thank you very much.

                                                  Those of you who have mentioned Alpen, we had it in the UK and loved it but haven't seen it here. Is it readily available? I have to admit I haven't looked at a cereal aisle in a standard grocery store for a LONG time, so maybe it's been there all along.

                                                  1. I've seen you can buy Quisp online, is that how you got yours, Jim? I -adored- that ceral as a kid, and if my memory is right, it was close to Captain Crunch cereal in taste, but better. I've toyed with the idea of buying some, but was worried it woulden't taste as good as my memories.

                                                    I love Count Chocula, but haven't seen it for a few months here in Las Vegas. They better bring it back for Halloween, or there will be hell to pay to General Mills..*lol*

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Honeychan

                                                      I used to love how the milk would turn into chocolate milk when eating this cereal!

                                                      1. re: Honeychan

                                                        Quisp was always accused of being a Capn Crunch clone (CCC, to aficionados). But it had more brown sugar and corn flavor. Back then. Now, it is indeed Captain Crunch cynically extruded into a different shape. Bastards.

                                                        More on Quisp (including my email exchange with him) here: http://jimleff.info/quisp/index.html

                                                        1. re: Jim Leff

                                                          Jim, your email exchanges with "Quisp" were hysterical! I got a huge kick out of reading the back and forth between you 2.

                                                          Damn them for changing Quisp, it was a great cereal to my little 8-year old mind!

                                                        2. re: Honeychan

                                                          Props right here for the Count Chocula. One box a year.

                                                        3. Quaker Crunchy Corn Bran!!
                                                          Was it always called crunchy? I just remember the Corn Bran part. Those are tiny pillows of lightly sweet happiness. Have not seen them forever.

                                                          I will eat cold cereal dry, usually frosted mini wheats. The new berry flavored box I decided to try were not pleasing.

                                                          People at work eat dry Cheerios like it's going to save them from a massive heart attack. I've decided that dry Cheerios have a funky smell and should be outlawed. Maybe it's just me...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                            I don't think it always had the "Crunchy" in the name. Growing up (I'm 28 now, so 10-20 years ago), this was one of the cereals we always had, and I just remember it as Corn Bran. Not sure where you are, but the Hannaford's in Concord, NH usually has it, and it started showing up in the Target near me in Stamford, CT. My sister has also found it near her in Salem, MA (not sure which grocery store she goes to). Maybe it's more prevalent in New England?

                                                            1. re: gillyweed

                                                              Weis markets sometimes has it.

                                                              Puffins original flavor is very similar and can be found in organic sections of markets.

                                                          2. Cascadian Farms Purely O's

                                                            1. Another vote for Wheat Chex, my no. 1; followed by Cocopuffs (obviously I’m cuccu for them); and last but not least, I’ve always loved Quaker 100% Natural, but can’t find it anymore.

                                                              1. So I ordered the "Nature's Path Organic Heritage Flakes Cereal", and thanks to a spectacular feat of stupidity I seem to have ordered six enormous and unwieldy bags of it.

                                                                Pretty good cereal - one of the best of the uber-healthy ones - but I feel crushed under the fibrous weight of it all.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                    I think we can get that in the UK. I know I have seen Nature's Path stuff in a local health food store. I asked them about Kashi cereal and they sneeringly told me that they didn't stock it anymore since it was taken over by Kellogs..........

                                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                      lol I quite like NP Heritage Flakes but I dunno that even I and the kids could consume all six bulk bags before their best before date. I have quite successfully used them to make Morning Glory Muffin Bars however... not-strictly breakfast cereal applications might help make a bit of a dent in your supply. :)

                                                                    2. Kashi Heart to Heart, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes, and Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

                                                                      I agree with you: there are two product managers at Kashi. One is an earth-mom type who develops healthy, delicious, simple cereals. The other is somebody who wishes they could still eat Froot Loops without having their friends make fun of them, so they sugar up the whole grains until they can stand to eat them.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Pia

                                                                        And Kashi Go Lean Crunch was created by the second one. I love the stuff, but couldn't believe it when I saw that one of the "cereal to go cups" of KGLC has 240 calories compared to similar serving of Honey Nut Cheerios that has 200. Multi-grain Cheerios is probably my favorite - just sweet enough that I can eat them without sugar without being too sweet. HN Cheerios are just a little too sweet for me.

                                                                        1. re: cycloneillini

                                                                          Multi-grain Cheerios is my "regular" cereal...and only 110 calories per serving. But, of course, the Cap'n is more fun.

                                                                      2. YES Pia! Finally someone mentions Quaker Oatmeal Squares, perhaps the greatest and most underrated cereal ever made. I also agree with the Grape Nuts recommendations, provided one lets them soak in milk long enough before attempting to eat them (they're also very good mixed into yogurt). Wheat Chex are good as well (love the nutty, grainy flavor) and corn chex with whole milk are my favorite midnight snack.

                                                                        Occasionally I'll have a bowl of frosted flakes for dessert; I love the unabashed lack of healthiness.

                                                                        My wife is a lifelong Cheerios (ONLY cheerios, no knock-offs) devotee.

                                                                        1. Golden Grahams. Can't stop eating them. Second place would be corn chex with plenty of added sugar. Pour in large mixing bowl. Wet with milk. Eat with soup ladle. For obvious reasons, I never buy cereal.

                                                                          1. My favorite cereal is Kellogg's Fruit and Fibre, seemingly only available in the UK and Europe. If anyone knows someone who sells it stateside, please let me know.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: cawheatley

                                                                              I know you used to be able to buy it here, but it's been awhile since I've looked for it.

                                                                              1. re: cawheatley

                                                                                Used to LOVE Fruit and Fiber...haven't seen it in the US in years!

                                                                              2. Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes, my guilty childhood pleasure. As Tony the Tiger said, "They're Greeaaat! Have eaten them on 4 continents. Sucrillos in Spanish.

                                                                                1. Does anybody remember Roman Meaj (hot) cereal? I LOVED it--haven't seen it in decades! I got on a Lucky Charms kick in the 70's when I was living in the dorms and ate it every day for two years, along with two eggs over easy. The one I love nowadays is Special K, especially the cinnamon pecan version.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: CookieWeasel

                                                                                    You can still buy Roman Meal here: http://www.romanmeal.com/Store/Shoppi...

                                                                                    ...though I'd be leery of buying products with wheat germ and ground flax seed that aren't vacuum sealed...they go rancid so easily.....

                                                                                    Their cream of rye sounds great:
                                                                                    http://www.organicdirect.com/roman-me...

                                                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                      I am just glad to know it's still out there, and now I know where to get it! I have such fond memories of that cereal, despite the fact that my stepmother periodically tried to ruin it by stirring in dates (I know, I know, no mix-ins! LOL)

                                                                                    2. re: CookieWeasel

                                                                                      Corroboration on cinnamon/pecan Special K. Just bought a box. Lovely, though a bit heavy on the cinnamon (which makes me want to use it mostly in mix-ins with blander cereals).

                                                                                      Now if I can only find Cranberry Vanilla Grape Nuts (which someone just posted about).

                                                                                      Oh, and the Newman's Own reduced sugar cereals with freeze-dried fruit are good, though there's a starchy stand-offish Connecticutness to them that I find in all the Newman's Own products.

                                                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                        "starchy stand-offish Connecticutness"

                                                                                        When I first moved here from Texas I might have agreed with you about CT people. Not anymore. I am not getting this description about Food. I like a few of the Newman's products. Starchy (as a term), I understand. Stand-offish Connecticutness, I can only surmise, is referring to blandness; an allusion to "The Land of Steady Habits" as in 'strict" and "boring" food? Clarify?

                                                                                    3. Dry...right outta the box:
                                                                                      Crispix
                                                                                      Special K
                                                                                      Honey Bunches of Oats
                                                                                      With milk:
                                                                                      Cinammon Chex
                                                                                      Golden Grahams...like these straight up too, but they don't get soggy in milk, which is a major plus!

                                                                                      1. Breakfast cereal mixed with other breakfast cereals were my breakfast of choice until I started reading the list of ingredient, the amount of salt and sugar added to each box. I loved Shredded Wheat with sliced bananas, Wheat Chex as well as others I considered "healthy".
                                                                                        No more. My favorite cereal of choice is granola that I make my self. The others are nothing but expensive and, well, not really good for you at all. To quote Michael Pollen they are "food like substances".

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: spm

                                                                                          We eat raw rolled oats (no granola sugar) w/ banana, yogurt and raw nuts.

                                                                                        2. Nature's Path Hempseed Granola. The flax and pumpkinseed version is also good, but the back of the hempseed version's box is just priceless.

                                                                                          1. For the past several months I've bought 4 cereals from Trader Joe's, often one box of each at the same time:

                                                                                            Kashi Autumn Wheat: As mentioned previously, somehow this is just way better than any old shredded wheat. The only knock against it is that it gets soggy quickly, but I've come to accept that and not be bothered by it. It still tastes good even then.

                                                                                            Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls: This is different, more akin to Life, Chex or cereals of that nature. But from what I can remember, none of those tasted this good. This is probably the most "sensible" cereal of the 4, but even for that it's possible to eat regularly without despising it.

                                                                                            Trader Joe's Toasted Oatmeal Flakes: At least I think that's what they're called. I don't have the box here at home, but these flakes stay very crunchy. A bit too sweet, perhaps, but it's a change of texture to keep things interesting.

                                                                                            Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins: Even better than original or cinnamon, which get soggy too quickly. The peanut butter ones have a slightly different texture that works better. They will still get soggy, but it's a fantastic peanut butter flavor and still marginally healthy since it comes from Barbara's, at least that's what I tell myself. ;-)

                                                                                            I remember liking those Nature's Path Heritage Flakes with the "heirloom" grains. It's good stuff. It's just that my shopping pattern is Trader Joe's and the dominant local grocery chain, and I stick to buying cereal at TJ's which is significantly cheaper. I don't recall them carrying that one.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: CrazyOne

                                                                                              I am loving Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins. I like the fluffier texture than the the cinnamon, although I still eat both!

                                                                                            2. Maypo, harder & harder to find but Shop Rite saved the day.
                                                                                              Probar health bars in soy milk-I break up the bar into squares and let the milk soften it a bit. Delicious!
                                                                                              Kashi Heart to Heart when I crave a crunch.

                                                                                              1. Crunchy Corn Bran - used to stock up everytime I went up to my parents' house in NH (Hannaford's carries it up there), but now Target has started carrying it by me!

                                                                                                Puffins - a suitable substitute if I can't find any Crunchy Corn Bran. I initially picked it up because the picture on the box looked like Crunchy Corn Bran. Very similar, just not quite the same.

                                                                                                Autumn Wheat - I can't stand frosted mini-wheats, but sometimes plain mini-wheats are just too plain. Autumn Wheat adds the perfect touch of sweetness.

                                                                                                Cracklin Oat Bran - a guilty pleasure. It's really more of a dessert than a breakfast, but I love it.

                                                                                                Honey Nut Cheerios - Another guilty pleasure.

                                                                                                In the winter, it's Bob's Red Mill 5-grain cereal, but otherwise I rotate through these 4.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: gillyweed

                                                                                                  I just bought a box of Crunchy Corn Bran, and was quite happy with it! Not too sweet, but a great taste. VERY big on the corn flavor. Cracklin' Oat Bran I love-but that's because it's sooo damn expensive, I tend to only get it once every few years!

                                                                                                  1. re: gillyweed

                                                                                                    crackin oat bran!! those were the circles topped with crunchy stuff, right? i have not looked for or seen them in a while.

                                                                                                    when i was little, we would get these huge plastic bag of cereal and once in a while Mom would get PUFFED RICE. That was the name i think. They were rice shaped, and slightly styro-foam in texture and they would almost dissolve in milk. i used to dump half the sugar bowl on them and add a small bit of milk- it was the only way to choke them down. i saw them in the store the other day- they are still around!! here's some pictures http://cache.consumerist.com/assets/r...
                                                                                                    i'm guessing from the 'salmonella' in the URL there was a problem with the pictrured brands at some point....

                                                                                                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                      Right there with you on the puffed rice. HA HA! I had to suffer through them the same way you did (plenty of sugar) as a child. You described them perfectly! I think my mom still eats them occasionally.

                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                        katty, I still eat it, that and puffed wheat. Granted it's not the tastiest of cereals, but it's simple (and cheap). :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                          It's also nutritious, which is more than I can say of my beloved Cap'n. ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                            But it is fortified with seven, count 'em, _seven_ essential vitamins and minerals! Heh-he, I used to love it when I was a kid, esp. with Crunchberries. But now, I'll stick with Coco-puffs...this "Bliss" cartoon says it all... (I hope you can read it)

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                          2. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                            We now have tried a puffed spelt cereal here which is good and low GI. You can get either plain or honey coated. It's made by Sharpham Park who also make a range of spelt granolas and mueslis. Similar to Dorset Cereals. Dorset also makes a version of spelt muesli.

                                                                                                    2. kashi brand's go lean crunch with honey, flax seed and almond. http://www.kashi.com/products/golean_...

                                                                                                      eat it like cereal, or as a snack. addictive.

                                                                                                      1. Kid Cereal aka Rainy Day or lonely Saturday night cereal- Golden Grahams!

                                                                                                        Grown up Cereal - Dorset Cereal, yum!!!! Berries and Cherries and Cranberry Almond are my favorites. It's a muesli type. Great with milk, or mixed in yogurt.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: veggiemelt

                                                                                                          I think you're on to something with Golden Grahams as lonely Saturday night cereal. If Charles Grodin ate cereal in The Lonely Guy, it'd have to have been Golden Grahams. Just perfect!

                                                                                                          For a full-out broken heart, Corn Flakes (several consecutive bowlfuls)

                                                                                                          For a hangover, Sugar Pops

                                                                                                          Hmm, maybe I ought to reserve cerealprescriptions.com....

                                                                                                          1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                            What would Steve Martin have eaten?

                                                                                                            I dunno though. For a full-on broken heart, I'd have to eat something disgusting. Cookie Crisp in strawberry Quik or something.

                                                                                                          2. re: veggiemelt

                                                                                                            I'm with you vwggiemelt - love Dorset cereal. I usually have it on plain yogurt with a dollop of honey. Deeelicious :)

                                                                                                          3. I love cereal! Any of them I like, as long as it's fresh and crunchy and served with cold milk!
                                                                                                            HoneyNut Cheerios and LIfe and my regulars, but I like Lucky Charms/Capn' Crunch/Fruit Loops every now and then!
                                                                                                            I once tried the Chocolate Lucky Charms....waaayy too sweet!
                                                                                                            Just picked up the "Bunches Only"..(the bunches from Honey Bunches of Oats) and it's really delicious to eat dry...makes me very thirsty though!?? Must have alot of sodium I guess.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                              Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs.

                                                                                                              Anyone see Multi Chex anymore? Used to be a mix of corn, rice, wheat and bran chex, I think, was my favorite.

                                                                                                              1. re: bdr

                                                                                                                It's still out there (used to be my favorite of the Chex varieties), but I don't see it frequently. Now that you have me thinking about it, I need to go out and find a box!

                                                                                                                1. re: gillyweed

                                                                                                                  I found a store brand "party mix" not long after the holidays and bought 5 boxes when it went on clearance. It was every bit as good as Chex and made me wonder who the manufacturer was, because the wheat ones REALLY tasted right.

                                                                                                            2. Tried the Organic Heritage Flakes Cereal. The best way I can describe them is dull and worthy. Probably better pepped up with some fruit. My dog likes them though.

                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                Most of Nature's Path's other cereals are a whole lot tastier than the Heritage Flakes, and many are also healthier. The granolas are all high in protein and beneficial fatty acids.

                                                                                                                1. re: danieljdwyer

                                                                                                                  Good to know. I tried them because of the posting by Jim Leff where he said he ordered a large supply of them. I have also tried the cinammon and blueberry one which was better. Unfortunately we don't have a huge selection in the UK.

                                                                                                                  1. re: danieljdwyer

                                                                                                                    Tried the Nature's Path Granola with Agave. I liked it quite a bit. It has sunflower seeds in it. SO thought it a little "oily". I didn't

                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                      Raw organic rolled oats w/ milk and topped w/ sliced banana.

                                                                                                                2. I'm lactose intolerant so cereals with milk (unless cooked down a bit) are not a regular staple. I do enjoy:

                                                                                                                  Oatmeal cooked with milk and sugar, dabbed with some sweet butter here and there

                                                                                                                  Quaker rolled oats (yes dry) directly in a bowl moistened with some chocolate milk (tell me if anyone else does this - grandma says it's a german thing and they had it back in the 30's!! Though no one I've ever spoken to has heard of it)

                                                                                                                  Cream of wheat (two recipes, some ordinary or sometimes with whipped eggwhites incorporated in) both styles served with canned peaches.

                                                                                                                  Favourite store bought cereals:
                                                                                                                  Raisin Bran
                                                                                                                  Honey nut cheerios

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                                                    BW, rolled oats as cold cereal isn't unheard of at all; that's meusli (Swiss name, I think), often made with dried fruits, etc. Basically an unbaked granola.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                      That's so true!! Whenever I requested it for breakfast everyone seemed to think it's the strangest thing in the world. Odd.

                                                                                                                    2. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                                                      I like my cereal with almond milk (unsweetened kind), give it a try! There's a whole separate thread on here discussing brands.

                                                                                                                    3. Trader Joe's Oat n Wheat Bran Swirls is a great cereal. (Yes, it's spelled like that.) This is similar to Cracklin Oat Bran, but much cheaper. In some ways, I like it better than Cracklin Oat Bran. It comes in an orange and white box. It's a bit sugary, though, by my standards. Coconut is one of the ingredients and I think that really makes it, maybe along with the palm oil. I've become addicted, so now I buy four boxes almost every time I go to TJ's, partly because I'm afraid they'll suddenly discontinue it, as with so many other TJ's items. I always get anxious when I walk into the cereal section of a TJ's that it won't be there anymore.

                                                                                                                      I also like Multigrain Cheerios but they're awfully expensive, even when on sale, considering what you're getting. Occasionally I'll also eat Life or Wheat Chex. But mainly I make my own granola, which is so much better than any store-bought version, or any of the cereals mentioned above (except for the Oat n Wheat Swirls).

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Ike

                                                                                                                        Ike, I've always avoided TJ's multigrain "o"s because their organic "o"s are so repulsive, I figured they were useless for everything but the straight cheerio's knock-off. But, thanks, I'll try it and the Oat n Wheat Bran Swirls

                                                                                                                        Your granola sounds great; would you mind typing out the recipe on our home cooking board? I'd love to see it (if you do, maybe link to the thread here, so others know to go check it out?).

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                          Jim, with regards to the Multigrain Cheerios, I was talking about actual brand-name Multigrain Cheerios found at normal supermarkets and not Trader Joe's -- if a TJ's Multigrain "O"s exists, then I haven't noticed it. I'd probably love it if it did exist. I'm annoyed that I haven't found a generic knock-off Multigrain Cheerios *anywhere* because the name brand version is so pricey, compared even just to regular name-brand Cheerios.

                                                                                                                          Oat n Wheat Bran Swirls is the only cereal I buy at TJ's lately, since I started making my own granola. (I'll have to try the TJ's cereals you mentioned in the OP, along with Autumn Wheat -- do you know if TJ's carries Autumn Wheat?)

                                                                                                                          I'm not sure but I *think* I found the recipe for my granola here on the home cooking board, in an older thread. I'll go digging for it later.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Ike

                                                                                                                            Yeah, TJ's has Autumn Wheat. Most supermarkets, too, though more expensive.

                                                                                                                            Thanks for clarifying on the multigrain cheerios.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                              Thanks Jim.

                                                                                                                              Here's the granola recipe:
                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4378...

                                                                                                                              By the way, re: Trader Joe's Organic "O"s -- were you talking about the Organic HIGH FIBER "O"s? Because I tried those once and they're absolutely vile! As hard as gravel!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Ike

                                                                                                                                Thanks, Ike, I'll try the granola.

                                                                                                                                I only tried TJ's "Joe's Os Organic", and never strayed again from their plain old "Joe's Os". Not surprised the high fiber ones are vile, though.

                                                                                                                                BTW, found multigrain cheerios today in Stop and Shop for just $3.99. Will munch in the morning.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Ike

                                                                                                                          Hey there, Ike. Multigrain Cheerios is my "good girl" cereal of choice as well. I just checked the box I have here--it was $4.79. Sometimes I pick 'em up at my local discount store, but I'm pretty sure I've seen coupons in the Sunday paper. I do think you usually have to buy more than one box, but if you eat it regularly, it shouldn't be a problem. ;)

                                                                                                                        3. My current favorites have got to be somewhere among all the responses. However...
                                                                                                                          On the chance that the cereal industry reads threads like this, my favorite all time cereal was a General Mills cereal called "Jets," or at times, "Sugar Jets." I never understood why they took such a wonderful creation off the market. Lo, these many years later, I still miss (and can still taste) my favorite cereal. Bring it Back!!!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                                                            I remember Jets or Sugar Jets. I loved them too.

                                                                                                                          2. mmm..just had some Sugar Crisp and this might be my favorite 'bad' cereal! Soo sweet but so good!
                                                                                                                            Also, I've used the Vanilla Rice Krispies to make Rice Crispy squares and it was really good.

                                                                                                                            1. I couldn't miss a huge endcap of Autumn Wheat last night as I was in the checkout line, so remembering this thread, I picked up a box. It's OK enough, but I don't understand the outpouring of love for it here. "The only cereal I know that can truly be described as beautiful." How so? And "which the ignorant describe as a Shredded Wheat clone"--well, OK--it's like Frosted Mini Wheats with less frosting and less crunch, if memory serves (it's been some time since I've eaten Frosted Mini Wheats). I guess I'll have to chalk it up to my ignoance. From a calorie and taste perspective, I'll stick with Multigrain Cheerios for 110 instead of Autumn Wheat for 180.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                Different strokes, that's all. I thought multigrain cheerios were icky, myself. No biggie, but sorry you didn't dig the Autumn Wheat!

                                                                                                                              2. Shredded Wheat (frosted or plain)
                                                                                                                                Kashi Heart to Heart
                                                                                                                                Bear Naked Cranberry Raisin cereal

                                                                                                                                1. http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2009...
                                                                                                                                  Sierra Club's current e-newsletter shares their top 5 eco-cereals based on blind taste test. I'm gluten-free so haven't and won't try most of these but thought others might find it interesting.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: lgss

                                                                                                                                    The winner, Early Bird Granola: Aloha Recipe, is so damned expensive! Some of these are $.44 -.67/oz.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                      $8 per little bag plus $7 shipping.

                                                                                                                                      "Early Bird: The Granola of Hedge Fund Managers"

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                        Or, "The Early Bird makers get the worm!"

                                                                                                                                  2. Post Select Great Grains - Raisins, Dates & Pecans
                                                                                                                                    Post Trail Mix Crunch

                                                                                                                                    1. Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax!!! Very very good -- never gets soggy, nice nuttiness and sweetness, almonds cut thick enough to stay as cut and not crumble.
                                                                                                                                      Seems pretty good nutritionally too -- if only it was not as expensive.
                                                                                                                                      TraderJoe's has a similar cereal with flax and almonds I believe but a little less hard-crunchy.

                                                                                                                                      1. Because cereal has become my latest obsession, I felt the need to chime in on this thread...

                                                                                                                                        #1 is no more but it was Newman's Own Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cereal. Costco put this under their Kirkland brand for a time as Cranberry Macadamia Nut Crunch. It's a huge mystery as to why they stopped making it but this cereal was perfected deliciousness.
                                                                                                                                        Honey Bunches of Oats; w/ Almonds and Raisin Medley, especially mixing the two!
                                                                                                                                        Frosted Mini Wheats Little Bites Cinnamon Roll - very cinnamonny and very tasty
                                                                                                                                        banana nut cheerios and multi-grain peanut butter cheerios, again mixing those two together
                                                                                                                                        cascadian farms Clifford Crunch - like eating Lucky Charms without the crap
                                                                                                                                        Fruit Loops
                                                                                                                                        Fruity Pebbles
                                                                                                                                        Honey Nut / Dulce De Leche Cheerios (I'm anxious to try Joe's Os)
                                                                                                                                        Quaker Oatmeal Squares
                                                                                                                                        Smart Start
                                                                                                                                        Cinnamon Toast Crunch
                                                                                                                                        Grape Nut Flakes
                                                                                                                                        Barbara's Peanut Butter Chocolate Puffins
                                                                                                                                        Life / Chex - these two are so similar
                                                                                                                                        Raisin Bran

                                                                                                                                        And ANY cereal, hot or cold, from Bob's Red Mill

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: circustance

                                                                                                                                          LOVE those Puffins--very tasty. "I am kind of cute, thank you--but I'm also a puffin--not a penguin! We don't even LIVE in the same hemisphere!"
                                                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb_Yex...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: circustance

                                                                                                                                            I don't like banana flavored stuff, but the peanut butter Cheerios go very, very well with Chocolate Cheerios... :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: circustance

                                                                                                                                              Not to burst your bubble, but this is important, health-wise.

                                                                                                                                              The overwhelming majority of boxes of nut-containing cereals are rancid. And that's incredibly unhealthy. Thing is, people are so used to the odor of rancid nuts that they don't interpret it as a negative thing. There's no aversion.

                                                                                                                                              I like nut cereals, too. But I just don't ever buy them.

                                                                                                                                              that goes double for flax seed cereals. Flax goes rancid way faster than nuts, which is why flax seeds are usually sold vacuum-packed in hi-tech packaging. Eating it in cereal's just, uh, nuts!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                                Are you saying that a majority of unopened cereal boxes with nuts are unsafe to eat? That thought is pretty scary. Is there a way to tell if the nuts are bad. Cereal doesn't really last that long in my house anyway. And assuming that I've been keeping a sealed bag of flaxseed meal (I'm talking about the Bob's Red Mill variety) in the fridge for the past 6 months or so, is it bad to eat? What's the maximum amount of time one should keep refrigerated flaxseed meal?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: circustance

                                                                                                                                                  "Is there a way to tell if the nuts are bad"

                                                                                                                                                  Yes. Smell for rancidity. Don't smell for "nastiness" or "off-ness", because most of us are so accustomed to rancidity that it doesn't register as a negative. You actually know the smell of rancidity; it's not a new thing. Just learn to react properly to it (i.e. by throwing them out).

                                                                                                                                                  "Cereal doesn't really last that long in my house anyway"

                                                                                                                                                  Er, my point was that the nuts are generally rancid before you buy the boxes. Nuts, unlike, say, Fruit Loops, are a natural product, and just don't stay fresh forever. And when they turn rancid, they're very, VERY unhealthy. When you buy mass-market nuts, they're usually vacuum packed. Cereal, obviously, is not.

                                                                                                                                                  Buy flaxseed in small portions, in vacuum-packed packaging (Bob's is not), from stores with good turnaround, and finish it quickly. There's no way anyone can give you a time, because it depends, in part, on how fresh the stuff was when you got it.

                                                                                                                                            2. Plain Shredded Wheat - or the Shop-Rite brand
                                                                                                                                              Peanut Butter Cheerios
                                                                                                                                              TJ's maple and brown sugar multigrain flakes/clusters, I forget the exact name
                                                                                                                                              Costco/Kirkland cinnamon pecan crunch (flakes/clusters)
                                                                                                                                              Cinnamon Toast Crunch - the full-sugar kind, no reduced sugar for my snacks!

                                                                                                                                              I tend to mix cereals as most of these are too sweet if I eat an entire bowl. Special K protein plus is good for mixing in with flake-based cereals.

                                                                                                                                              1. Life - regular variety
                                                                                                                                                Frosted Mini Wheats - regular variety
                                                                                                                                                Golden Grahams
                                                                                                                                                Heartland Granola - LOVE that stuff!!
                                                                                                                                                Kellogs Raisin Bran

                                                                                                                                                1. So many favorite cereals...it really should be it's own food group:

                                                                                                                                                  Rice Krispies - always with banana
                                                                                                                                                  Crispix - Just love it, especially with peaches
                                                                                                                                                  Cinnamon Toast Crunch - dessert like cereal, reminds me of the dorms
                                                                                                                                                  Kashi Autumn Wheat - Yes, this stuff is awesome
                                                                                                                                                  Honey Nut Cherrios - with banana, always satisfying
                                                                                                                                                  Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds - holy yum
                                                                                                                                                  Special K Strawberry - cannot stop at just one bowl, ever

                                                                                                                                                  1. I love the Nature's Path Flax Plus cereals, I've tried the Pumpkin Raisin Crunch and Red Berry Crunch varieties. Its a good combination of flakes, granola, and fruit. There's only 5 servings per box but at ~200 calories per serving it makes me eat less which is good!
                                                                                                                                                    My other favorite brand is Three Sisters, the Graham Crackerz flavor is my favorite, Honey Oaties and Cinnamon Sweets are good as well. The graham one is quite sweet but still relatively healthy and tastes delicious over plain Greek yogurt. I've eaten half a bag in one sitting!

                                                                                                                                                    1. love all kashi's
                                                                                                                                                      haven't met one I didn't like
                                                                                                                                                      grape nuts
                                                                                                                                                      basic 4
                                                                                                                                                      Quaker natural granola
                                                                                                                                                      large size original shredded wheat
                                                                                                                                                      special k blueberry

                                                                                                                                                      any&all of the above with skim milk

                                                                                                                                                      1. I'll eat and enjoy most (many) cereals with or without milk. I usually enjoy any percent of dairy milk -- tastewise, I like 2% but I take skim when I can't spare the WW points.

                                                                                                                                                        I recently discovered Barbara's peanut butter puffins and those are dangerous to keep around. I try to control myself by pouring a serving into a bowl and putting the box away in the pantry. It works 60% of the time. Fruity pebbles, cocoa pebbles, and honey bunches of oats with almonds are long-time favorites as well.