Don’t be tricked by “natural” cereals. If you really want healthy choices, pick cereals from companies committed to organic ingredients.
Healthy Cereals That Are Actually Healthy
Walking down the cereal aisle, you’re bombarded by all sorts of packaging claims touting amazing mineral content, vitamin enhancements, and superfood ingredient superstars. But the label most notorious for confusing customers is the claim of being “All Natural.”
To bring attention to this marketing gimmick, the Cornucopia Institute, an organization dedicated to responsible farming and marketing, analyzed “natural” cereals and created an Organic Cereal Scorecard to help health-conscious consumers find what they really wantâ€”cereals free of harmful artificial dyes and flavors, refined sugars, pesticide residues, and genetically engineered ingredients (things that are routinely found in “all natural” cereals, but not in certified-organic products).
The following list of 10 organic cereals represents companies that Cornucopia Institute recognizes as trustworthy and committed to organics, not ones out trying to trick shoppers.
Lydia’s Organics Grainless Apple Cereal
Nutritional perks: The cereal aisle can be hard to navigate if you’re eating a gluten-free diet. Luckily, Lydia’s Organics offers a line of grainless cereals, including this best-selling raw apple cereal packed with nothing more than organic apples, sprouted sunflower seeds*, sprouted almonds, raisins, walnuts, figs, and cinnamon. (Oh yeah, and a little love!)
Try it: Lydia’s suggests topping it off with some organic almond milk for a well-rounded breakfast option that even vegans can enjoy!
Ambrosial Granola Venetian Vineyard
Nutritional perks: Selected as Prevention magazine’s Healthiest Cereal of 2011, this well-rounded breakfast option packs 10 percent of the iron you need in a day, 6 grams of protein, and a healthy dose of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Try it: With organic milk or in organic yogurt.
Farm to Table Ancient Grain Oatmeal
Nutritional perks: This isn’t your average oatmeal. Farm to Table’s ancient grain oatmeal blend incorporates grains like spelt and kamut, an ancient cereal grain related to durum wheat. Kamut packs up to 40 percent more protein than conventional wheat, helping you feel fuller longer.
Try it: Cook with milk on the stove top for a creamier texture, and then top with a bit of cinnamon and just a splash of organic half-and-half for a quick, healthy start to your day!
Grandy Oats Swiss Style Muesli
Nutritional perks: Adopt this healthy Swiss tradition for a fulfilling, nutrient-packed morning meal, full of oats, heart-healthy almonds and hazelnuts, vitamin Câ€“rich apple pieces, and dates and raisins rich in trace minerals, along with sunflower seeds that reduce inflammation. Not only do you get all that nutrition, but muesli also has a low glycemic index, so you won’t get a mid-morning sugar crash.
Try it: Mix with organic Greek yogurt or top with organic, low-fat milk for a hearty breakfast that will keep your energy up all morning long. To be truly Swiss, eat it the traditional way, soaked in a little milk and yogurt overnight in the fridge.
Laughing Giraffe Cherry Ginger Granola
Nutritional perks: Known as “America’s Superfruit,” cherries, the superstar in this breakfast mix, are credited with everything from alleviating arthritis pain to keeping your heart in tip-top shape. The organic coconut oil provides a dose of lauric acid, a nutrient our bodies need to fortify our immune systems.
Try it: Enjoy as a cereal with your favorite organic milk, or just eat it right out of the bag when you’re running late for work in the morning!
Nature’s Path Organic Optimum Blueberry Cinnamon
Nutritional perks: Forget nutritional duds like conventional corn flakes. These organic flakes are made from protein-rich kamut wheat and bolstered by antioxidant-rich blueberries freeze-dried at the peak of perfection. Blueberries have been shown to improve memory.
Try it: With organic milk or, if you’re a vegan, try topping off a bowl with organic coconut milk.
Great River Organic Milling Highland Medley
Nutritional perks: The perfect healthy, hot cereal for cold winter mornings, this simple medley includes immune systemâ€“boosting, cholesterol-lowering steel-cut oats, hulled barley, and brown rice for a textured, hearty morning meal.
Try it: Great for cold-weather meals, this blend is also popular among campers for its no-nonsense, easy prep. Just boil water and add, and then customize with your favorite fruits and nuts.
Go Raw Live Granola
Nutritional perks: Packed with live, powerful phytochemicals that can ward off disease, the star of this breakfast blend, sprouted organic buckwheat, is known for it’s heart-healthy, energizing properties. Just what you need first thing in the morning! The organic raisins and dates provide a subtle sweetness without sending you into sugar shock, the way many conventional cereals do.
Try it: On hectic mornings, eat it right out of the bag! When you have time for a sit-down breakfast, the maker suggests enjoying the raw breakfast treat with organic almond milk.
Kaia Cocoa Bliss
Nutritional perks: You can get your cocoa fix without ingesting all of the artificial food dyes, refined sugars, and other harmful ingredients common to conventional items in the cereal aisle. This buckwheat-based breakfast also features immune-boosting coconut flakes, along with nerve-calming, magnesium-rich pumpkin seeds.
Try it: Scoop some into yogurt, or simply eat it straight out of the bag for a healthy morning meal or snack. Or top the mix with your favorite organic milk.
Two Moms in the Raw Blueberry Granola
Nutritional perks: This gluten-free bestseller is anything but bland in the taste and nutrition departments. The blend contains heart-healthy oats and buckwheat, but also millet, a grain common in bird food, but one that is loaded with trace minerals that helps build and repair human tissue, too! Apples, blueberries, almonds, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds are the stars of the mix, providing a balanced mix of protein and complex carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar and cause a mid-morning crash.
Try it: Eat it right out of the bag or mix with organic yogurt for a quick, nutrient-packed breakfast.