Granola cereal can refer to granola, made with things like rolled oats, other grains, nuts and fruits and eaten for breakfast with a splash of milk. It can also reference breakfast cereals that are called granola, but can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, granola mixes can top yogurt or ice cream, and may be eaten by hand as a snack. There are companies that use loose granola cereal in other products; granola bars are compressed forms of the cereal, which may contain additional ingredients like chocolate chips.
In stores, you’ll find several varieties of granola cereal that are mass marketed. The Quaker® brand make one of the best known of these. Quaker 100% Natural® cereals are tasty, but they are fairly high in fat and sugars. Quaker has begun making a low fat version of their cereal that may be a better choice for the diet conscious.
You’ll find lots of granola cereal varieties in health food and natural food stores. Read labels thoroughly. Most granola cereal depends on some oil to help clump oats and other ingredients together and to make the cereal crunchy. Some versions have large amounts of honey or other sugars that will increase calories. However, in health food stores, you may be able to find lower calorie and lower fat versions.
Another alternative is to make your own granola. This can be an excellent means of controlling fat and calorie content. It also means you can throw in whatever extra ingredients you like. If you love cereal with lots of dried fruit or nuts, you can have it by adding these ingredients in abundance. You can additionally increase fiber content by adding other grains to the mix.
You’ll find lots of different recipes online and in cookbooks for fabulous versions of granola cereal. Like those cereals available commercially, healthfulness of homemade granola can be variable. Use of more oil and most nuts will increase calories, and those cereals that add chocolate are probably not the most diet friendly cereals in the world.
An alternate definition of granola cereal is hot cereal made with granola. Using milk and a microwave, you can take premade (home made or commercial granola) and heat it up. The result is a soft cereal, somewhat similar to oatmeal that provides a charming alternative to cold cereal for breakfast. Hot granola cereal can also be an excellent afternoon snack, particularly comforting when the weather is chilly.