Cereal is one of my favorite food groups. (Yes, in my life, it’s an entire group.) It’s breakfast, it’s an afternoon snack, it’s a just-before-bed indulgence, and occasionally it’s even dinner. That’s not the part I’m confessing about, because my cereal eating habits are right and good.
But here’s my dark secret: I am an unrepentant cereal mixer.
Yes, it’s true. Rarely do I have a bowl of just one type of cereal. I generally mix two, and in my crazier moments, even three different kinds before adding the milk and embarking on my latest my culinary adventure.
Don’t think for a minute that you can just throw any combination of cereals together and achieve perfection. There is a science to mixing cereal — a science verging on an art.
First, let us categorize our cereals into three main groups*:
1. Heavy. This group contains your high-fiber and high-volume cereals like those in the Mini-wheat and Raisin Bran families.
2. Sugar. This group contains your sweet cereals — basically anything with “Sugar” or “Frosted” in the name, plus anything with chocolate or marshmallows. Honey-nut Cheerios actually belong in this group, too. A Sugar cereal can also be in the Heavy group, but is never a Neutral.
3. Neutral. Cereals that are mostly flavorless and/or harmless live in this group. Your regular Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Chex variant, etc. are typical choices. Neutrals may also be Heavy (like unflavored Mini-wheats), but are never in the Sugar group.
When mixing cereals, the key is to never mix cereals of the same group. No Sugar + Sugar, Heavy + Heavy, or Neutral + Neutral. Got it? GOOD. You may, however, experiment freely as follows:
Heavy + Neutral
Sugar + Neutral
Heavy/Sugar + Neutral
Heavy (Not Sugar) + Sugar
There. I have not only confessed my sordid eating habits, but have given you the power to walk the garden path on your own. I have not given you cereal, I have taught you to fish.
Please, go out into the world and concoct greatness. And, should the fates smile on you and you find cereal enlightenment? Come back here and tell us what it is.
* In the spirit of scientific accuracy, it should be noted that I don’t eat traditional cereals like Cocoa Puffs, Fruit Loops, or anything with high-fructose corn syrup. All the brands tested in this study were Trader Joe’s brand, and not Kellogg’s, General Mills, Quaker, or any other well-known name brand. YTMMV: Your taste-bud mileage may vary.