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Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal

Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal | A Couple Cooks

Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal | A Couple Cooks

Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal | A Couple Cooks

Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal | A Couple Cooks

Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal | A Couple Cooks

This post was created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own. 

As a child, my family called me “cereal monster” for the massive quantities of breakfast cereal I ate. My daily routine was a few bowls for breakfast, a bowl for an after-school snack, and what about a bedtime snack? Cereal. Back in the 90’s, most breakfast cereal was a thin disguise for a massive dose of sugar. And it wasn’t that I ate the colorful “candy in a box” type of cereals. Most of the breakfast cereal I ate was labeled as healthy, but packed full of corn syrup and other sweeteners. Moving on to college, I developed an addiction to a certain cinnamon-flavored breakfast cereal as a study snack. Eating it straight out of the box gave me a cinnamon-sugar film under my fingernails, a sure sign of a late night cramming session. This was around the time Alex and I met, and to this day he teases me about my cereal obsession.

So it’s with this history of cereal mania that I bring you a homemade breakfast cereal recipe. Growing up, I had no interest in thinking about my food and what went into it, and least of all cooking. Since then, Alex and I have come to appreciate the joy and pleasure of making simple, natural foods in our kitchen. Not only is this one delicious, it’s actually pretty simple to make. In contrast to the cereal of my youth, this homemade breakfast cereal is:

  • Non-processed, with no additives or chemicals
  • Naturally gluten-free, made of oats and nuts
  • Naturally sweet, with only a touch of maple syrup
  • Oil-free, in contrast to granola, which is doused with loads of sugar and oil
  • Nutrient-dense; pecans contain a combination of protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fats and fiber that can help you stay fuller longer
  • Vegan, if you use a non-dairy milk when serving
  • Simple to whip up: it takes about 10 minutes of active time and 30 minutes total
  • Delicious in a way that I never dreamed cereal could be; natural and pure, with a sweetness from tart dried cherries and bit of cinnamon and nutmeg

We’ve chosen to use pecans in this homemade breakfast cereal for their naturally sweet taste and buttery texture. Also, we like that most of the world’s supply of pecans come from the US; they’re grown on farms in over a dozen Southern states. One last pecan tip: we recently learned that for best quality, shelled pecans should be stored in the refrigerator! You also can keep them refrigerated for up to 9 months, or up to 2 years in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer. And, pecans don’t need to be thawed before using them in recipes (unless you’re grinding them to make pecan meal). If you’re wondering, pecans in the shell can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year. This was actually great news for us, since our refrigerator has a bit more room than our stuffed pantry! For more information and recipes with pecans, head over to the American Pecan Council website.

If you’re savvy with breakfast recipes, you may have guessed that this homemade breakfast cereal is really a version of muesli. In contrast to granola, which is covered in sugar and oil and baked, muesli uses raw oats and nuts. (Our version here toasts them very lightly for a little texture, but without oil, which keeps them raw.) We hope it will be a welcome new treat for the “cereal monsters” in your life!

>>If you like this cereal, stay tuned for our Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook with Da Capo Press, which features another version of the cereal! It’s available here for preorder.

Looking for breakfast recipes?

This cinnamon pecan homemade breakfast cereal recipe is one of our favorite breakfast recipes to date! Here are a few more breakfast recipes. We’ve marked those that happen to be vegan:

Looking for pecan recipes?

The pecan is one of our favorite nuts and we love working it into recipes. Here are a few of our favorite pecan recipes (and a few happen to be breakfast recipes too!):

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this cinnamon pecan breakfast cereal, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @american_pecan.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, naturally sweet, refined sugar free.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Maple Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
by:
Serves: 8 cups
What You Need
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes (not shredded coconut)
  • 1½ cups pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus additional to serve
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Non-dairy milk or 2% milk, to serve
What To Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Roughly chop the dried cherries and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Spread the oats evenly on a baking sheet, then place the coconut in another even layer over the top. On another baking sheet, place the pecan pieces. Bake both trays for about 10 minutes, watching closely, until the coconut is evenly golden brown. Remove the trays from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and vanilla, then heat it in the microwave until warmed through, about 20 seconds (alternatively, heat on the stovetop). In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats, coconut, and pecans with the cherries, spices, and maple mixture, then stir to thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture back onto the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer to allow to fully dry, about 10 minutes. Stir to break up any clumps, then transfer to a sealable container.
  5. To serve, pour over milk and drizzle with a touch of maple syrup. For one serving, we used ¾ cup cereal, ½ cup milk, and 2 teaspoons maple syrup. Note that adding the maple syrup when serving adds the final bit of sweetness; it can be customized according to your palate as desired.

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Maggie
    July 30, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Yum! We were on vacation last week in Michigan… I’m making this to ease us back into the daily grind for tomorrow morning.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      July 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      Ooo perfect! Let me know what you think of it! Serving with a little drizzle of maple is perfect in my book.

  • Reply
    Claire
    August 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Looks so good! Once I run out of my current granola supply, I’ll give this a go. And yes, I now always store raw almonds and pecans in the fridge or freezer because I found they were going stale quickly in my warm apartment. Same goes for my almond flour!
    -Claire

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 3, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Yes, let us know what you think! And you absolutely have the right idea on nut storage. Too bad we are so late to the game on this!

  • Reply
    Anwen
    August 5, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I made this and was not disappointed! I am also a huge cereal fan, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve lost appreciation for the super sweet ones. It’s hard to find healthier ones, so I like the idea of making my own! I love that this is close to granola (another thing I adore) but without the oil and excess sugar!

    I really love the flavor combo, too. It’s simple, but very effective! The vanilla carries through very well. I didn’t have any pecans on hand, so I used walnuts instead, but it worked really well. I started munching on it as soon as it cooled down enough from the oven!

    Now I need to restock on ingredients to make it again once it’s all gone. ;)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 3, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      This is fantastic! Thank you so much for making it, and I’m so glad you found, like we did, that it is so satisfying despite much less sugar and oil versus granola. Walnuts sounds perfect — and you’ll have to try with pecans next!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    August 14, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I love this recipe for many reasons. First, no oil, very little sugar and its amazingly easy to make and tastes incredible. My new go-to breakfast cereal recipe.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 3, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Ahhh perfect! Ours too, and it really disappears SO FAST in our house. Hope that yours sticks around a little longer!

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 14, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Can’t wait to make this recipe! Where do you get your dried tart cherries from? I can only find ones that have been prepared with oil and sugar (same for cranberries!).

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Oh yes, I’ve seen those! We can find them at our grocery; you can look for cherries labeled “tart,” “sour” or “Montmorency” on labels. If you aren’t able to find them, you can ask your store manager to source them as well — sometimes consumer demand helps to get them into a store. Also, you could browse a list of processors at CherryProcessor.com — many of these processors do have online ordering options too. Let me know if you can find some!

      • Reply
        Liz
        August 14, 2017 at 5:08 pm

        Thanks so much, Sonja!

  • Reply
    Erin
    August 15, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    So easy and so good! I should have kept a better eye on mine while toasting, I left it in about a minute too long, but it still tastes delicious and will be a staple recipe for me from now on!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 3, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Haha oops! That’s good to know, it can be a little touchy depending on the oven. Thanks for making the recipe!

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    September 17, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Having a bowl right now! It’s a great alternative to my daily bowl of oatmeal

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