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:
- Chocolate Brownie Spelt Vegan Pancakes (vegan)
- Turmeric Vegan Blueberry Muffins (vegan)
- Vegan Banana French Toast (vegan)
- Eggs with Chive Blossoms
- Tart Cherry Post Workout Protein Bowl
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!):
- Pecan, Grape & Onion Pizza
- Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Pecans
- Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roughly chop the dried cherries and place them in a large bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.