When You're a Serial Cereal Obsessive Like Me

It’s no secret, I’m a serial cereal consumer. Growing up in the US, our breakfast of choice on weekdays as we rushed to get ready for school was always a bowl of cereal with fresh nonfat milk. Thanks to Dad, the cereal cupboard – dedicated exclusively to the morning novelty – was always clustered with boxes of his latest finds.

Make no mistake, we didn’t nosh on the sugary rubbish that most kids melt for. Trix, Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, Pops, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks… Those were a firm no-no. Loaded with artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and food coloring, these miscreants never saw their way into our pantry.

Our household rejected all sugary kids' cereals 
(photo credit: www.huffingtonpost.com)


Instead, we breakfasted like the precocious scholars we aimed to be. Raisin Bran, Oatmeal Squares, Cheerios, Wheaties, Rice Krispies, Life, Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat were our proverbial bread and butter. Honey Bunches of Oats were what we considered a luxurious treat, thanks to the mix of flakes, granola clusters, toasted almond slivers, and cinnamon.

Of course, Dad always managed to nab the latest products from the ever-expanding cereal racks. Whether it was Multi-Grain Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches, or Apple Cinnamon Chex, we were early movers, breaking into those boxes and getting a whiff of the crisp goodness inside.

In Lebanon, a die-hard love of cereal is rare to find. People dote on their labneh “tartines” and zaatar manakish. Mere mention of the word cereal conjures up images of corn flakes in the minds of the Lebanese, and frankly, that just doesn’t cut it. Nothing could be more monotonous to me!

Most supermarkets have gotten good about importing a selection of cereal varieties, but I find the bulk reflect European labels, with a heightened emphasis on the mueslis. Thankfully, Wesley’s Wholesale carries all my North American favorites, and here’s the low-down on what’s putting a kick in my mornings.


All the latest cereal varieties can be found at Wesley's Wholesale

Bet you didn't even know these existed!


Barbara's

I recently discovered a cereal brand called Barbara’s, which incidentally started off as a small bakery in 1971 in Northern California. Today, the product line has grown to encompass cereals, granola, snacks and cheese puffs.

Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch Original Cereal consists of bite-sized pillows high in fiber and lightly sweetened with molasses. Crunchy, toasted whole grain oats and wheat, they retain their crispness drenched in milk, and they make a satisfying snack on the go. With 5g of fiber and 6g of protein per one-cup serving, they’re heart-healthy and cholesterol-free.




Morning Oat Crunch Original Cereal with fruit-flavored yogurt and fresh bananas


If you’re really looking for a fiber fix, Barbara’s High Fiber Cranberry Cereal fits the bill, with a whopping 10g of fiber and 5g of protein per one-cup serving! Packed with whole grain flakes, bran and chewy dried cranberries for tangy sweetness, this cereal blends antioxidant-rich ingredients in a low-sodium, low-sugar, low-fat setting. I like to pair it with a full glass of nonfat milk and a banana, which for me staves off hunger for over four hours!




High-Fiber Medley features a melange of whole grain flakes and bran,
together with dried cranberries




Kellogg's EXTRA

Not all cereals are created equally, and some varieties make a finer dessert than they do a meal plan. For that, there’s Kellogg’s EXTRA granola with milk chocolate "pépites" packaged in a 500-g Ziploc bag to keep contents fresh. 

Dense clusters of oat granola (my Achilles’ heel) are interspersed with chocolate nuggets, but the presence of sugar cannot be discounted. Therefore, be very stingy with your portion size, and I recommend one cup, which weighs in at 222 kcal. Other flavors include fruit muesli, caramelized hazelnut, and hazelnut dark chocolate.



These Kellogg's cereals hail from Europe (France and the Netherlands)

Just look at those clusters!



Kashi Granola Bars

Under the vast umbrella of cereals are cereal bars, which are portable and come conveniently packaged in pre-determined portion sizes (no fear of binge eating from the box!). I’ve become a zealous fan of the dark chocolate, almond and sea salt combo, and no one seems to do it better than Kashi's chewy granola bars with chia seeds



Look at that layered texture!


A unique blend of seven whole grains and sesame together with roasted nuts, sun-dried fruit, and a touch of wildflower honey, these bars pack 4g of fiber, 6g of protein, and 160mg of omega-3 all for a mere 140 kcal. The interplay of sweet and salty render this textured oat bar a winner in my book.

Get up close and personal with Kashi® Chewy Granola Bars Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt with Chia
The anatomy of a Kashi chewy granola bar with dark chocolate,
roasted almonds, sea salt, and chia seeds

You can find these and shelves upon shelves of cereal products at Wesley’s Wholesale in Jnah, Jal el Dib, and soon Hazmieh. So get chomping! 




Wesley's Wholesale
Jnah, 01-834 411
Jal el Dib, 04-714 094


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I’m happy to announce that Beirutista has joined forces with Wesley’s Wholesale as its premier Brand Ambassador. What exactly does that mean? Well, if you liked this product review, you can look forward to more every month or so. In addition, I’ll be blogging about a variety of exciting new projects Wesley’s has underway, most imminently the Hazmieh branch opening next month! Expect cool new product giveaways from time to time, and if you’re a real Wesley’s obsessive like I am, I’ll gladly hook you up with 10% off your next visit. Just shoot me a message at any of my contact coordinates listed here.

Comments

  1. I'm addicted to Barbara lately too :) Wesley's is a real mine!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know exactly what you mean about the European brands found in the regular supermarket! Don't get me started on the tasteless Lebanese cereal brands! I need to get my hands on some of the Barbara's High Fiber Medley! Looks good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's got that feel-good wholesomeness to it. Top with some banana and ice-cold milk, and you'll be sated for hours.

      For your precious little one, I recommend Barbara's Morning Oat Crunch. It makes for a wonderful snack anytime of day.

      Delete

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