In case you can't tell, I have a healthy sweet tooth--morning, noon, and night. To satisfy my need for sugar in the morning in a moderately healthful way, I have found a few breakfast items that combine nutrition with a hint of sweetness.
Kashi Autumn Wheat
As a kid, the household "compromise" cereal was always Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats--it has fiber and whole grain to satisfy my parents and plenty of frosting to feed a kid's need for sweet. While the Kellogg's version remains a fine choice, that sugary coating contains gelatin and high fructose corn syrup, two ingredients I would rather avoid.
Fortunately, Kellogg's also owns a little company called Kashi, which provides consumers with the sweetness and health benefits of Frosted Mini Wheats, without the undesirable ingredients. Autumn Wheat provides 6 grams of fiber per cup, along with 5 grams of protein and just 1 gram of fat. There are just 7 grams of sugar in comparison with Frosted Mini Wheats' 12 grams. Autumn Wheat's ingredients list is delightfully short: whole wheat, organic evaporated cane juice, and natural flavor. Whatever that natural flavor is, it certainly delights my taste buds. The cereal's name doesn't lie--it's like autumn in a bowl! Autumn Wheat is available in most supermarkets for $3-4 per 17.5 oz box.
How to enjoy:
-served warm with heated soy/nut/cow's milk
-crumbled into a bowl of yogurt with sliced banana (*Mom's creation)
-dry, alone or in a snack mix with dried fruit and nuts
-the old fashioned way, with ice cold milk of choice
Publix Oatmeal Flakes
If you've been reading my regular blog posts lately, you might have noticed my recent enthusiasm for Publix's Oatmeal Flakes (a part of their Greenwise line). I purchased this cereal strictly for the purpose of making CCV's Banana Blender Cereal; I expected it to taste like a standard bran flake with little to no sweetness or originality. When I absent-mindedly grabbed a handful while preparing breakfast one morning, I was pleasantly surprised by its distinct sweetness. A quick glance at the ingredients list revealed that the geniuses of Publix added a few simple sweeteners: honey, sugar, and molasses. This cereal is also fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Each 3/4 cup serving contains 110 kcalories, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of sugar, as well as 3 grams of fiber. I purchased this at Publix for $2.99 for a 16 oz box.
How to enjoy:
-with your milk of choice (I recommend almond milk)
-as a topping for cottage cheese
-mixed with Greek yogurt and cinnamon
-layered into a pumpkin parfait (or any other breakfast parfait, for that matter)
-blended into Banana Blender Cereal
-sprinkled atop a fruit smoothie
TJ's Blueberry Flaxseed
While this unique flaxseed blend does not include contain much sweetness on its own, it serves as a lovely accompaniment to sweet breakfast-time treats. The nutritional benefits of both flaxseed and blueberries abound, so what could be better than a product that combines these two superfoods?
Each 2 tablespoon serving contains 90 kcalories, 6 grams of healthy fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. For those of you who are interested, this flaxseed blend does contain 2 grams of sugar (from cane sugar); in addition to flax and bluberries, it also contains corn starch, maltodextrin, natural flavors, and soy lecithin. This product is available at your local Trader Joe's. I am uncertain about pricing, as I purchased this product several months ago, and I have no Trader Joe's locations near me.
How to enjoy:
-mixed into yogurt
-sprinkled atop oatmeal or fresh fruit
-layered in a breakfast parfait
-baked into your favorite muffin recipe
Downey's Honey Butter
Alright, this product hardly fulfills the "nutritious" criterion of today's healthful sweets theme, but it sure does taste good, without doing too much damage to your diet. Its name is a bit of a misnomer in that it contains no butter at all; the ingredients list consists of three ingredients: honey, milk, and cinnamon. Honey butter has a consistency similar to that of smooth peanut butter: moist and perfectly spreadable.
One tablespoon contains 60 kcalories, 1 gram of fat, and 11 grams of sugar. Not exactly health food, but it makes a great addition to your morning meal every now and then. You can find this treat at Wegman's or buy online here. Or, you might just stumble upon it in an Amish bakery, like I did.
How to enjoy:
-spread on toast or bagels
-stirred into yogurt or cottage cheese
-mixed with oatmeal
-melted onto soy ice cream
I hope you have enjoyed yet another round of product reviews! Let me know if you try any of these products, and please feel free to recommend some of your favorite sweet treats!