By Laura Mack
January 8, 2017
A grain-free breakfast alternative to eggs, this tasty Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’ is quick, filling, and nutritious. It also happens to be nut-free, egg-free, and dairy-free. While this yummy hot ‘cereal’ may not be sexy, it’s as cozy and comforting as your favorite pajamas. Don’t be surprised if this becomes one of your new favorites, as it has mine! I do love eggs, and not just for breakfast. That said, there are times when I really crave something different, like oatmeal! Well, at least something with the warmth and comfort of oatmeal that is in line with my dietary goals. I discovered, as a teenager, that I actually became hungrier after eating oatmeal for breakfast than eating nothing at all. I undoubtedly had an exaggerated insulin response to refined carbs even back then! While oatmeal does have the health benefits of soluble fiber, this Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’ has even more fiber, plus the added benefit of keeping your insulin and blood glucose steady.
Over the past few months, I’ve been exploring how to get more soluble fiber in my diet for health. Soluble fiber’s benefits include:
- Blunting the insulin response from foods;
- Positively impacting lipid profiles;
- Feeding healthy gut bacteria (via pre-biotic fibers);
- Facilitating ‘regularity’; and
- Filling you up and increasing satiety.
My Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’ relies primarily on seeds (flax, hemp, chia) to give you a remarkable amount of soluble fiber per serving. Since the carbs in seeds are mostly indigestible fiber, the effective carbs (net of fiber) are close to zero. And if you love the nutty flavor and texture that seeds bring to the party (as I do), that’s an added bonus! In fact, the texture reminds me of steel-cut oatmeal. The ‘cereal’ also contains coconut flour (more fiber) and unflavored powdered gelatin to add body and additional health benefits. (More on coconut and gelatin)
This recipe is as simple as mixing together the dry ingredients, whisking in cool water, and letting sit briefly before microwaving for 2 to 3 minutes. This gives the gelatin an opportunity to absorb the cold water so it doesn’t clump when heating (a process called “blooming”). You can avoid the wait by substituting hydrolyzed collagen powder/peptides instead of regular gelatin, which doesn’t require blooming. Or you can leave the gelatin out altogether and it will still be delicious. Enjoy the hot ‘cereal’ plain or customize with any number of add-ins to suit your mood (and nutritional goals). One of my personal favorite combinations is a dollop of pumpkin puree, along with pumpkin pie spice blend, a drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup (we love this one), and a sprinkling of toasted pecans. It’s dreamy! Other add-ins you may enjoy include:
- low carb natural sweetener(s), such as stevia, xylitol, and erythritol (more info on sweeteners)
- extract(s), such as vanilla, almond, etc.
- citrus zest and/or other spices
- pumpkin puree
- cocoa powder (I haven’t tried this yet, but you can bet that I will!)
- Butter or coconut oil
- Heavy cream, coconut milk, or plain greek yogurt
- Nuts (so many choices!)
- Coconut shreds or flakes
- Cocoa Nibs
- Berries (fresh or frozen)
|Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’ with Pumpkin, Spices, Maple Syrup, and Pecans|
Here are few things to keep in mind while preparing your own Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’:
- One serving makes about 1 cup, but cook in a bowl or mug that has a 2-cup capacity because the mixture bubbles up furiously while it’s cooking in the microwave.
- Start with 2/3 cup (148 ml) of cool water, which will leave you the flexibility to add other liquids after cooking and adjust for consistency. I use water, but you could substitute almond milk if you prefer.
- Once you whisk the cool water into the dry ingredients, let the mixture sit for 3-5 minutes. This is because of the gelatin powder, which needs to be absorbed into the cool liquid (“bloomed”) before it is heated or it will clump. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture has thickened considerably.
- After the cereal has cooked, stir in whatever optional goodies that appeal to you, and adjust for consistency (with additional water or other liquid). If the mixture cools too much after the add-ins, just microwave it for another minute.
If you enjoy this Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’ as much as I do, you may want to make a large batch (of the dry ingredients only) and measure out a portion when you need it. It’s a real time-saver. I’m including the scaled-up recipe for 8 servings of the dry mix below the single-serving recipe. I generally use up the big batch over a few weeks, so I keep it in a tightly-sealed container in the cupboard. However, if you want to keep it for longer than a month, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Just make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in.
I affectionately refer to this low carb instant hot ‘cereal’ as my “power porridge.” I love that nickname, but it may conjure up images of Goldilocks or fairytale witches for you, so call it whatever you want. Just try it! It’s better than a pair of comfy pajamas.
If you are a fan of seeds and are looking for another way to add healthy soluble fiber (and crispy goodness) to your diet, check out my Crispy Low Carb Seed Crackers. They rock!
Low Carb Instant Hot 'Cereal'
Author: Laura Mack
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Total time: 8 mins
A grain-free breakfast alternative to eggs, this tasty low carb instant hot ‘cereal’ is quick, filling, and nutritious. It also happens to be nut-free, egg-free, and dairy-free. It can be easily scaled-up to make 8 servings (see notes), which is great for a make-ahead dry mix.
2 tbsp / 13 g ground flax seed
2 tbsp / 16 g hemp seeds/hearts
1 tbsp / 8 g chia seeds
1 tbsp / 7 g coconut flour
1 tbsp / 7 g unflavored gelatin powder, 1 packet (optional)
1 tbsp / 13 g xylitol, erythritol, or equivalent sweetener (optional)
1 pinch fine sea salt
⅔ cup / 148 ml / 5.3 ounces cool water (can substitute almond milk)
spices, extracts, citrus zest, additional low carb sweeteners, sugar-free maple syrup, butter, coconut oil, heavy cream, plain greek yogurt, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, berries, nuts, coconut
- Whisk together dry ingredients into a 2-cup bowl or mug. Stir in water and let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes (for the gelatin to 'bloom' before it is heated so it won't clump).* Cook in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes. The mixture will bubble up furiously, which is why the bowl or mug needs to have a 2 cup capacity for 1 cup of cereal, or it will bubble out of the container. *You can avoid the blooming step by substituting hydrolyzed collagen powder/peptides instead of regular gelatin, which doesn't require blooming. Or you can leave the gelatin out altogether and it will still be delicious.
- Add optional stir-ins to taste, adjust for consistency with additional water (or other liquids), if needed, and enjoy immediately.
Nutritional info* per serving: 255 cal, 15.4 g total fat (45%), 1.1 g sat fat, 13.2 g total carbs, 11.1 g fiber, 2.1 g net carbs, and 16.5 g protein. The nutritional information from the optional sweetener and other optional add-ins are not included.
*I use Living Cookbook 2015, along with package information and data from www.nutritiondata.self.com, to calculate the nutritional information for my recipes. Thus, I can make no guarantees as to the accuracy.
For 8 servings of Dry Cereal Mix (1/2 cup / 64 grams per serving):
1 cup / 104 g ground flax seed
1 cup / 128 g hemp seeds/hearts
1/2 cup / 64 g chia seeds
1/2 cup / 56 g coconut flour
1/2 cup / 56 g unflavored gelatin powder (8 packets)
1/2 cup / 104 g xylitol, erythritol, or equivalent sweetener (optional)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt