Monday, August 5, 2013

Fire Breathing Toaster: Cold Cereal, the Best Summer Snack

by Bill Adler

What beats ice cream in the summer?

What's better than a vanilla or chocolate cone, a cup of Haagen Daz's best? Or what's even more refreshing than a chilled can of Dr. Brown's Diet Black Cherry soda? (Hey, I'm from New York City, where Dr. Brown's sodas rock.)

The answer is cold, blended cereals. I'm not talking about a bowl of Fiber One, Shredded Wheat of some other monoculture cereal that you think will help you start out your day energized like people in television commercials.

The formula for a great summer snack is this: At least two cold cereals, blended together. Three are okay, too. Four is even more delicious. You can add Lucky Charms, Fruity Cheerios, regular Cheerios, Kashi Organic Cinnamon Harvest, Raisin Bran, All Bran (if you insist), Marshmallow Pebbles Cereal, Uncle Sam's Toasted Whole Wheatberry Flakes & Flaxseed Original Cereal (again, if you need that nod to healthy), Corn Pops, Barbara's Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins Cereal.

Cold, mixed cereal as a snack gives you an infinite variety of flavors. Forget Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crush or Baskin Robbins Oreo Nutty Salted Caramel Ice Cream. These are just flavor ideas that somebody in "marketing" dreamed up. When you blend your own cereals you can create flavor combination that will dazzle your tastebuds with the flavors that work magic on you. What's especially great about blended cereals is that the same four, five, or six boxes of cereals can be used to make a seemingly infinite variety of snacks, just by varying the proportions. If you run low on say Special K Fruit and Yogurt, by replacing that with a box of Kellogg's Apple Jacks, you'll have a whole new range of snacks.

Here's another thing that boxed cereal has going for it: Instead of having to rush your groceries home before it all becomes ice cream soup in the summer heat, cereal doesn't mind being transported when it's 95 degrees outside.

But wait, there's more. Cold milk is what makes this a nice, cold snack. But if you're in the mood for cold soy, add soy. There are no rules, no limitations, no set-in-stone ingredients that go into this summer snack. By all means, put fruit on top: banana, kiwi, sliced peaches, strawberry. (Here's a pro tip: Keep a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer and pop some on top. That's what I do.) Do you like grapes? Then cover your blended cereal with those, too. Do you feel jealous that Baskin Robbins has Oreo cookies in their ice cream, but you don't have that in your cereal. Then. Add. It. Crush some cookies and sprinkle them on top. Yum.

Next time you wander through the cereal aisle, look at cereal in a brand new way: as your summer snack.


Bill Adler is a writer. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets,", "Outwitting Squirrels,", and a mess of other books. He tweets at @billadler. Fire Breathing Toaster is published on Mondays.

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