An Ode to Cereal: Shredded Wheat
I’m not sure when I discovered shredded wheat, but I can be sure it was by accident. Growing up, cereal meant the sugary kind that left the milk delightfully sweet. Hounded by my parents to cut back on sugar, I must have tried their shredded wheat one day and decided it was not completely disgusting. But now? I stockpile the stuff.
Shredded wheat is the blank palette of breakfast foods: it is essential to load up the bowl with anything else to make it edible. First, start with some sort of non-dairy milk. Shredded wheat, being inherently free of the sugars many other breakfast foods depend on for taste, is my sole excuse to buy sweetened soy, almond, and coconut milk. And since a big bowl of shredded wheat, even with deliciously sweetened milk, is downright boring, adding fruit and nuts make the dish. I add chopped walnuts, big fat golden raisins, flax seeds, and a few slices of ripe banana. Blueberries and raspberries delight when their season comes around, as do sliced strawberries.
Some swear by heating the milk, or even the whole cereal dish. Although I’ve tried it, I limit my hot cereal to oatmeal. There’s just something about how the crunchy shredded wheat highlights the other tastes in the bowl, making breakfast taste like a series of real ingredients, that does it for me.
What’s your favorite way to eat shredded wheat?
(Image: Real Simple)