I’m so excited to share this new AIP paleo raisin bran recipe with you guys! Ever since I adopted a real food diet years ago, I’ve tried to avoid processed foods. For the past several months my boyfriend and I have become a little more strict with our paleo elimination diets to help us with certain health issues, so in short…that means no processed boxed foods EVER….even that wonderful “heart healthy” cereal (hahaha, “heart healthy”…I hope you’re laughing too).
But, we grew up with cereal and we daydream about it from time to time, so I thought I’d make a healthier AIP Paleo version of a popular breakfast cereal to ease our troubles. It’s pretty tasty too! I make a batch of this to bring with me for snacks when I travel.
Just in case you don’t ALREADY KNOW, here’s why processed breakfast cereals are NOT healthy…
Why processed breakfast cereal is NOT healthy:
- It’s loaded with sugar, which is the last thing you want to have for breakfast. It spikes blood sugar and sets you on a day of blood sugar peaks and crashes leading to sugar cravings, increased hunger, metabolic issues, etc. In fact, raisin bran, which is supposed to be the boring healthy cereal actually has 20 grams of sugar per serving!! Add some 2% milk to that and you’ve got yourself a total of 32 grams of sugar for breakfast. Want to know how much sugar is in a snickers bar??? 27 grams. So now you’re eating more sugar than a snickers bar for breakfast…not good. Learn more about avoiding sugar here and here.
- It contains wheat, which mainstream recommendations love to say is healthy, but it is actually processed by your body like sugar is…even if it is “whole grain”. Wheat has the ability to spike blood sugar just like processed sugar does. The glycemic index (GI) of foods is a good way to tell how it affects blood sugar. To give you an idea, a snicker’s bar has a GI of 68, which is high, meaning that it spikes blood sugar. The GI of whole wheat is about 72! Eating a diet rich in high GI foods can contribute to chronic disease like diabetes (1). Wheat is also hard to digest, and along with other processed carbohydrates, it’s associated with increased inflammation, gastrointestinal issues, obesity, leaky gut and chronic disease (2, 3, 4). This book is a great resource for learning more about wheat and why it’s not so healthy.
- It contains GMOs, which have been shown to cause health issues in lab rats…but monsanto doesn’t want you to know that. Learn more about GMOs here.
- It contains synthetic added vitamins, because that wonderful “whole grain wheat” has been so processed that it doesn’t contain many natural vitamins or minerals anymore, so they have to add it back in in synthetic form. It doesn’t do you much good because your body has a hard time absorbing synthetic vitamins if they aren’t taken along with a food that contains a natural form of that vitamin. That’s why so many multivitamins contain way more than the 100% daily value of each vitamin, because your body can’t absorb it so most of it ends up coming out in your urine. Furthermore, many of the vitamins added are fat-soluble (like vitamin A & D), meaning that they need fat to be absorbed…and guess how much fat is in raisin bran? 1 gram. (5)
So now that I’ve ruined your breakfast (sorry…), why not try a healthier version of breakfast cereal without all that added sugar and wheat?
I wouldn’t recommend having ONLY this cereal for breakfast, because to avoid having those nasty blood sugar spikes and plummets, sugar cravings and increased hunger, you need to have a complete breakfast with PROTEIN. There’s barely any protein in this cereal, so have it for breakfast, but have some pastured eggs, grass fed sausage or pasture raised bacon with it!
- 2 cups thick coconut flakes like this
- About 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup raisins
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°.
- Spread out the coconut flakes on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the flakes evenly.
- Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, mixing the coconut halfway through so they toast evenly. Make sure you keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly. Remove them from the oven when they are lightly toasted--a golden brown color.
- Let cool. Then transfer the coconut to a sealed jar, container or bag. Add the raisins and the “raisin bran” is finished! Enjoy some paleo “raisin bran” in a bowl with some additive-free coconut milk poured over it for part of your breakfast or a snack.
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