Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cereal, Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

My allergic son is almost 13 so our family has had many years of trying allergy-friendly products. Although the choices continue to improve, many of us still secretly wince when we hear the words "gluten free" thinking that we will once again be tasting that all too familiar dryer, blander, not-as-good-as-the-real-thing cereal. Oh come now, no head shaking is needed. We have all been there so why deny it? No reason to tell anything but the truth between friends, right? But what happens when we do find that one product that actually does taste good? I am here to say that Attune Foods has managed to do just that.

Now before I begin, can I just share the definition of attune from the merriam-webster dictionary? And I quote " Attune - to cause (a person, company, etc.) to have a better understanding of what is needed or wanted by a particular person or group." Can this be anymore obvious?! I admit, I am a picky gluten free eater because I was not born eating gluten free and I know what both taste like. It's like they just get it- plain and simple. Except that the twist is also just that- plain and simple is anything but plain and simple. Confused? Picture time then-

I received two boxes of cereal from Attune Foods- a box of Quinoa & Chia and a box of Buckwheat & Hemp. They each look fairly plain, simple but this is deceiving! The Quinoa & Chia was slightly bland at first dry munching testing (yes, that is my official term). But then, it's got a boomerang effect. The flavor pops out and takes you by surprise. And when you add some non-dairy milk it's as if this is the gluten free answer to a better version of a Raisin Bran-type cereal. It's nuttier, crunchier and it stays crunchy in the milk. After just  few bites, I was hooked and I was mad because I had to save the cereal for the recipes that I was going to try out. The sad, sad feeling of having to put the box down and walk away.

Then, the Buckwheat & Hemp- oh my! Dry munching revealed a sweet and smoky treat because of the hemp but add some dairy-free milk and suddenly, it turns sweet. How?! The flakes were a thick, crunchy texture and the crunch was awesome. Not at all what I expected and I love when that happens. This is what I was looking for so yes- I see the connection of "attune".  Plus, protein in cereal and fiber that are healthy all know how I am a protein addict. My only question - why the 9 ounce boxes rather than your typical 10 1/2 or 12 ounce package? I mean, I get the whole marketing thing, overhead, budgeting, etc. but maybe try it out for awhile and see how it's received? Just my two cents.

Cereal is Just Cereal- WRONG!!! Think people, what else can you do with these protein-stuffed flakes?! I say, "Let them eat cake."... non-dairy ice cream cake, that is. No? How about two?!

Non-Dairy Ice Cream Cake with Supergrain Crunchies
Vanilla Blackberry Cake ~
1 Small spring form pan (4.25 inches)
8 Scoops vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert of your choice (4 top, 4 bottom)
1/4 Cup Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips
1/2 Cup Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp cereal (crushed)
6 Ounces blackberries, smashed

Using a small spring form pan placed in a bowl (to prevent dripping), fill it half way with a vanilla frozen dessert mixed with chocolate chips. Sprinkle with crushed cereal. Top with vanilla frozen dessert mixed with blackberries. Place in the freezer until set.

Once solid, remove the sides and store in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. Allow to sit out for about five minutes to make slicing easier. Promptly return uneaten portions to the freezer to prevent melting.

Makes 1 (4.25 ounce) 2-layer cake

Vanilla, Strawberry & Chocolate Cake ~
1 Small spring form pan (4.25 inches)
4 Scoops vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert of your choice
3 Strawberries (washed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
1/2 Cup Erewhon Quinoa & Chia cereal (crushed)
4 Scoops of your choice of frozen non-dairy chocolate dessert

Using a small spring form pan placed in a bowl (to prevent dripping), fill it half way with a vanilla frozen dessert mixed with strawberries. Sprinkle with crushed cereal. Top with chocolate frozen dessert. Place in the freezer until set.

Once solid, remove the sides and store in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. Allow to sit out for about five minutes to make slicing easier. Promptly return uneaten portions to the freezer to prevent melting.

Makes 1 (4.25 ounce) 2-layer cake

What, you can't have dessert because you haven't had lunch yet? You are in luck because I happened to whip together a gluten free pizza using the cereal too!The great news is that you can use either flavor or you can mix and match.

Gluten Free Supergrain Pizza 
1 1/3 Cups Erewhon Supergrains Cereal, crushed fine (we used a combination of both)
1/2 Cup tapioca flour
1 Teaspoon xantham gum
1 Tablespoon gluten free baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt (I used Real Salt)
1/4 Cup oil (I used walnut but any non-sweet oil will do)
3/4 Cup water
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Sauce and toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients first, then add the wet ingredients. If the mixture is too loose, add small amounts of additional crushed cereal. The mixture will resemble wet oatmeal.

Spoon into an 8-inch glass pie plate and form into a crust, using the spoon. Make sure to build up the sides just a bit more than the middle. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is firm and thoroughly cooked.

Remove from the oven and top with sauce and toppings. Bake until bubbly. (This will be a softer crust so you may need to grab a fork and knife.)

Makes 1 8-inch pizza

Treats and More Treats What do I always do with small amounts of leftovers? I have found that mixing most anything with marshmallows creates a fast and easy treat. AND, since this would also include a gluten free protein bonus, why not. Simply prepare the treats as you would any other "krispy" treat. If you are wondering about a better marshmallow, try using Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. As you can see, both cereals were disguised quite well. But then, I wasn't quite happy. Not happy with the pictures, not happy with the overall treat effect. What makes everything (almost) always more tempting, more sinful? Chocolate! Melt, dip, cool and slice. It's like the crunchy candy bar that you have been missing all of these years (but with protein and fiber). And, well, you know we all need a bit of fiber because (ahem), well no details necessary.

NutriSon Approved This, in itself, is a huge feet to tackle! NutriSon is highly picky and when he asked for more of these cereals and raved about how good and crunchy they are, I made a mental note to pick up a few more boxes to have on hand.

Why I Respect the Products I checked out Attune Foods website and there were so many things that I love about them, I can't even tell you. Well, I can tell you some of them. Their products are dairy free, they boast of using only non-GMO ingredients and they even offer label information on their site for those who are unsure about what is labeled as gluten free.

I was also concerned because I noticed that some products contained walnuts and other foods that set off a red flag for our family. I was quickly given information from the customer rep who stated "We manufacture our Erewhon cereals in a separate facility that's dedicated as a peanut, sesame, tree nut and dairy free facility. And, in case you're wondering about gluten... they are not made in dedicated gluten free facilities as products that contain gluten are occasionally processed on shared lines at different times. Before any Erewhon Gluten Free product is produced, machinery is thoroughly washed between production runs and gluten containing products are removed from the area to prevent cross contamination. Then each batch is tested for 10 PPM of gluten or less throughout the production run. In the unlikely event a test batch indicates 11 PPM gluten or more, the entire batch is discarded so no product that contains 11 PPM or more ever makes it into any Erewhon Gluten Free Certified product."  Still, in keeping with typical Nutrimom fashion, I had NutriSon sample a small bit (one for eahc day) just to make sure all would be well. I'm happy to report that it went fine and we have another addition to our cereal family.

I want to extend my thanks to Attune Foods for requesting a product review and allowing me to give m honest opinion. I feel it is always necessary to be honest to help others the very best that I can. Please make sure you check out these cereals as well as their other items at

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