Cereal and milk may seem like a perfect combination to some people, but you can definitely have one without the other. By itself, cereal is quite a versatile ingredient that can play a starring role in other breakfast dishes, snacks or even desserts.
No milk? No problem. Use cereal as part of your breakfast anyway.
All you need for this quick breakfast idea is your cereal, some yogurt and fresh fruit. Scoop out layers of each into a clear glass or parfait dish, garnish the mixture with a topping of your choice and devour.
If you don't plan to eat your parfait right away, layer the cereal so that it touches only fruit in the dish rather than yogurt. That will extend its shelf life and help keep the cereal crispy. Granola works very well in parfaits, but you can also try bran cereals, corn flakes or clusters. To turn your parfait from breakfast into dessert, replace the yogurt with pudding or ice cream.
Greek yogurt will provide more protein than regular yogurt and also hold its shape better in a parfait dish.
Dairy-Free Hot Cereal
Oatmeal and other whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or millet, make a great-tasting hot breakfast even without milk. After cooking them with water, add the sweetener of your choice and garnish your bowl with add-ons like walnuts, toasted coconut flakes, raisins or fresh fruit.
High-carb cereal can provide quick energy as a snack when you get hungry between meals.
Power Protein Bars
Using a cereal base, you can make protein bars at home without all the sugar of commercial varieties. Stir several cups of your favorite cereal into a bowl with enough nut butter and honey to make the whole mixture sticky. Add protein powder and other ingredients to taste, then press the mixture into a greased pan and cut it into bars.
Crunchy Trail Mix
Save money and get exactly what you want by making your own trail mix. Start with a base of your favorite cereal, then add raisins, other dried fruit, chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, seeds and other tasty ingredients. Stir the trail mix, portion it into individual-serving bags and just grab one to take as a snack to school or work.
Cereal can be healthier than a lot of other dessert options, and it's quick to make into a sweet treat.
If you don't eat cereal often, keep it fresh until you bake with it by sealing it in a zip-top bag and storing it in the freezer.
Banana Cereal Split
Cut a banana the long way in half and put both halves into a shallow serving dish. Scoop in ice cream, yogurt or coconut cream. Then top the split with cereal, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey or chocolate sauce before digging in with a spoon. Granola is a classic topping choice, but other flaky cereals, such as oat or quinoa flakes, are nutritious substitutes.
Crispy Cereal Bars
Crispy, puffed rice is the heart of most cereal dessert bars, but cornflakes, oat clusters and other dry mixes can work just as well. Most recipes call for combining melted marshmallows with your cereal, but it's also possible to make a vegan version with brown rice syrup.