Bringing It Back, Old School!

I’ve always been a breakfast lover. Even though, for a good chunk of my early adulthood I stopped eating breakfast (as I didn’t get up until later in the day), I’ve always loved breakfast food.

When I was younger, I remember oatmeal packets laden with sugar that I LOVED. I even remember that the packets had little puzzles on them and the even earlier packets that featured pictures of animals and descriptions of them, both to keep kids occupied while they ate.

Being the youngest of two, much cooler, older brothers, I tried to be like them. That included taking the “boring” cereals (i.e., Rice Krispies and Cheerios ) and absolutely smothering them in sugar. I mean, we’re talking termite mounds of sugar in the midst of beige cereal and white milk. I could chew on the sugar we put so much in it.

But I also remember Red River Cereal . And I remember always loving it. I can’t recall how many times we had it growing up but I remember it was enough for me to have it stored in my memory banks for extraction purposes. I remember it being very similar to oatmeal but with a slight chew to it.

I remember only once in the two years I lived in residence at University that they served Red River Cereal in the cafeteria and how I freaked out over it and had myself a humungous bowl of it (some people get the Freshman 15, I got the Freshman 40).

Well. My good friends, I’m happy to say that I’m bringin Red River Cereal back!


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I learned this past year that this cereal is unique to Canada! I’m quite proud of this fact!

Why? You ask?

Because it’s got to be the healthiest darned breakfast you could possible have! Red River Cereal contains three, just THREE ingredients: cracked wheat, cracked rye and flax (whole and cracked). That’s it, no added sugar or preservatives at all. And it’s stayed this way since it was created way back in 1924.

Nutrition Facts are amazing: 150 calories for 1/4c dry (which makes one heck of a serving once cooked), 2.5g of fat (only .1g saturated fat), no cholesterol, 4mg of sodium, 28g of carbs, 6g of fibre and 6g of protein! You can’t go wrong with that!

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Red River Cereal is cooked the exact same way you cook oatmeal. A 3:1 ratio of liquid to cereal and cooked until desired. You can also bake with it, making breads, muffins and other goodies.

I tell you, when the memory of this stuff came flooding back last week out of the blue I was obsessed with getting my first box as an adult. I kid you not, I even dreamt about this morning (Alan had unpacked it and I couldn’t find it anywhere)! I was pretty excited for my first bowl since Uni!

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Basically, I treat it like I would any other bowl of oatmeal. This one contained:

  • 1/4c Red River Cereal
  • 3/4c low fat vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4c water
  • 1tbsp chia seeds (no need for flax, it’s already in there!)
  • 1tbsp coconut butter

Toppings included: 1tbsp almond butter, 1tbsp cacao nibs for crunch, half a large banana and small handful of Girlnola .

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It’s a great addition to your regular, hot cereal! My standard toppings as a kid were milk and brown sugar!

Want some?

I sort of feel guilty for telling you about this healthy cereal knowing that only Canadians have access to it so if you want to try some, I’m giving 5 bags of Red River Cereal to 5 lucky readers to try (and no, Canadians are NOT excluded from this)!

Just leave me a comment with what your favourite childhood cereal was and I’ll pick a winnner Friday, September 24th at 9pm.

27 Comments

  • At 2010.09.21 09:09, Anne said:

    Seriously, I am going to the store tonight and finding this stuff! It sounds AMAZING! Does it take longer than oats to cook (it sort of looks like steel-cut oats in the picture…). I have never been one for cereal/oatmeal, but lately I can’t get enough of it!

    • At 2010.09.21 13:57, Anne said:

      I guess I forgot to post my favourite cereal. May as well, right? 😉

      We weren’t huge cereal eaters, but when I ate it, it was usually corn flakes, with a mountain or two of sugar. Oh yum.

      My current favourite cereal in a box is Go Lean Crunch. Oh. So. Good!

    • At 2010.09.21 10:39, christine (chriscrow on sparkpeople0 said:

      Being from the Massachusetts I have never heard of Red River, which I know you know.. :), reading your article and seeing how “yummy” it looks I want to try it… you do know I am going to dream about it just like you did.. :) Anyway as a child my dad didn’t like buying ‘boxed’ cereal so if/when we had it we felt like the luckiest kids in the world…. My favorite was smore crunch.. I don’t even think they make that anymore… we would load it with even more sugar than was already in it… my fathers staple and a cereal I still love to this day was cheerios… we would eat that with banannas and TONS of sugar… kind of defeated the purpose of what he was trying to do.. :) Anyway thanks for sharing your information and I always love to read/hear about what you are doing… you inspire me so thank you!

      • At 2010.09.21 11:15, BeckyA said:

        wow does that look yummy!

        I so relate to the Rice Krispies! We didn’t get many sugar-y cereals, so of course we dumped sugar on the Rice Krispies, or made a cup of chocolate milk and dumped it over the Krispies – yum! lol I think I’m still riding on the sugar high.

        But my favorite as a kid was Cap’n Krunch – PB!

        • At 2010.09.21 13:59, Stephanie said:

          I am Canadian and have never heard about this cereal…anyway, I actually think my fav. cereal as a kid was Rice Crispies. My parents were not ones to buy the sugary ones I asked for…I still love them! BTW, this is the first time I have come to your site, but it is now bookmarked!

          • At 2010.09.21 14:10, Aimee (Littletealover) said:

            I saw your status update and blog on Spark, so naturally I had to check out your blog here.

            My favorite cereal as a kid was probably either Cinnamon Life or Fruity Pebbles…neither of which we were allowed to get very often due to the fact that they were more expensive than some of the other kinds available. I remember begging for these cereals, and it was such a huge deal when Mom broke down and bought one. My sisters and I still hold it against my mom…LOL! We did eat a lot of Cream of Wheat, though, which I still love! And, I think that Rice Krispies are meant to be eaten with at least an inch of sugar at the bottom of the bowl.

            • At 2010.09.21 14:27, Keith said:

              My favorite as a kid was always Quaker Oats with lots of brown sugar! I still eat oatmeal in the winter, but now with a little bit of artificial sweetener of honey rather than the sugar. It remains one of my favorite breakfasts. The Red River cereal looks incredible, and probably healthier than a lot of my other choices!

              • At 2010.09.21 14:30, laurie5658 said:

                Therese, my favorite cereal was cream of wheat because its what mom fixed LOL. Now, I distinguish cream of wheat (or any hot cereal) as comfort food. So awesome of a cold winter morning!

                YUMMO!

                • At 2010.09.21 14:50, Cindy said:

                  My favorite cereal was Fruity Pebbles. No need for sugar there!! I struggle now with finding a cereal that is healthy, that my calorie range can afford and that I truly enjoy. Red River Cereal looks awesome AND sounds like you get a generous serving for a reasonable amount of calories! I am very definitely going to try it!! Thanks for sharing!

                  • At 2010.09.21 15:49, Kristina said:

                    Yummers… you have such creativity when it comes to pairing your cereals. I’d love to try some!

                    My fave cereal as a kid was the sugariest cereal ever… Rice Krispie Treats Cereal… it’s just like it sounds: rice krispie treats and milk. Very nutritious, huh? 😉

                    • At 2010.09.21 16:45, Betty925 said:

                      My favorite childhood breakfast was cinnamon toast. My mom would fix it all the time. Maybe cause it was easy and quick! But I loved it. Still do. We did eat a lot of instant breakfast such as cereal and stuff so Sugar Pops was a favorite as well.

                      Happy Sparking and blogging!!

                      • At 2010.09.21 17:40, Denise said:

                        My absolute favorite as a kid was Cracklin Oat Bran (don’t know if you have this in Canada, but it is so sweet and tasty). I only got to eat this as a treat at summer camp because it was always too pricey for my mom to buy.

                        My favorite hot cereal was Cream of Wheat, especially the peaches and cream variety (which has sadly been discontinued I believe).

                        • At 2010.09.21 20:00, Kristen said:

                          Wow…you bringing up old school cereal just set off all kinds of memories! LOL As a kid, me and my siblings were on our own for a lot of meals as our Mom was working multiple jobs. Breakfast cereal was our go-to meal the majority of the time! My brother could eat a whole box of cereal in a single setting! 😀 And just as you and your brothers, we drowned our cereal in sugar…we liked Cheerios, Rice Krispies and Grape Nuts IF they had the equivalent of a can of soda in sugar on top of them. Ew…I can’t even put sugar on those cereals now (thank goodness!).

                          Okay, so my faves were Lucky Charms, Cap N’ Crunch, Trix, Cookie Crisp, Count Chocula, Cocoa Pebbles…the list could go on and on!

                          So count me in…I would LOVE to try some Canadian hot cereal! :-)

                          • At 2010.09.21 21:35, Jen said:

                            My fave cereal as a kid was Honey Nut Cheerios – that’s what we always had at home.

                            When we would get to sleep over at my grandma’s house she would make us Cream of Wheat that we’d eat with brown sugar and milk. Mmmmmmmm.

                            • At 2010.09.22 10:32, Lauren said:

                              I think my favorite childhood cereal was Smart Start. My mother never really bought us sugary cereals, so I never got addicted to things like Lucky Charms and the like, but Smart Start is still very high in calories for what you’re getting. I’d love to try out this hot cereal!

                              • At 2010.09.22 11:07, TiffanyA said:

                                Awesome post! My favorite cereal growing up was probably Lucky Charms or Fruity Pebbles, much diferent than my current faves!! :) I also loved Malt-O-Meal :).

                                • At 2010.09.22 11:54, Manda said:

                                  My fave cereal as a kid was shreddies!! With sugar :( only a teaspoon if my mom was around, but if she wasn’t, then lots of teaspoons lol.

                                  • At 2010.09.22 15:13, Leah said:

                                    I think I’ll need to hide my head in shame – as a Canadian I’ve never had Red River Cereals! I guess I should go buy a box!

                                    As a kid my favourite cereal was shredded wheat …

                                    • At 2010.09.22 15:21, Carla said:

                                      Good ol’ Cheerios was my favorite cereal as a kid!

                                      • At 2010.09.22 15:40, Haley said:

                                        Oh man, those look great! Especially with your toppings =)

                                        My favorite childhood cereal was actually lucky charms (and then when peanut butter cap’n crunch came out I was ALL over it!). Big difference from my choice now: steel cut oats, haha.

                                        I’d love to try that stuff… and I wonder why we don’t have it in the states…? Those of us living in Hawai’i especially don’t get much compared to the continental U.S., but maybe I’ll put in a special request… =)

                                        • At 2010.09.23 00:09, Erikka said:

                                          Mmmm.. breakfast cereal! I’ve never had Red River Cereal before but when I was a kid I loved loved loved Cream of Wheat. I ate it with butter and brown sugar with a bit of milk. Every now and I’ll buy it because of the memories of my mother making it for me as a kid. :)

                                          • At 2010.09.23 17:21, Jennifer said:

                                            My parents should have known I was going to be health food junkie, because my absolute favorite cereal growing up was Crackling Oat Bran. My dad ate it to help lower his cholesterol, but I loved it, and would beg to eat that instead of my “kid” cereal.

                                            • At 2010.09.23 21:01, Lynne said:

                                              I did not realize that Red River Cereal was unique to Canada. It’s amazing what you learn. May I also say I love your pictures of cereals, and various foods. I don’t know why more people don’t photograph food. I’ve been doing it myself for years.
                                              My favorite cereal growing up was a toss-up between Golden Honeys (Winnie the Poo on the box) and Cocoa puffs. Mom would only buy us these kinds of cereals occasionally as a treat as she didn’t like the fact that they were full of sugar. She also used to say that Cocoa puffs looked like little rabbits poops but this didn’t seem to detract from my enjoyment of them.
                                              Just for the record, I love breakfast food too.

                                              • At 2010.09.24 09:27, Tamika Ali-Yerima said:

                                                Hey my favorite childhood cereal was Cap n’ Crunch Crunch Berries. I never heard of Red River cereal, I just texted my Canadian friend and asked her if she has ever tried it…..Of course, I’m still waiting on her reply.

                                                I love your site and I have already read your other postings!! Thanks for sharing the info.

                                                • At 2010.09.24 10:00, CubanJelly said:

                                                  OMGosh I totally had a major setback yesterday and had some left over Rice Krispies (from making RK treats) and smothered it in that mound of sugar, it was so worth it! LOL Although, my fav cereal as a kid and actually, still is even though I rarely buy it, is Cookie Crisp. There’s nothing like having cookies and milk for breakfast! LOL Can’t wait to try that Red River Cereal – I’ll be on the lookout for it now.

                                                  • At 2012.09.09 23:30, James Price said:

                                                    This is the best cereal for good health. I remember when it used to say “Nature’s Mild Regulator” on the box. It is a Godsend for IBS and it tastes great. I add cinnamon to mine and a few raisins – nothing else. I like the texture and the nutty taste. I have eaten it for 45 years now. It is a staple in my pantry and the cost is incredibly low. It is good for you!

                                                    • At 2015.02.11 18:37, Barbara Mills said:

                                                      Can’t find Red River in the store where I always found it. Huge Superstore in Cincinnati.
                                                      Told they can’t get it from supplier. Websites including ebay sell for 9- $14 a box. Anybody know where I can order?

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