Homemade “Firebird” Cocoa Crunch Cereal

Homemade “Firebird” Cocoa Crunch Cereal

Growing up, my mother never allowed for sugary cereal around our home. My sister and I grew up in a home where my mom, I think, could have very easily been a hippy.  She was recycling before it was cool and serving us wheat germ, wheat  bran, carob chip cookies, sesame crisps, and all sort of other healthy and earth-friendly items.  Breakfast, during the school year was always one thing: oatmeal. Some times we had raisins in them but more times than not, it was good old-fashioned oatmeal, made the same way her mom made it for her 11 kids, with oats and water.  Even when Quaker introduced their instant oatmeal with all the yummy flavors, we certainly weren’t allowed to partake.

 

On weekends, and throughout part of the summer, she would introduce pancakes to us, made on the cast iron pan, loaded with the aforementioned germ, bran, oats, and all sorts of other items that converted those pancakes from light and fluffy to cement in our stomachs.  More on pancakes this summer, as I promise the most delicious, light and fluffy pancakes for you and your family that will be one of the featured recipes in the 101 Recipes Every Good Boy Should Know section.

As you can probably imagine, if we weren’t allowed sugar in our oatmeal, or the instant flavored oatmeal, there wasn’t a lot of sugary cereals around the house either. Ok…the truth is, they were NEVER around the house.  But, as a dad raising kids in the 21st Century, I feel I have done two things to rebel against my childhood. One, is I serve legit waffles and pancakes, and two, I let the boys eat sugary cereal sometimes, although mostly “adult” sugary cereals, not the chocolate frosted sugar bombs that we remember in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.

As you are probably gathering though, I have been doing more and more “artisanal” cooking and baking around the home, trying to save money and eat healthier, with a bigger goal of learning those things that grandmas have been doing for decades in pretty much every culture, making delicious, non-processed food every day.

Imagine how excited I became when I was browsing for recipes for my new line of organic, rainforest alliance baking chocolate, I stumbled upon the most delicious way to rebel, and yet somehow hold true to some of my breakfast heritage.  I found a recipe for Cocoa Crunch. This cereal is AWESOME!  It is more of a granola, I would say, than a traditional boxed cereal (oats, baked, chunks, etc.) and it is loaded with the good stuff. Rice cereal, organic chocolate, coconut and more.  Dead simple to make, I challenge you to connect YOUR childhood with this spin on a homemade cereal. Your kids will love you for it.

Homemade "Firebird" Cocoa Crunch Cereal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces Firebird Milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 4 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1/2 cups dried and shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Dissolve sugar into water over medium low heat, not caramelizing the sugar. Let syrup cool and stir in oil, chocolate and honey and mix well.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl chuck in all the dry ingredients and toss around with your hands until well incorporated.
  5. Add syrup mixture to dry ingredients and stir until all is moist. Spread out onto cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Don't let the cereal burn!
  7. Let cool, it should remain in chunks, like a granola.

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