10 Easy Hacks For Even Better Cereal

This post was originally published on April 27, 2015. 

Most days breakfast consists of coffee and…that's it. But, let's not forget those bygone days of eating cereal while reading the back of the box. Just because we're grown-ups doesn't mean we have to stop with the Frosted Flakes — we just have to make them better.

Here, we've rounded up the best cereal hacks to amp up your breakfast game, from a two-second improvement to a 20-minute re-do. You'll be seeing your favorite breakfast cereal in a whole new light.
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If you have 5 seconds...

Add some salt to your sugary cereal
The problem with a lot of cereal brands, especially the sweet stuff, is that it's typically a one-note hit of sugar. Take a trick from baking and add just a smidgen of salt to your bowl — it's what Momofuku does to add extra depth to its cereal milk. Be careful, though; most cereals already have a lot of sugar and salt, so use it sparingly.

Swap out the 2%
Use a mixture of plain milk and chocolate milk, strawberry milk, or even flavored yogurt. Get creative — Cocoa Puffs with chocolate milk might be a bit much, but Frosted Flakes with some strawberry yogurt is absolutely delicious.

Spice it up
Cinnamon Toast Crunch is an all-time fave, so take a cue from the classic and amp up any bowl of cereal by sprinkling in your own spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric are all great options.
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If you have 5 minutes...

Toss in fruit, marshmallows, real chocolate chips, or even some crumbled, stale cookies
Nothing jazzes up a boring bowl of cereal like some fresh fruit — bananas, blueberries, and strawberries are obvious wins, but mix it up with stone fruits come summer. If you have an insane sweet tooth, add in some mini marshmallows — they beat out the crunchy Lucky Charms version any day — or mini chocolate chips.

Make a cereal smoothie
Okay, so having chunks of cereal in a creamy smoothie might not sound like the best idea, but grind up some bran flakes into powder, toss the stuff into your blender with some yogurt and fruit, and you've got breakfast to go.
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If you have 15 minutes...

Make cereal bars
Rice Krispies treats were our favorite sleepover snacks as kids, so why not take give your other favorite cereals the treat treatment? Cocoa Pebbles, marshmallows, and just a hint of Nutella make for an easy, chocolate dessert, or aim healthier with Honey Bunches of Oats, binding it all together with some peanut butter and honey. Better yet, take a cue from your college days and mix 'n' match — Berry Berry Kix and Cap'n Crunch Berries? Sold.

Make puppy chow
Take boring cereal, cover it in melted chocolate, and toss in powdered sugar. Not the healthiest, we know — but it's absolutely delicious.
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If you have 30 minutes...

Turn cereal into dessert sushi
Melt some marshmallows with butter, mix in Rice Krispies, break it all up, and wrap it in fruit leather (there's vitamins in that, right?). Top with gummy candy, and your cereal just became dessert. This definitely happened on Gilmore Girls.

Make cereal muffins
Of course you want your muffins to taste like Froot Loops. Mash up some Froot Loops, mix into a classic muffin recipe, and bake for 22-25 minutes. The result? A grown-up-looking breakfast to bring into the office.

Have cereal for dinner…
...by using it as a replacement for breadcrumbs. Not only is it super-crunchy; it adds a touch of sweetness, meaning you’ll have just the right combination of sweet and salty. Coat your shrimp in flour and a dusting of salt, douse in egg wash, and cover with a mixture of Special K and coconut flakes. Pan-fry or bake, season with salt and pepper, and serve.