Crunchy Breakfast Magic – One Cereal & Five Ideas Recipe

With crispy quinoa, puffed brown rice, chia, hemp, and flax seeds, this is a favorite nutritious homemade breakfast cereal blend. The recipe is written so you dump all the ingredients in a quart-sized jar, shake, and go.

Crunchy Breakfast Magic – One Cereal & Five Ideas

Everyone should make their own breakfast cereal blend now and then. Stand in front of the bulk bin section at the grocery store with some little baggies or containers, and fill them with a medley of cereals, fruits, seeds, nuts, and the like. Stir together, and keep in a jar. That's what happened here, but I think I happily landed on something extra special. The emphasis is on crunch, something to counter the creaminess of a smoothie, or acai bowls. The players? Six ingredients. Crispy quinoa, puffed brown rice, chia, hemp, and flax seeds tossed into a jar with a generous scoop of mesquite flour (which you can skip if you can't find it). That's it. Keep it in plain sight and you'll find yourself reaching for it constantly. I initially thought of this as a homemade cereal that you'd have with milk/mylk or yogurt, but the crunchy magic seems to work its way into all sorts of other preparations. The video (below) demonstrates how the cereal comes together, and then goes into a handful of other ideas including homemade power bars using this as the base. Enjoy!

As I mention in the video - keep your eyes peeled for mesquite flour. It's very much worth seeking out, and you'll find yourself using it in everything from oatmeal to smoothies, and this cereal. Made from the ground pods of mesquite trees, the resulting flour is sweet, malty, fragrant, nutritious, and one of my favorite flours to bake with. It can be tough to find, but as I'm typing this, I'm realizing that adding a scoop of cacao powder instead for a chocolate version, might be scandalously good.

Crunchy Breakfast Magic Super Cereal

Crunchy Breakfast Magic Super Cereal

Crunchy Breakfast Magic Super Cereal

Crunchy Breakfast Magic Super Cereal

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Crunchy Breakfast Magic Super Cereal

Take a look at the photos and there is also close-up video footage of crispy quinoa and crisped brown rice if you aren't clear on what it is. You buy it crisp/puffed. I find both ingredients in the cereal section as well as the bulk bins. The crisped brown rice (I've seen it in two forms), looks like Rice Krispies (or puffed rice), but is made from brown rice. Same goes for the quinoa, but is quinoa instead of rice. Use a quart-sized mason jar to make a good-sized batch of this. You simply put everything in the jar and shake. The quinoa and crisped brown rice bring the crunch, and the flax, hemp, and mesquite bring some extra substance and nutrition to the blend. Use it to top yogurt bowls, boost, smoothies, it's even welcome atop puddings, and chia bowls, or as the base for homemade power bars. I demonstrate a bunch of these ideas in the video up above, and will include the recipe notes for all the examples below as well. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups crispy quinoa (see headnotes)
1 1/2 cups crisped brown rice (see headnotes)
3 tablespoons flax seeds
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
3 tablespoons chia seeds
Boost: ½ cup mesquite flour (optional but tasty)

optional: Swap out mesquite flour for lacuma flour, or use a blend of the two. Another idea, use cacao powder for a chocolate version.

Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar. Shake well to combine, making sure each of the ingredients is well distributed. Keep it somewhere within eyeshot, so you're inclined to reach for it.

Makes 4 cups.

Other ideas!


Combine 1 cup of frozen dragonfruit with one cup of your favorite nut milk in a blender with a bit of sweetener to taste. Top with Crunchy Breakfast Magic and a bit of toasted coconut.


Enjoy it with your favorite milk - like any other cereal.


They're the perfect plane snack, or, wrapped in parchment, they're good for days tucked into a purse pocket, or lunchbox.

1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups CRUNCHY BREAKFAST MAGIC (recipe above)
1 cup brown rice syrup
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil or ghee. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan (or smaller); for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan. Mix the oats, and CRUNCHY BREAKFAST MAGIC cereal together in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the rice syrup and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until the syrup is evenly incorporated.

Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature, pressing down on the surface of the bars to compress them a bit about half way through cooling, before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.


Quick snack. Pour a bit of CRUNCHY BREAKFAST MAGIC into a small bowl. Add a couple of small dollops of almond (or other) nut butter. Stir to combine, until it comes together into a ball. Add more cereal or nut butter until the mixture is the right consistency to shape into little bites. Dampen your hands with water, and shape into balls.

Prep time: 3 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Hi. My I think this recipe is a great idea. I am trying to make my own cereal and this one is healthy. Do you make the crispy quinoa? I have never heard of it. Thanks


Thank you so much for introducing me to these wonderful ingredients and flavors. I'm not vegetarian nor vegan but these lovely posts from you have lured me away from heavy meat consumption. Delicious.

Bettie Maggret Nix

Just made some, only I had neither quinoa puffs, nor quinoa flakes, so I got the idea from popping barley to try to pop some quinoa (toasted, basically) and it sort of works. Makes them edible anyway, but lacking the volume so I just added more of all the rest, especially the puffed rice. I found the packet of mesquite flour at our Eureka Natural Food store - yet another $10 culinary experiment (my shelves are filled to overflowing with great exotic pantry items half used...) and I think it tastes quite like maca powder - at least a similar exchange I would think. Very yummy. I'm off to make the power bars now. Thanks, Heidi! Oh, and I also made a raw granola/muesli this morning too, mostly nuts and seeds, including pine nutes, hemp and flax, with some oats. Breakfast is always a challenge when I'm not feeling like eggs or a smoothie. Often I just wait a few hours and have lunch instead!


Hi Heidi! I was wondering if you think lucuma powder would work instead of the mesquite flour? I also wanted to say that I'm loving your recipe videos!

HS: Thank you Marieke! Yes to lucuma, I also keep thinking cacao powder would be an A+ addition :)


I made it! I had the puffed quinoa already. (wish I remembered where I got it) Sent hubby with a list when he went to WF in Oakland. He came back w only flax seeds, saying the rest wasn't to be found. I was doubtful. Went back. Scoured. Mesquite powder - check. Hemp seeds - check. Puffed brown rice (in the form of cereal in cereal aisle) - check. Chia - had them. Homemade almond milk (so adds to rich deliciousness) - had it. And? Just delicious! I am convinced it is the mesquite powder that is the key ingredient. Yum. I calculated and think it is about 200 calories/ 1/2 cup for those who care about such things. Seeds are so healthy! And, once ingredients are sourced (which admittedly takes a little scouring of the store), it is easy as can be to shake things up in a jar. Thanks Heidi!

HS: Right on! Love that you found the mesquite powder - so incredible, right? Enjoy!


I found it! I found "crispy Quinoa" on

HS: Hi Alanna - good eye! I see them there titled "organic quinoa puffs"....


OK, trying to find out where are the "head notes" for the crispy quinoa? Where are the head notes located on the page? Would be easier just to describe it within the recipe. Thank you.

HS: Hi Alanna - sorry for not being more clear. The headnotes are the headnotes to the recipe. So, just above the ingredient list at the start of the recipe. Enjoy!


I agree with Irene. Whole flaxseeds are good fiber for digestion, but if you want the Omega 3 benefit, etc, buy ground flax, or grind it yourself. And keep it in the refrigerator once it's ground


I found "sprouted quinoa" in my market and that seems to fit the bill -- crunchy, tasty, edible raw.


I am enjoying your videos, Heidi, and just wanted to mention that I have been instructed to be sure to grind my flaxseed in order to receive the nutritional benefits they provide, because of their hard shell. This would make your jar blend not quite as pretty, but better for us. Thanks for your wonderful instructions.


Thanks for turning me on to new products! I can't wait to try the mesquite flour.


This was so great Heidi! Your vids = my favorite. So inspiring with this blend too. Off to find mesquite powder asap now ;).

HS: xo Jessie! You, in particular, will LOVE it. Def. worth tracking down.

Jessie Snyder

Is crispy quinoa a description, or a product? Does quinoa have to be altered to be "crispy," or is it just the raw grain? Is the crisped brown rice purchased that way, or prepared? I'm in a very rural area without access to whole food and natural food stores, so I'm not sure what's out there.

HS: Hi Cindy - I'm updating the headnotes now. It might be something you'd need to order online if you're v. rural.

Cindy Ricksgers

What is crispy quinoa and crisped brown rice exactly? Did you make these yourself or purchase them already made? The crisped brown rice looks like the "rice krispy" breakfast cereal, but I am pretty sure that's not what you're using here. Thanks!

HS: Hi Laura - I'm updating the headnotes (there is also close-up footage in the video)...have a look, but you're exactly right re: the rice krispy comparison.


thanks for this! what is crispy quinoa? no matter how much I massaged and rinsed the quinoa, I could still taste that nastiness. finally, I figured out that if I pour boiling water over it and let it soak overnight, when I rinse in the morning and cook with water at a 1 to 1 ratio, it works out great -- the texture also isn't as mushy, which is also nice. (1 to 1 meaning if you start with 1/2 cup dry, cook with 1/2 cup water after soaking in boiling water overnight -- don't go by the amount after soaking.) i always keep some cooked quinoa in the fridge and stir it into oatmeal or soup or sauce for a protein and fiber burst. the red variety is more aesthetically pleasing, and when i make a 50/50 mix with the beige i'm left with something appealing...


I am definitely going to try this blend. Growing up in Tucson, we used to chew on mesquite pods and their beans when we heard that the Indians would do that. I tried to find mesquite flour last time I was there with no luck! Wish I could have found a local product there. Which brand have you found?

HS: Hi Anna - I've seen it as part of the Navitas Naturals line recently, so keep your eyes peeled for their colorful packaging...

Anna Gerard

CRISPY quinoa? I am not finding this locally. Is it fried? Toasted raw or after cooking? Is there a substitute? This does sound quite nice. Ever since I started making granola myself, we've been totally off anything commercial.

HS: Hi Lee! - I've updated the headnotes.

Lee Kinzer

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