I really wanted to call this “blender cereal” because I like how it sounds, but making this in the blender would be a FAIL. Amaris (my 2 year old) calls it the “cereal that makes her milk darker.” Anyway, whatever you call it, cereal is such an EASY breakfast to give to toddlers, once they master spoon to the mouth and not spilling milk everywhere. Unfortunately most cereals just don’t check many boxes for real-food nutrients and variety. Which inevitably leads to feeling hungrier sooner and can leave you with a child (or adult) that’s hangry by lunchtime. My solution is this chocolate peanut butter cereal deliciousness!
This cereal definitely hits all the boxes for a complete breakfast food! It has nuts, seeds, peanut butter, oats, fruit AND chocolate. Plus it’s super easy to make, and SO easy to serve for breakfast. Oh, and it tastes AMAZING. An added bonus is that with a small tweak this recipe can make bars or balls that are great on the go. Knowing what you’re giving your kids for breakfast takes SO much pressure off of mornings, don’t ya think? Grab your food processor, and let’s go!We begin with the optional step of toasting the nuts (pecan and walnut) and oats (I just do this quickly in a skillet). Weird side fact, walnuts kind of make my mouth hurt when they’re raw… but toasted they don’t. Is it an allergy? I don’t want to know!!Then a quick few pulses of the nuts + oats + dates. Double the amount of dates called for if you are making balls or bars! Add in the peanut butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, chia seeds, and salt.Then process until it’s crumbly with no huge chunks of nuts. That’s literally it. I love to make double batches of this because otherwise it really doesn’t last long. It’s also easy to make many variations of flavors/ingredients. Try different seeds, nuts, spices, crunchy dried fruits etc. I hope this becomes a family favorite in your home!
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1.5 cups oats (or replace with more nuts)
- 3 SOFT pitted Medjool dates* (add a few more if you want to make bars or balls from the mixture)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tsp salt (esp if unsalted peanut butter)
- Toast nuts and oats lightly in a skillet on high heat stirring very frequently until fragrant. (Optional)
- Add oats, nuts, and pitted, soft dates to food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is coarsely chopped (you still want big chunks at this point).
- Add in remaining ingredients and process until mixed and crumbly. Do not over process or it will get powdery/paste-like.
- To make bars/balls press into a pan or into balls and refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.
- Enjoy alone, with plant milk, or on the go!
*Try other variations, such as cardamom and coconut!
*If you sub with almonds, rough chop them by hand first, or there will be large chunks of almond (as they are harder to process and everything else will turn to powder if you process too long)
*If you want to make bars or balls, press the mixture together into desired shape and refrigerate to set.