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What Are Different Types of Hot Cereals? A Comprehensive Overview of Warm Breakfast Options

Hot cereals, a cozy breakfast staple, come in various forms, from the classic oatmeal to the hearty grits and the creamy semolina. Each offers unique textures and flavors, catering to diverse palates and dietary needs. Discover the warmth of multigrain porridge or the simplicity of rice-based congee. What's your favorite way to start the day with these comforting bowls? Continue exploring with us.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

For those who are sick of “plain old oatmeal,” take heart. Many other types of hot cereals may be tried instead. These can be found abundantly at the grocery store or natural foods store and can offer exceptional variety. In addition to oatmeal, some may already be familiar with certain types of cereal like grits or cornmeal mush, cream of wheat, and cream of rice. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however.

Cornmeal mush is a nice change, though it generally requires greater cooking time than quick oats, wheat, or rice cereal. Many people in the Southern US serve grits, which is essentially cornmeal mush that may be fried and given savory toppings like gravy. It’s also excellent as a sweeter cereal topped with molasses.

Bowl of cooked quinoa.
Bowl of cooked quinoa.

Cream of wheat and rice are finely ground hot cereals. Often, babies begin eating cereal with cream of rice. Both are almost white when cooked and have a relatively bland taste. This makes them an excellent base for numerous toppings. Fruit, syrups, nuts or sugar can all top either cereal without establishing a taste conflict.

Many people prefer to eat types of hot cereals with a bit more fiber. While oatmeal is a good choice, cereals with mixed grains are also excellent. One may find three grain, seven grain, or nine grain types of cereal. What grains are used tends to differ by brand. Some grains used include flax, millet, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, and amaranth.

Continental breakfast including hot cereal.
Continental breakfast including hot cereal.

These grains tend to take longer to cook because they go through less processing. When one cooks quick oatmeal or cream of wheat, one is cooking tiny flakes of the two grains. The less finely ground or chopped, the longer the cooking time. However, many of these hot cereals cook in about 10 to 15 minutes.

Many enjoy these mixed grain hot cereals because they have a sweet, nutty taste. They are generally an excellent source of dietary fiber, like oatmeal. Because they are packed with complex carbohydrates, they tend to be filling for longer periods of time, which keeps people from feeling the need to snack before lunchtime.

Grits.
Grits.

Other types of hot cereals one might not think of include the Moroccan pasta, couscous, and simply brown rice either cooked before and reheated, or cooked at breakfast. Couscous can be delicious paired with raisins and cinnamon. Leftover rice can be simmered in milk, providing protein and fiber. These cereals provide an excellent means for making use of leftovers.

Molasses, which is often used to top hot cereal.
Molasses, which is often used to top hot cereal.

Many cold cereals can also become hot meals. For example, one can add milk to granola and heat it either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Flake cereals may not respond particularly well to reheating, as they tend to get very soggy. Cereal like Grape Nuts® has been traditionally enjoyed either hot or cold.

Further, don’t forget those multi-grain cereal mixes when baking. A little multi-grain cereal added to muffins, pancakes or waffles could make these breakfast foods heartier and healthier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes hot cereal different from cold cereal?

Brown rice can be a nutritious hot cereal.
Brown rice can be a nutritious hot cereal.

Before serving, hot cereals are cooked, commonly boiled or steamed. This softens them and makes them more digestible than cold cereals. Because heat breaks down the grains, releasing their nutritious content, hot cereals have more nutrients than cold cereals. Hot cereals are also more tasty and can be prepared with fruits, nuts, and spices. Cold cereal, on the other hand, is frequently created with processed grains and has a crisp texture. They are often consumed with milk or yogurt and have fewer nutrients than heated cereals.

Can you give me any samples of hot cereals?

Many people like raisins in hot cereals.
Many people like raisins in hot cereals.

Oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, farina, porridge, and congee are all examples of hot cereals. Oatmeal is formed from oats that have been boiled in water or milk. Grits are ground maize that can be either sweet or savory. Cream of wheat is a wheat flour-based dish that is often served with warm milk. Farina is a type of wheat cereal that is typically prepared with milk and sweetened with honey or sugar. Porridge is a type of cereal made from oats, barley, or rice and boiled with water or milk. Congee is a Chinese rice porridge that is typically served with a variety of toppings.

Are hot cereals nutritious?

To create a hot cereal, add milk to granola cereal and then heat the meal in a microwave.
To create a hot cereal, add milk to granola cereal and then heat the meal in a microwave.

Yes, heated cereals are a good and healthy breakfast alternative. They're high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc. Hot cereals can help you feel fuller for extended periods of time while also regulating your blood sugar levels. They are also low in fat and calories, making them an excellent choice for people trying to maintain or reduce weight.

How should hot cereal be prepared?

Oatmeal contains significant quantities of soluble fiber and other healthy nutrients.
Oatmeal contains significant quantities of soluble fiber and other healthy nutrients.

Cooking hot cereals in water or milk is the finest way to prepare them. This will give the cereal a creamy texture and activate the nutrients. Depending on the cereal, you can also include fruits, nuts, spices, or sweeteners. When making oatmeal, add rolled oats before cooking to make it more full. Adding butter or cream to cream of wheat might improve its flavor.

Can diabetics consume hot cereal?

Hot cereals are a good breakfast alternative for diabetics. They are high in fiber, which slows sugar absorption and aids in blood sugar regulation. Hot cereals also have a low glycemic index, which means they won't boost blood sugar levels. It is critical to select low-sugar hot cereals and avoid adding any additional sweets.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent DelightedCooking contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent DelightedCooking contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

anon357179

I need to correct one thing. As a Southerner, I need to inform you that grits are not essentially cornmeal mush. The corn that is used to make mush is ground differently than the corn that is used to make grits. They each have a different texture to them. Cornmeal that is used to make mush can also be used to make cornbread.

oasis11

Mutsy- You know I like oatmeal, but I prefer Cheerios cereal instead. They have a variety of Cheerios ranging from banana to even chocolate whole grain cereal.

I also eat Kashi Go Lean Crunch bran cereal. It has 8 grams of fiber and it has a sweet crunchy taste.

I eat one of those bowls of cereal and I'm not hungry until about three in the afternoon.

It's also made of soy protein which is really good for you. I've also tried Fiber One cereal, but I don't like it as much. I want to try Kashi heart to heart cereal. I heard that it also tastes great.

mutsy

I love oatmeal. I especially like oatmeal with brown sugar. I usually add milk instead of water to make it taste richer.

For me this healthy cereal is low in calories, tastes great, and is among the leading high fiber cereals with the fiber content of 6 grams per serving. This keeps me full throughout the day.

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    • Bowl of cooked quinoa.
      Bowl of cooked quinoa.
    • Continental breakfast including hot cereal.
      Continental breakfast including hot cereal.
    • Grits.
      Grits.
    • Molasses, which is often used to top hot cereal.
      By: Pefkos
      Molasses, which is often used to top hot cereal.
    • Brown rice can be a nutritious hot cereal.
      By: Ekaterina Garyuk
      Brown rice can be a nutritious hot cereal.
    • Many people like raisins in hot cereals.
      By: BigDreamStudio
      Many people like raisins in hot cereals.
    • To create a hot cereal, add milk to granola cereal and then heat the meal in a microwave.
      By: nito
      To create a hot cereal, add milk to granola cereal and then heat the meal in a microwave.
    • Oatmeal contains significant quantities of soluble fiber and other healthy nutrients.
      By: minadezhda
      Oatmeal contains significant quantities of soluble fiber and other healthy nutrients.