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What Are Different Types of Hot Cereals?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon357179 — On Dec 02, 2013

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.

By oasis11 — On Aug 23, 2010

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.

By mutsy — On Aug 23, 2010

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.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
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