Feb 28, 2014

Apple Pear Cereal with Homemade Hemp Milk. A healthy, raw breakfast!

I love this as a breakfast “cereal.” It’s cereal without the grains—kind of a misnomer I guess, but there’s something very satisfying about the crispy, fresh apples and pears instead of the usual grain-based cereal. And the nuts and seeds add plenty of plant-strong protein and other important nutrients to start your day. Of course, it’s not as convenient as grabbing a box of cereal. You can’t make it ahead or the fruits would oxidize, so yes, there is more prep work involved but it is so worth it in my opinion.

Speaking of convenience… do you purchase hemp milk in cartons? If you decide to make homemade hemp milk, you never will again! It is SO creamy and delicious and (big bonus!) does not include all of the garbagy fillers found in the cartons. I know garbagy isn’t a word but, really, isn’t it annoying that you can’t find JUST hemp milk or almond milk in the stores without all of the crap they add to it? I realize it’s a shelf-life thing. And a consistency thing, too. If the typical consumer purchased a plant-based milk and it SEPARATED… horrors! “You mean I have to shake it before I use it? That just won’t do.” Anyway, sorry about the rant. But, for the record, here is the list of ingredients in a popular store-bought hemp milk. This one had the least amount of ingredients that I could find:

Let’s take a look at some of these additives, shall we? What is tricalcium phosphate? It is a calcium salt of phosphoric acid, also known as bone ash. Tricalcium phosphate is frequently used in the food industry as an additive in powdered spices and acts as an anti-caking agent. It is also sometimes used as a rising agent. Tricalcium phosphate adds smoothness and opacity to reduced fat liquids and foods.

Here is one excerpt I found while researching this substance:

“When added to food, tricalcium phosphate increases the level of calcium. There are no known side effects of consuming tricalcium phosphate in foods, but contact with the substance directly has led to reports of nausea, a loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth and increased thirst and urination.

“Individuals following a vegan, vegetarian, kosher or halal diet may want to check on the appropriateness of tricalcium phosphate in their diet because it may be derived from the bones of dead animals.”

Well, I think I’ll leave that one off of my list of ingredients. What about vitamin A Palmitate? Here are some words of wisdom from Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

“There are risks associated with consuming more beta-carotene and vitamin A than what we naturally receive in our diets. Ingesting vitamin A or beta-carotene in isolation from supplements can potentially increase cancer risk by interfering with the absorption of other carotenoids with anti-cancer properties, like lutein and lycopene.(1) Beta-carotene supplements are poor substitutes for the broad assortment of carotenoid compounds found in plants. It is much safer and healthier to consume food sources of beta-carotene, like spinach, kale and carrots, which also contain several additional carotenoids as well as hundreds of other beneficial phytochemicals.

“Since beta-carotene gets converted into vitamin A by your body, there is no reason a person eating a reasonably healthy diet should require any extra vitamin A. There is solid research revealing that supplemental vitamin A induces calcium loss in the urine, contributing to osteoporosis.(2) Too much vitamin A from supplements during pregnancy is associated with cardiac birth defects.(3) On top of these risks, a recent meta-analysis found an increased risk of mortality in people who took supplemental vitamin A, beta-carotene, or vitamin E.(4)


Okay, what about Vitamin D2? An important finding, based on meta-analysis comparing Vitamin D2 and D3, suggests that vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) should be the preferred source of vitamin D supplementation. Your body naturally produces vitamin D3 when your skin is exposed to sunlight; vitamin D2 on the other hand is made by irradiating fungus and plant matter. Many Americans are deficient in vitamin D and it is a vital nutrient that most of us need to supplement with. But it’s VERY important to get your blood checked for vitamin D levels before supplementing. Vitamin D, in any form, can be toxic in doses that are too high.

So after all of that, I am happy to share with you my recipe for this yummy breakfast using homemade hemp milk, with only 2 ingredients (besides the water). AND you can make it for a fraction of the cost of store-bought milk. Try it!



~ for the milk

  • 1 cup hemp seeds*
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 large, pitted medjool dates

~ for the “cereal”

  • 2 cups diced apples
  • 2 cups diced pears
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup organic raisins
*I found a great source for hemp seeds at VitaCost HERE! They are always fresh and the cost is a lot lower than at health food stores. Store in the freezer.


  • To make the milk, place the hemp seeds into a high-powered blender with the dates and one cup of water. Blend until smooth. Add remaining water and blend again briefly.
  • Mix all cereal ingredients and top with the hemp milk.
  • Dig in!

Serves 2 hungry vegans. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

References from Dr. Fuhrman’s quote:
1. Mayne ST FASEB J. 1996 May;10(7):690-701.
2. Melhus H et al. Ann Intern Med. 1998 Nov 15;129(10):770-8.
3. Botto LD et al. Epidemiology. 2001 Sep;12(5):491-6.
4. Bjelakovic G et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD007176.

3 responses to “Apple Pear Cereal with Homemade Hemp Milk. A healthy, raw breakfast!”

  1. Sarah says:

    Have you ever tried heating the nut milk to keep it from separating? I've never tried it, but came across this post on another blog that suggests that healting it makes it more creamy: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/thick-almond-milk/ Maybe time for some experimentation… I mean, heaven forbid our nut milks separate!

  2. Helyn says:

    Haha. Hi Sarah, no I haven't tried that. Sounds like it's worth a try though. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

  3. Heading into apple and pear season here. Can't wait to try this – the picture is making me hungry. Still have not found hemp seeds but haven't looked too hard yet. I guess almond milk might work though?? I am so addicted to almond milk and homemade at that. I was on a work trip to rural area and didn't pack the food processor (strange as it seems) so had to buy almond milk when I ran out. Even though I got the unsweetened one it still tasted so "fake"…..

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