DIY Healthy Cereal

I was shockingly close to buying this tiny bag of "Classic Swiss Cereal" for $6 or $7 bucks because I really have been trying to eat healthier.  I won't make this preachy, just letting you know the changes I've been making and that have been working for me!
I've been maintaining eating well during the week (no desserts, no baked goods, no snacks) and letting myself indulge more during the weekend.  When I get a craving for something in the afternoon, I drink tea (no sugar).  While it's stupid expensive, I absolutely love Aveda tea for my sweets craving.  It features licorice root and it gives you a little sweet taste at the end (and I hate licorice, so don't let the ingredient dissuade you) without any added sugar.  If you want to spend less money, Yogi Egyptian Licorice Tea and  Yogi Egyptian Licorice Mint Tea are good options.  They both give you the sweet taste without being embarrassingly expensive :-)
It's not easy, and sometimes I find myself trying to make deals with myself: I promise I'll only eat one cookie, not five!  Just one and I swear I'll be done!  ...But if I hold fast I know I'll feel better the next day, and I always have the weekend to look forward to to indulge my craving.
And it actually means I try to pick something that will be really worth it on the weekend.  If I'm craving chocolate chip cookies, I make and enjoy them, because eating 10 shortbread cookies just isn't going to help anything (and I'll probably end up making the chocolate chip cookies afterwards anyways).
Overall I feel much better, and while I'm certainly not clean-eating like a champ, I'm glad I've found something that will work for me.  And I'm losing weight!  And I've started a weight-lifting regimen to add even more kick-butt-ness to this!  I know, this isn't going to be preachy.  But I got into a slump and needed to kickstart into something new.

So through all of that, I reexamined my breakfast cereal choices: jump back to me standing in the grocery store, holding this small bag of oat cereal, thinking I should try it out and see if this could change my sugar intake in the mornings.  Don't get me wrong, Honey Nut Cheerios is freakin fantastic, but I needed something more filling and with less sugar.  I read the ingredients on this muesli and mentally checked off every single one as something I already had in my pantry.  Why was I going to waste money on this stuff then?!  I grabbed a canister of old-fashioned rolled oats, a new plastic container to store my mixture in, and left the store feeling pretty accomplished.
Time for the recipe for this sucker!  Buying everything in a large quantity and being able to make multiple batches of this cereal as it gets eaten makes this way cheaper than buying it already mixed up for you.

Ingredients (enough for about 16 .5 cup servings):
-1 18 oz container of Old-Fashioned Oats
-1 cup raisins
-1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
-1/4 cup flax seed
-1/4 cup quinoa

PS- Feel free to substitute the raisins with chopped up dried dates, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or any sort of combination of dried fruit that you'd like!
Chop up your almonds.  Add everything to a large bowl.  Stir.  Make sure the raisins aren't in huge clumps.  Put into an airtight container!  We're done, see how easy that was?
You could eat this just like cereal, and pour milk over a bowl in the morning, but the oats would taste rather raw.  So I grabbed an old jam jar and filled it with 1/2 cup of cereal, and enough milk (almond milk is awesome in this) to just cover everything.  I stuck it in the fridge overnight to be ready for me in the morning.  You could also add milk or water, heat this up, and eat it like oatmeal.
I didn't find I missed any sugar.  The raisins sweetened each bite, both the quinoa and almonds added some crunch and nuttiness, and the flax seed and oats kept me full.  At 10am I wasn't already counting down the minutes until lunch at noon.  It's a miracle!
After sitting in the fridge overnight
Ok, I'm converted.  I can make a much healthier breakfast, with less sugar, and not have to spend a ton of money.  I hope this wasn't preachy.  I'm just excited to be making some positive changes in my eating habits!  Especially since I write a lot of baking blog posts...

Enjoy!

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