Cereal is such a versatile food, and it’s become more than just a breakfast staple for many people. Finding vegan products can be difficult, but we’re happy to report that there are many options for vegan breakfast cereal. We’re going to take you through our favorites and then give you a full buyer’s guide.
1. Nature’s Path Whole O’s Cereal
We’ll start our list with the vegan variety of perhaps the most popular cereal on the market – Cheerios! These Whole O’s are similar to vegan Cheerios, but they have a lot going for them in their own right.
Whole O’s are a very simple, vegan breakfast option – containing only brown rice flour, cane flour, pomegranate juice concentrate, and sea salt. They are also gluten-free and certified USDA organic!
Whole O’s are a great source of fiber (14 percent daily value per serving) and also contain 19 grams of whole grains per 40-gram serving!
Whole O’s are a healthy, delicious choice, and more than just vegan Cheerios!
- A vegan alternative to the classic Cheerios
- Vegan, certified USDA organic, and gluten-free
- Great source of fiber and whole grains
- Low in calories – only 160 per 40g serving
- More expensive than Cheerios
- Pretty basic ingredients
2. Best Premium: Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Grain Cereal
Ezekiel 4:9 is a very simple organic grain vegan cereal. It is made with simple ingredients, including sprouted organic live grains, legume, seeds, and no flour.
One of the most appealing parts of this cereal is what isn’t included. It focuses on being an all-natural option, with no refined sugar, no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors, no shortening, and no cholesterol.
Ezekiel 4:9 uses a unique sprouting process to release all of the vital nutrients which are stored in whole grains.
Depending on your tastes, Ezekiel 4:9 might be the one for you. It is important to note that there are no sweeteners or added sugar. This is not a sweet cereal, but it is relatively low in calories at 200 in a 57-gram serving.
- All-natural ingredients
- No preservatives, or artificial colors and flavors
- Unique sprouting process releases vital nutrients in whole grains
- Great source of fiber and protein
- No sweetener (may or may not be a con depending on your tastes)
3. Kashi Peanut Butter Crunch
Kashi Peanut Butter Crunch is a delicious choice. This is a sweet and salty breakfast cereal made with peanut butter and whole-grain clusters. A clear emphasis was put on delicious taste, but Kashi made sure not to sacrifice any health benefits!
Peanut Butter Crunch is a great source of protein, at 10 grams per serving. It also contains 6 grams of fiber and 13 grams of whole grains per serving. It’s a great, well-rounded breakfast choice for you to enjoy.
Kashi cereal is vegan and Non-GMO verified. They also tout themselves as being progressive and mindful of sustainable and ethical farming practices.
- Great source of protein, fiber, and whole grains
- Delicious option – sweet & salty
- Sustainable and ethical farming practices
- A little high in sugar
4. Best Premium: Earnest Foods Superfood Oatmeal
Advertising itself as a hot cereal, this superfood oatmeal is packed with nutritional and healthy ingredients.
Each oatmeal cup is loaded with superfood grains, including quinoa, whole oats, and amaranth. This option also has blueberries for natural sweetness and added nutrients.
This Superfood Oatmeal is high in protein, at 7 grams per serving cup. It also contains 6 grams of fiber. Overall, it’s a healthy, nutritious start to the day.
It also comes in individual serving cups for extra convenience. All you have to do is add hot water and you have instant oatmeal.
- Full of superfood grains
- Good source of protein and fiber
- Individual serving cups for added convenience
- Real blueberries
- Portion size is fixed
5. Bear Naked Granola
Here’s another option for a vegan breakfast – granola! Granola is an excellent choice for breakfast because it is so versatile. Add it to your cereal, eat it with vegan yogurt, add fruit and vegan milk, and much more! The versatility is the true appeal of this product, and Bear Naked Granola is a great choice.
This is a delicious blend of whole grain oats, semi-sweet chocolate, cashew butter, pepitas, and sea salt.
It’s a healthy choice as well. There are 23 grams of whole grains in a 54-gram serving. There are five grams of protein per serving as well. It’s also gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified.
Overall, it’s a delicious choice no matter how you choose to eat it!
- Very versatile food (eat with milk, yogurt, fruit, etc.)
- Great source of whole grains
- Resealable pouch is highly portable
- 250 calories/54g serving
- Includes added sugars
6. Erin Baker’s Ultra Protein Granola
Here’s another great granola option for you to add to yogurt, eat with fruit, or even eat on its own! This ultra protein granola is also packed with berries and other healthy ingredients. It has a trifecta berry blend (strawberry, cranberry, and blueberry) which has a good amount of antioxidants. It also derives its protein from chia seeds and quinoa. All in all, it is a great source of protein, at 8 grams per 55-gram serving.
Erin Baker is committed to sustainable food. It sources locally whenever possible, and never uses artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Not only is this a vegan choice, but it’s also about as natural as you can get!
- All-natural – no flavorings, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives
- Good source of protein
- Trifecta berry blend is a good source of antioxidants
- Versatile foods – add to cereal, eat with milk or yogurt, or eat plain!
- Big clusters for extra crunch
- Relatively expensive
- Relatively high in calories (250 calories/55g serving)
7. Best Budget: Weetabix
You’ve probably heard of Weetabix, but you might not have known that it is certified vegan. Weetabix is a pretty basic cereal choice. It’s essentially just light, crispy wheat biscuits. It is 100 percent whole grain and has a relatively short ingredient list.
Weetabix is a classic breakfast option. It doesn’t tout all the benefits of some of the other options on our list, but it is still a great source of fiber (6 grams per serving) and a good source of protein (5 grams per serving).
Overall, this is simply a classic breakfast option. It is slightly sweetened (2 grams sugar per serving) for that classic breakfast cereal taste. Enjoy Weetabix with vegan milk or even with vegan yogurt.
- Good source of fiber and protein
- Great value
- Classic taste
- Contains added sugar
- Not as well-rounded as other options on our list
8. Cheetah Chomps
If you’re looking for a tasty alternative, try out Cheetah Chomps. While advertised as a kid’s cereal, there’s nothing stopping anyone of any age from enjoying Cheetah Chomps!
Cheetah Chomps resemble traditional fruity cereals like Froot Loops, but the ingredient list is far more impressive. Cheetah Chomps use organic vegetable powders and a healthy dose of raspberries and strawberries. There are no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or synthetic herbicides or pesticides.
EnviroKidz also donates one percent of all sales to conservation efforts which help to save vulnerable species, like the cheetah. So, you can feel good about where your money is going.
Cheetah Chomps may not be the most nutritional option on our list, but they are definitely among the tastiest.
- Vegan, certified USDA organic, and gluten-free
- Tasty fruit cereal
- Made with organic vegetable powders and real raspberries and strawberries
- Not a great source of protein or fiber
9. Kashi Strawberry Fields
Another great option from Kashi, Strawberry Fields is a delicious cereal that was made with plant-based ingredients.
Strawberry Fields is a mixture of whole-grain flakes and dried red berries. Each serving contains 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 18 grams of whole grains. It is also vegan, certified USDA organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified.
Overall, it’s simply a delicious breakfast option. The whole grain flakes are substantial, and the dried berries provide a natural sweetness, although this does contain added sugar. It is made to be enjoyed with milk or yogurt.
Kashi is also committed to organic ingredients. A portion of each purchase is donated to efforts that help farmers transition their farmland to organic practices.
- Great source of whole grains and protein
- Portion of proceeds goes to support organic farming
- Delicious, sweet cereal option
- Not a great source of fiber
- 10g added sugar per serving
Vegan Cereal Buying Guide
What is Vegan Cereal?
As you have seen from our list, there are many options when it comes to vegan cereal. From granola to classic Cheerios-style varieties to oatmeal and much more! Vegans will be happy to know that they have many options for cereal. Vegan cereal is made under the same principles as any vegan product. It contains no animal products or by-products.
You might be wondering that if cereal doesn’t have any obvious animal-derived ingredient, why aren’t there more options? A Lot of people wonder why every cereal isn’t vegan, such as Cheerios. We’ll address this common question next.
What Makes a Breakfast Cereal Non-Vegan? Things to Look Out For
Each product must have the official vegan seal of approval. Often, it helps to understand what to look out for and what could potentially make a seemingly safe product non-vegan. For cereal, there are a few of these problem areas. These include:
- Vitamin D: The reason that Vitamin D is so often non-vegan is that it is difficult to acquire Vitamin D without using animal products. Vitamin D is produced in our bodies through exposure to sunlight. Other popular vitamin D supplements are made with fish, eggs, or beef liver, which are non-vegan.
Most breakfast cereal that contains vitamin D gets their vitamin D through lanolin. Producing lanolin is complicated, but it is essentially a process that uses sheep’s wool. As such, vegans should be cautious of breakfast cereals that contain Vitamin D.
There is an important distinction between the two main types of Vitamin D – which are D2 and D3. Usually, Vitamin D2 is made without animal products, so it is vegan-friendly (although it is still a good idea to double-check the packaging). However, Vitamin D3 is often made from animal products, so you should watch out for it.
- Honey: Many breakfast kinds of cereal are sweetened with honey. This is still a grey-area amongst certain vegan circles, but most vegans generally accept that honey is not vegan. Therefore, this may be something you’ll want to look out for as well.
Buyer’s Guide to Vegan Cereal
Before we wrap up our comprehensive guide to vegan cereal, we’re going to give you a buyer’s guide for making the perfect choice for your ideal breakfast. An abundance of choice is a good thing when it comes to vegan products, but it can be overwhelming nonetheless. Here are some things to help you evaluate each cereal to make the perfect choice for yourself.
Naturally, the taste might be your number one concern! While taste is largely subjective, it’s hard to deny that certain cereals put more emphasis on taste than others. For example, some of the above options were meant to provide delicious taste on their own, such as the Peanut Butter Crunch, while other options are free of any added sweeteners or flavorings, like the Ezekiel 4:9. When it comes down to it, it’s all about individual taste, but pay attention to the ingredients so that you have a good idea of what to expect.
The next consideration is the nutritional value. When it comes to breakfast cereals, there are a few major categories to look out for. Many of the cereals on our list are great sources of protein, fiber, and whole grains. In general, be aware of each of these ingredients as they are a good metric of the nutritional value of the cereal itself. Since so many cereals are grain-based, these are the most likely sources of nutritional value.
Some cereals on our list also contained dried fruit, but you can always add fruit yourself.
Artificial Ingredients and Added Sugar
Just as important as what the cereal includes is what it doesn’t include. If you’re looking for the healthiest cereal on the market, you want to avoid artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Many of our above options, such as Ezekiel 4:9, do not contain any of these artificial ingredients.
You should also try to avoid cereals that are high in added sugars. Sugar is one of the most calorie-dense ingredients, and while it may make for a tastier cereal, it also drives up the calorie count significantly. If you’re looking for a low-calorie, high-nutrition product, avoid any cereals that are high in added sugar.
Type of Breakfast
Another important consideration is the type of breakfast you are looking for. We tried to include an ample variety in our list, with various types of cold cereal, hot cereal, and even granola. This is a personal preference, but it’s good to know that there are a lot of options out there.
It is important to note that there is a good level of versatility within each category. You can enjoy each cereal option with milk, yogurt, plain, and even with added fruits.
And of course, cereal is just one type of breakfast! We have many other vegan breakfast recipes on Via De La Vegan, and you can find some cool non-cereal options below:
Vegan Milk and Yogurt
Several times throughout this article, we’ve mentioned that cereal can be enjoyed with either milk or yogurt. It’s important to note that you’ll want to pick up vegan varieties of these products as well. You have ample choice when it comes to vegan milk, including soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk.
There are a similar amount of options when it comes to vegan yogurt. You can buy vegan yogurt that has a base of almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, and oat milk.
Finally, don’t forget about the add-ins! When buying a vegan cereal, consider how you can ramp up the taste and nutritional appeal. One of the most versatile options for this is granola. Many choose to add granola to fruits, yogurts, peanut butter, and even to sprinkle some on their traditional cereal. Your options don’t stop at the product in the box, and this is something to think about as you go through our list above!