- I tried 5 versions of TikTok’s “nature’s cereal” trend to see if it’s really worth all the hype.
- I wasn’t a fan of the pomegranate seeds, and some of the liquids were either too sweet or too thick.
- But it was a tasty treat, and I would make the pineapple-juice and coconut-water recipes again.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
I generally don’t think of a bowl of fresh fruit as cereal, but Lizzo convinced me to hop on the healthy breakfast trend.
The TikTok account @natures_food created “nature’s cereal” in February using only fresh ingredients. The 30-second video shows him cracking open a pomegranate, sprinkling in different berries, and pouring fresh coconut water over the fruit medley.
Since then, it’s gotten over 5 million views, and it even caught Lizzo’s attention, who posted her own version of the recipe and challenged her followers to do the same.
There are already several takes on this trend circulating on TikTok, so I decided to try the fruity bowl five different ways. Read on to see how it went.
Before I started, I spoke to a dietitian to find out how healthy this breakfast dish really is
The original recipe from @natures_food calls for pomegranate seeds, blueberries, blackberries, and fresh coconut water straight from a coconut, and the creator claims that it aids digestion and boosts energy levels.
According to Sarah Rueven, a registered dietitian and founder of Rooted Wellness in NYC, this dish is actually a pretty great way to start the day.
“Berries are loaded with nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber,” she told Insider. “Fiber aids in digestion, supports a healthy gut microbiome, and reduces cholesterol levels.”
I tried the original recipe first, and it was just as fresh as you’d think
The original recipe calls for fresh coconut water, but I opted for a carton of it to save money and time.
The creator suggested eating this bowl first thing in the morning, so I quickly put it together before I even had a cup of coffee.
The fruits all had different levels of sweetness. They also had different textures, and I’m not a big fan of pomegranate seeds, so their crunch threw me off a bit.
My coconut water was also room temperature, and I think the bowl would’ve been more refreshing if it was colder.
Although the subtle hints of coconut balanced the sweetness of the fruit, it was still a very sweet breakfast, which I’m not used to having first thing in the morning.
Sweetness aide, Rueven told Insider the coconut-water base is a good way to prioritize hydration in the morning.
“Coconut water is made up of 95% water, so it is an extremely hydrating beverage that also contains electrolytes,” she said.
Next, I tried out Lizzo’s version of the food trend
For the most part, the singer stuck to the original recipe, but she swapped blackberries for strawberries and added ice cubes.
I preferred the strawberries over the blackberries because they seemed to pair better with the blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
The added ice cubes were also a smart choice because they made a big difference in how the coconut water tasted.
Overall, I found Lizzo’s version to be even more refreshing and less sweet than the original recipe.
I also tried replacing coconut water with creamy coconut milk, but it wasn’t for me
Another version making its rounds on TikTok replaces coconut water with coconut milk.
I threw some pomegranate seeds, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries into a bowl and topped it off with a generous pour of canned coconut milk and some ice cubes.
This recipe was the most similar to cereal because of the milk, so I was excited to try it.
After one bite, I knew I wasn’t a fan of the coconut-milk version.
I was looking forward to a creamy bowl of fruit, but instead, the coconut milk was a bit lumpy and the fruit tasted kind of weird.
According to Rueven, coconut milk also makes the dish heavier.
“Canned coconut milk has a thick consistency and is used as a substitute for heavy cream in curries and soups,” she said. “It also is higher in calories and saturated fat compared to coconut water.”
The TikTok I was inspired by used a carton of coconut milk, not a can, so maybe it would’ve been better that way. But I still preferred the lighter, coconut-water versions.
The original creator also made a pineapple-juice version, and it quickly became my favorite
The @natures_food account posted another variation of the bowl using fresh pineapple juice.
I don’t have the skills or tools to extract the juice from a fresh pineapple, so instead, I bought cans of pineapple juice.
I love anything pineapple-flavored, so I was very excited to try this one. I threw the seeds and mixed berries (minus the strawberries) into a bowl and added the pineapple juice to it.
This time around, I used fewer pomegranate seeds and more blueberries because I still wasn’t a fan of the crunchy texture.
This version definitely met my expectations and quickly became my favorite. The pineapple juice really brought out the flavors of the fruit without being too sweet.
Unfortunately, Rueven doesn’t recommend eating this version on a daily basis because of the juice’s high sugar levels.
“Fruit juice contains a very concentrated amount of sugar, making this cereal even sweeter and more likely to spike blood sugar, which will inevitably lead to a mid-morning energy crash,” she told Insider.
For added variety, I also experimented with an orange-juice version
After experimenting with different liquids, the last one I wanted to try was orange juice.
I tossed in handfuls of the fruit and added a few splashes of orange juice.
After a few bites, I wasn’t sold on this variation.
The orange juice overpowered the fruit, and the whole thing was too sweet for my liking.
I took another bite, but I couldn’t finish the rest because my mouth was tingling from the tartness.
The coconut-water and pineapple-juice recipes are definitely worth trying at least once
Overall, this fruit bowl – or “deconstructed smoothie” as some people are calling it – is a tasty treat.
Trying a different variation of the bowl each morning forced me to incorporate more fruit into my diet. I don’t always eat fruit every day, so it was nice knowing I was getting those nutrients in.
Out of all of the different versions of “nature’s cereal,” the coconut-water and the pineapple-juice recipes were my favorites by far.
Both versions were refreshing and not too sweet compared to the orange-juice version, and I prefer my fruit to be floating in a thin liquid rather than the lumpy consistency of the canned coconut milk.
Overall, I’m a fan of this trend, but it’s not enough of a breakfast for me
My breakfast usually consists of carbs and proteins, so I was hungry after about an hour of eating just the fruit each day.
Rueven agreed that more is needed to create a complete breakfast.
“Having a bowl of berries with breakfast is a great way to start the morning,” she said. “Rather than eating this bowl alone, pair it with some protein, like eggs, and fat, like nut butters or avocado, to round out this meal and make it more satisfying.”
Going forward I’ll probably incorporate “nature’s cereal” into my breakfast rotation alongside protein and fat to make a filling, satisfying meal.