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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal > Test Report by Andrea Murland

Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Initial Report - September 23, 2016
Long Term Report - January 23, 2017

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 31
Location: Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent two months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Initial Report – September 23, 2016

Product Information

Manufacturer: Simply Native Foods
Manufacturer's URL: www.simplynativefoods.com
Product: Quick Cooking Wild Rice Hot Cereal
Year of Manufacture: 2016
MSRP: US $11.95 (per 3 serving pouch)
Listed Weight: 6.35 oz (180 g) per 3 serving pouch
Measured Weight: 6.70 oz (190 g) including packaging
Available Flavours: Pumpkin Seed-Cranberry-Blueberry & Sunflower Seed-Cranberry-Blueberry

Description & Initial Impressions

Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal
The Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal is, as you might expect, a wild rice based breakfast cereal. Both flavours also contain seeds and dried fruit. The cereal is gluten-free and non-GMO. The ingredients and nutritional information of both flavours are listed below.

Pumpkin Seed-Cranberry-Blueberry: Wild rice (pre-cooked), roasted pumpkin kernels (pumpkin kernels, sunflower oil, salt), dried cranberries (cranberries, cane sugar, sunflower oil), dried blueberries (blueberries, cane sugar, sunflower oil).

Sunflower Seed-Cranberry-Blueberry: Wild rice (pre-cooked), roasted sunflower kernels (sunflower kernels, sunflower oil, salt), dried cranberries (cranberries, cane sugar, sunflower oil), dried blueberries (blueberries, cane sugar, sunflower oil).
Nutrition Info
The cereal came packaged in re-sealable packages that contain three servings. The front of the package has a little window through which I can see the cereal, and it looks very full of rice and seeds! My initial impressions from the packaging and looking at the cereal are that it looks like a healthy alternative to my usual camping breakfast cereal (oatmeal).

The back of the packaging, in addition to ingredients and nutritional information, gives the cooking directions. A serving is 1/2 cup (125 mL) of cereal and the dry cereal is mixed with the same amount of water. Stovetop and microwave directions are given and seem easy to follow. For the stovetop, I mix the cereal and water and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat while stirring. For the microwave, I would mix the cereal and water and then cook at 50% power for 7-8 minutes before allowing it to stand for 1-2 minutes.

Trying It Out

I’ve had the Pumpkin Seed-Cranberry-Blueberry flavour out in the backcountry for a breakfast already, but I’m saving the results for my Long Term Report. Let’s just say that so far, so good!

Summary

I’m really looking forward to shaking up my backcountry breakfast routine for the next few months. This looks like a very tasty alternative to my usual instant oatmeal!

Long Term Report – January 23, 2017

Field Conditions

During this test, I have been able to eat the Wild Rice Hot Cereal under a variety of conditions. In the backcountry, I cooked the cereal over a canister stove as per the stovetop package directions. I was able to have four camping breakfasts of this cereal, all of them while on trips in the Canadian or Montana Rocky Mountains. In all cases, I was cooking at temperatures just above freezing and at elevations between 1800 and 2100 m (5900 and 6890 ft). I used the rest of the supplied cereal testing out other cooking methods at home or at work, under indoor conditions.
Ready to Eat

Observations

Cooking Details:
Stovetop – this was the method that I followed while cooking the Wild Rice Cereal while camping, and the method I found most successful. I had pre-measured 1/2 cup (125 mL) of cereal and was able to measure the same amount of water into my pot for cooking. I was initially unsure if I would be able to turn my stove down low enough to have anything other than a burnt mess, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to keep the cereal lightly bubbling for the required 8-10 minutes with no sticking at all. After 10 minutes, there was still a bit of free water in the pot, so I let the cereal simmer for another minute and then let it rest for a minute. This seemed to allow all of the water to be soaked up. I found that the cereal was nicely cooked, with the rice being rehydrated (not crunchy or too chewy) and the fruit also plump and juicy.
Cooking Progression

Microwave – I tried the microwave cooking method three times with mixed results. The first time, I cooked it for 10 minutes on 50% power, stirring occasionally, and was happy with the results. The second time, I stirred it less, and somehow ended up with a completely burnt pile of rice and fruit in my bowl – I couldn’t even eat it! I’m not sure if it was from not stirring or from setting the microwave wrong, but I wasn’t going to try and replicate the experiment! The third time I made sure to stir it and I was able to get an edible, if slightly watery, product.

Hot Water – Near the end of the test I had two breakfasts where I simply added boiling water to the cereal. This resulted in a slightly crunchy, very chewy, watery breakfast. The fruit plumped up nicely, but the rice didn’t absorb much water so the result was disappointing, overall.

Taste & Energy:
I found the Simply Native Wild Rice Cereal to be quite tasty! The fruit is abundant enough, and nice and juicy, so that the cereal was sweet enough overall, without having added sugar in the ingredients. The seeds added a nice texture, though I preferred the cereal with the pumpkin seeds to the one with sunflower seeds...no surprise, as I will always pick pumpkin over sunflower seeds as a snack! The rice itself had a nice, earthy, flavour and a good texture (when I cooked it properly) – neither mushy nor chewy.

Regarding serving size, I found 1/2 cup (125 mL) of cereal to make about the right amount for a breakfast at home or work, but not quite enough when backpacking. I was satisfied after breakfast, but found that after a couple of hours of hiking I was looking for a snack. If I purchase this cereal next summer, I’ll take 2/3 cup (167 mL) for breakfast.

Summary

The Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal is a tasty, satisfying breakfast food, particularly while camping. It is easily cooked on a camping stove and provided a good amount of energy for a morning of hiking.

Thumbs Up:
Lots of fruit
Good flavour
Easy to cook on a stove – didn’t stick!

Thumbs Down:
Didn’t cook by just adding water

Thanks to Simply Native Foods and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this tasty breakfast food. I may just add it to my regular backpacking supplies next summer!



Read more reviews of Simply Native Foods gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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