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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal > Test Report by Gail Staisil

 Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Initial Report - August 31, 2016
Initial Report:
August 31, 2016

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 64
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Simply Native Foods, LLC
Flavors Pumpkin Wild Rice
Sunflower Wild Rice
Manufacturer  Net Weight  6.35 oz (180g)
Tested Weight (Gross) 6.7 oz (190 g)

$11.95 USA

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

Simply Native Foods Wild Rice Cereal
I must say that I have been excited about this test since I applied for it. The product appears to have everything that I desire in a cereal. I live in an area where wild rice is common so I am used to eating it but had never tried it for breakfast. I received three packages of the Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal. Each package includes 3 "hearty" 60 g (2.1 oz) servings so 9 servings total. I had requested and was sent two packages of the Pumpkin Seed flavor and one of the Sunflower Seed flavor. The packages have re-sealable tops and a sticker is found in the bottom fold of the stand-up bag with the expiration date. One of the bags (Sunflower Seed) had more air drawn out of the bag it so that the ingredients were tightly packed/vacuum sealed; not sure if this is a result of manufacturing or that the Sunflower Seed was normally done that way.

The products are gluten free, all natural, vegan, dairy free, soy free and non-GMO. Each kind of cereal contains wild rice and high antioxidant super fruits in it as well as roasted kernels.  The products use "exclusively plants indigenous to North America to make ancient foods for Modern Times".

The hot cereal reportedly cooks in less than 10 min in either a microwave or on top of a stove. I will be using various camp stoves during the testing period so I will certainly keep track of how long it takes to cook as well as trying to finish the process in a cozy. Cooking instructions included suggest a stovetop for the preferred method. Equal parts of cereal and water (4 oz of each) are used and stirred and cooked for 8-10 min. Using a microwave won't really save any time as the same amounts of cereal and water are used and it should be stirred and cooked at 50 percent power for 7-8 min and left to stand for 1-2 min.

Pumpkin Wild Rice Hot Cereal

The primary ingredient in the cereal is pre-cooked wild rice. The pumpkin cereal also has pumpkin seeds, cranberries and blueberries. Sunflower oil and cane sugar are added to the blueberries and cranberries.
One serving provides:
240 calories
9 g protein
4 g fiber
8 g fat
1.5 g saturated fat
40 mg sodium
37 g carbs
11 g sugar

Sunflower Wild Rice Hot Cereal

This product varies ingredient wise with the use of sunflower seeds rather than pumpkin.
One serving provides:
240 calories
8 g protein
4 g fiber
8 g fat
1 g saturated fat
115 mg sodium
38 g carbs
11 g sugar
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Long Term Report:
November 12, 2016

USA Locations and Conditions

During the entire test period I have spent 17 days backpacking. All trips were in Michigan and Minnesota. Trip locations included lakeshore to boreal forest.  Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
Location of Trip #1: Isle Royale National Park 
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights backpacking (Sept 10-13), (plus 8 more days of day hikes and adventures in Minnesota)  Porcupine Mts Lake of the Clouds in beautiful Michigan
Pack Weight: 26 lb (11.8 kg)
Distance: 31 mi (50 km) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds and rainstorms
Precipitation: Rain (probably 2+ in/5+ cm)
Temperature Range: 42 F to 77 F (6 C to 25 C) 

Location of Trip #2: Porcupine Mts Wilderness State Park
Length of Hike-in Rustic Cabin Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (Sept 30 - Oct 3) 
Pack Weight: 28 lb (12.7 kg)
Distance: 12 mi (19 km) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Partly sunny and sunny, a bit of rain
Precipitation: Very light rain
Temperature Range: 35 F to 58 F (2 C to 14 C) 

Location of Trip #3: Porcupine Mts Wilderness State Park
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (October 5-8)
Pack Weight: 27 lb (12 kg)
Distance: 29 mi (47 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny, cloudy and rain
Precipitation: Rain
Temperature Range: 33 F to 57 F (1 C to 14 C )
Location of Trip #4: Porcupine Mts Wilderness State Park
Length of Trip: 3 days, 2 nights backpacking (October 28-30)
Pack Weight: 25 lb (11 kg) 
Distance: 12 mi (19 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sunny 
Precipitation: Light rain
Temperature Range: 39 F to 56 F (4 C to 13 C)
Location of Trip #5: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night backpacking (November 4-5)
Pack Weight: 24.5 lb (11 kg)
Distance: 10 mi (16 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Unseasonably warm, sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 36 F to 65 F (2 C to 18 C)  

Trip Talk

Since receiving the Native Foods Wild Rice Cereal I have spent 17 days backpacking. Since I had only 9 servings of the cereal, I had to ration those out amongst the outings plus one trial at home. UpfronRice at Isle Royalet I must say that if I had enough of the cereal I would have eaten it every morning of every is THAT good! It is such a welcome change from different kinds of oatmeal or trail bars or other foods I randomly ate for breakfast (trail mix, dried fruit, smoothies, etc).

I have experimented with several ways of preparing the cereal. My first attempt was in my kitchen using a microwave. Like suggested in the initial report it doesn't take any less time to prep it that way but I figured it would be a good experiment. It went well and I immediately became excited about eating it for breakfast due to its awesome flavor.. On my first backpacking trip I cooked it for the recommended time period so that I could get a "base" for comparison. I am very familiar with cooking wild rice and I know that if it is cooked from scratch it takes a rather long time (45 min-an hour). The rice in the cereal is already prepped for quick cooking so that the overall time required is significantly less. Regardless the recommended time (8 - 10 min) seemed to be perfect. However, I was very curious if I could get away with less cooking time so the next time I ate it I cooked it for several minutes less and then let it sit inside the cook pot with a lid on it for the rest of the time. seemed to be the same and I saved fuel. The rest of the time I only added it to boiling water with no actual cook time and let it set for 10 min. I found that cooking isn't needed at all!!! A bonus to preparation of this product is that it is not sticky so pan clean-up requires little other than a quick rinse with water.

Now for the taste. Eating wild rice is different than most rice as it has a very chewy texture. It is something I am used to and there is more additional eating (chewing) time involved to enjoy it thoroughly. The rice mixed with berries and seeds gives both a tart and sweet effect to my taste buds. I feel the best taste occurs a few minutes after cooling a bit as the very hot berries need to cool down a bit. Both kinds of cereal have blueberries and cranberries in them that are slightly sweetened but of course the latter always has a natural tartness to them. I liked both the sunflower and pumpkin seed varieties which aid in the nutty flavor.

Nutritionally the wild rice cereal is a hit in my books as I get a healthy dose of protein as well as needed carbs to start my day. It kept me full on the trail until a mid-morning snack which is usually after at least 2 - 3 hrs of hiking. I like that it also provides fiber as well as fruit servings which are often hard to find in trail food. I have also ordered more (a whole case in fact) so that I can eat it at home as well as on the trail in the future....that says it all!


  • Change-of-pace breakfast idea
  • Provides a healthy dose of protein
  • Delicious
  • None

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Simply Native Foods, LLC and for this opportunity to test the Wild Rice Cereal. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series.


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