Saturday, November 20, 2010

Black Sesame Cereal


















Black Sesame Cereal
Greenmax, $6.79/16 servings

With my demanding sweet tooth, instant desserts always seem like such a good idea. Embarrassingly often I come home from the store with boxes or sachets or envelopes full of magical powder that requires only water to transform into jelly, pudding, gruel, or some species of thick, sweet beverage for which there is no word in English.

Unfortunately, my sweet tooth is almost as discerning as it is demanding, and once I've welcomed them into my home, most of these over-sweet, artificially-flavored, and additive-laden treats languish in the cupboard until the packages are as dusty as their contents.

The one big exception to this rule is Black Sesame Cereal from Greenmax, a Taiwanese company that has been making seed- and grain-based convenience foods since the 1960s under the banner "Make Healthy & Beautiful Wish". Since Greenmax shuns colorings, artificial flavors, preservatives, and non-dairy creamer their sesame cereal looks like sun-bleached asphalt but tastes like the real, comforting, and delicious things from which it is made.

Black sesame cereal contains just eight ingredients: sesame, black beans, brown rice, Job's tears (barley), wheat germ, medlar seed, licorice root, and brown sugar. Amongst my entire collection of just-add-water treats, this is the only instance in which sugar comes anything but first on the list of ingredients.

A little hot liquid renders each packet into a creamy and respectable breakfast with 143 calories, 2.6g of protein, and 4.7g of fiber, plus 11 vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron. Mixing it with coffee instead of water intensifies the nutty, roasty flavor--and adds a little kick.

10 comments:

Your correspondent said...

I cannot find Greenmax Black Sesame Cereal at any store. Can you? I'm in Olympia, Wash. There are online places, but they are either out of stock or charge huge shipping fees.

Julia said...

It wasn't on the shelf at Uwajimaya when I looked a couple of weeks ago, but I was in too much of a rush to ask. I'll be back down there in a week or so and will see what I can find out.

Julia said...

As of today, it's back on the shelf at the downtown Seattle Uwajimaya. If you are headed this way sometime, they're usually pretty nice about putting things on hold if you call ahead.

Anonymous said...

i just tried the yam and black sesame seed version..taste like a nuttier thicker version of cream of wheat,,with a smoother mouth feel

Julia said...

mmm, that's going on my shopping list!

Grace said...

Amazon.com!

lea said...

this is my most favorite food of all time now!! I'm obsessed with their products, although I've only had the black sesame cereal, I know I'll be trying other foods they sell in the future. One trick I like is to add a little creamer to the cereal once its made. It adds a little creaminess and flavor. However, I never seem to know how much water to add. When I make the instant packs my cereal usually ends up like a thick, drinkable liquid.. but still good.

Julia said...

did you try it with coffee? that's my favorite--although i imagine adding cream would also be tasty. i tend to make my thick enough to stand a spoon in it!

Anonymous said...

We've been eating this every morning for a few years and we love it. I eat a vegan diet and this works for me. My favorites are the black sesame and the yam + black sesame. I add ground flaxseed and green powder to give it a nutritional boost. My next experiment will be to dump it all into a blender with some extra hot water (or soymilk) and a banana.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention, we live in the San Fran area and buy it at Ranch 99 Asian market. It normally costs $5.99 and is occasionally on sale for $4.99 for a bag with 14 packets.