Since I was little, cereal has always been one of my favorite foods. In elementary school, I used to wake up every Saturday morning and chomp down on bowl after bowl of cereal as I watched Cartoon Network’s morning specials.
In high school, I can’t count how many times I ate cereal by itself and called it dinner.
After going vegan just over seven years ago, I knew that I would have to give up milk. This wasn’t a big deal, though. I just swapped cow milk for almond and soy milk. I also gave up cereal that contains honey, after learning how exploitative the honey and beekeeping industry is.
Shortly thereafter, I learned that many of my favorite cereals that I thought were vegan actually were NOT. After doing a bit of in-depth research, I was honestly surprised just how many popular kinds of cereal weren’t vegan!
So, to help you along your vegan journey, I decided to put together a list of ten of the best vegan cereal brands that I’ve ever eaten. I don’t know about you, but I have the munchies just writing this…
I know what you’re probably thinking.
After reading my brief intro, you probably went into your kitchen and looked at all of your cereals’ ingredients list. Perhaps you found a couple of well-known animal ingredients like whey protein or milk solids (which both come from cow’s milk).
Other than that, though, you may be wondering, “What’s so non-vegan about most cereal?”
To make your life easier, here’s a quick list of some of the most common non-vegan cereals on the market:
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Original Cheerios
- Rice Krispies
- Cocoa Krispies
- Frosted Mini-Wheats
Honey and milk-derived ingredients are the more recognizable non-vegan ingredients. However, there are two other non-vegan ingredients that are very common in most commercial cereals: vitamin D3 and Confectioners’ Glaze/Shellac.
While most D vitamins are naturally-derived, vitamin D3 is typically obtained from processing sheep’s wool, another highly exploitative and cruel industry.
Vitamin D3 is naturally produced in our skin when we’re basking in the sun, but many individuals who primarily live and work indoors consume vitamin D3 supplements to make up for their lack of sunlight.
Here’s an interesting video detailing how sheep’s wool is processed and turned into vitamin D3:
Confectioners’ glaze may seem innocent, but it’s actually made from harvesting a bug-derived paste from Southeast Asia. Don’t believe me? Check out this groundbreaking article by Scientific American.
As I mentioned above, there are tons of vegan alternatives to milk. They may taste a little different and may take a few tries to get used to, but once you do, I promise you won’t go back to old-fashioned cow’s milk.
My favorite vegan milk alternatives to pair with cereal include:
- Oat milk
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Pea protein milk
So, without further ado, I now present to you my ultimate list of the best vegan cereal brands I’ve ever tried. It’s time to pour yourself a bowl of delicious cereal and start enjoying your breakfast again!
1) Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch Cereal (link)
Flavor Rating: 10/10
Growing up, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was always one of my favorite cereals. I loved the delicious square-shaped cinnamon crisps. Unfortunately, though, traditional Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains vitamin D3 (one of the no-no ingredients I spoke about above).
Cascadian Farm’s Organic Cinnamon Crunch Cereal is easily the closest vegan alternative to Cinnamon Toast Crunch that I’ve found. I’d venture so far as to say that it tastes even better than the non-vegan version!
This cereal is 100% Fair Trade Certified, which means that the farms where the ingredients are sourced contribute to sustainability and environmental protection.
Pretty great, right? Additionally, Cinnamon Crunch is made from organic ingredients, contains no GMOs, and has no artificial preservatives. So, aside from being vegan-friendly, there’s a whole list of reasons why this cereal is far healthier than its non-vegan cousin!
- Non-GMO ingredients.
- Organic cinnamon makes for a far more delicious cereal.
- Fair Trade Certified.
- None to speak of. This is, quite literally, a perfect cereal.
2) Purely Elizabeth, Pumpkin Cinnamon, Ancient Grain Granola (link)
Flavor Rating: 8.5/10
While I typically prefer something a little bit lighter for breakfast, I’ve really started enjoying granola cereal as a lunchtime snack. Sometimes, I eat it by itself; other times, I eat it like traditional cereal with a bowl of oat milk.
If I’m feeling creative, I’ll even make my own homemade vegan protein bars!
Purely Elizabeth has some of the highest-quality granola that I’ve ever had. The flavor and texture are simply unsurpassed. So, what makes their granola so special?
For one, it’s made without wheat. Instead, it’s made from ancient grains like quinoa, chia seeds, and amaranth, which are far healthier and more nutrient-dense than typical wheat-based granola.
Since it’s wheat-free, it’s also gluten-free, making it perfectly safe for anybody with a gluten sensitivity.
Personally, I love the pumpkin cinnamon flavor. However, if you’re not into either of those flavors, Purely Elizabeth offers several other varieties which you can easily find on Amazon.
- Made with wholesome whole ancient grains.
- Wheat-free and gluten-free.
- Uses 100% organic ingredients.
- Uses vegan sweeteners.
- Picky eaters may not like the pumpkin flavor.
3) Three Wishes – Fruity With Added Protein (link)
Flavor Rating: 9/10
If you’ve ever had the berry-flavored Cheerios, then this will come as a familiar flavor to you. While the original Cheerios contain vitamin D3, Three Wishes’ Fruity cereal is 100% vegan, and the flavor is remarkably similar.
Each bite is like a small explosion of berry goodness in your mouth. Whether you’re buying it for yourself or your little ones, the whole family will love it.
In addition to its signature great taste, Three Wishes also includes extra protein in this particular cereal! Compared to most typical cereals, which only contain 1-3 grams of protein per serving, each serving of Three Wishes cereal contains 8 grams of added protein.
Aside from supporting healthy muscle growth, the added protein also makes the cereal far more filling and satisfying.
The protein and lack of animal-derived ingredients isn’t the only thing that makes Three Wishes cereal different, though. What really makes this brand stand out is that they don’t use any of the typical “cheap” ingredients like wheat, corn, or high-fructose corn syrup.
Instead, Three Wishes uses ground chickpeas, pea protein, tapioca, monk fruit, vegetable juice, and organic cane sugar to make this masterpiece of a cereal!
The only downside to this cereal is that it’s almost double the cost of most store-bought cereals.
- Amazing fruity flavor derived from organic vegetable juice and monk fruit.
- Uses organic cane sugar instead of unhealthy HFCS.
- Made with chickpeas, tapioca, and pea protein.
- Contains 8 grams of protein per serving.
- It’s one of the most expensive cereals I’ve ever purchased.
4) Kashi GO Chocolate Crunch, With Vegan Protein (link)
Flavor Rating: 10/10
I’ve been a fan of Kashi products for as long as I can remember. Even before I went vegan, I used to love eating their organic cereals, oats, and protein bars.
While many of their products are naturally vegan, some contain honey or whey protein that, unfortunately, makes them non-vegan.
Thankfully, though, Kashi’s GO Chocolate Crunch is 100% vegan and contains no honey or whey protein. Instead, it’s sweetened with brown rice syrup and semi-sweet cocoa.
Kashi uses organic, plant-based protein so that you’ll get a whopping 10 grams of protein per serving (which is a lot more than most cereal offers).
Aside from the healthy organic ingredients, the taste and texture are what I truly appreciate. The chocolate flavor is natural and tastes like real cocoa, and the texture is marvelously crunchy. It’s hard for me to limit myself to just one bowl of GO Chocolate Crunch!
- Amazing crunchy texture from toasted whole grains.
- Organically sweetened with brown rice syrup and natural cocoa.
- 10 grams of protein per serving.
- Has more calories than other vegan cereal (210 calories per serving).
5) BARBARA’S Puffins Peanut Butter Cereal (link)
Flavor Rating: 8/10
If you’re a peanut butter lover, then you can’t go wrong with Puffins Peanut Butter Cereal. It’s a puffed corn cereal that gives it a flavor that’s similar to Cap’n Crunch; crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside.
If you let the cereal sit for a few minutes in your milk, though, it will become super-soft (which I like to do from time to time).
Instead of using artificial peanut butter flavoring, Barbara’s uses real peanut butter. The result is a taste that’s out of this world! The only sweetener is organic cane sugar, which isn’t processed with animal by-products and is vegan-friendly.
Another reason to feel good about supporting Barbara’s cereal brand is that proceeds of your purchase are donated to the National Audubon Society to be used for Project Puffin.
This project aims to help protect puffins and their natural environment, as well as several other endangered seabirds!
- Delicious taste from real peanut butter.
- Crunchy yet soft texture from puffed corn.
- Your purchase helps to protect puffins and endangered seabirds.
- It’s a bit pricey.
- There are only 3 grams of protein per serving.
6) Annie’s Organic Cocoa Bunnies (link)
Flavor Rating: 9/10
If you’re the type who goes “Crazy for Cocoa Puffs,” then you’ll love this 100% organic, vegan alternative. Instead of puffed chocolate-flavored corn balls, though, you’ll be eating cute chocolate-flavored bunnies.
Don’t worry, though, no bunnies were harmed in the making of this cereal. It’s free from any non-vegan ingredients like gelatin, vitamin D3, or milk by-products.
Annie’s Organic Cocoa Bunnies are made with a proprietary blend of whole grain oats, cornmeal, rice flour, and organic sweeteners like inverted cane syrup and tapioca syrup.
It also contains no artificial coloring or preservatives, which means that you don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals entering your body!
The only drawback of this cereal is that it is a little sugar-heavy, as it’s primarily marketed towards kids. So, if you don’t have a sweet tooth or you simply prefer a more mild cereal, then you may not enjoy it as much.
- Made from 100% USDA-certified organic ingredients.
- No artificial coloring, sweeteners, or preservatives.
- Fun-shaped bunnies.
- Flavored with real cocoa.
- It may be a little bit too sweet for some people.
7) Awsum Snacks Quinoa “SUPERCEREAL” with Chia seeds & Cinnamon (link)
Flavor Rating: 6.5/10
Usually, I prefer a sweet or semi-sweet cereal. However, when I’m not in the mood for anything sweet, this is a great sugar-free cereal that I enjoy from time to time. The lack of sugar means that it’s also a good low-calorie snack, as it only contains 100 calories per serving.
Unlike most typical vegan cereal options that are made with a combination of wheat, corn, and oats, Awsum Snacks uses puffed quinoa grain to achieve its puffed, crunchy goodness.
It also contains added chia seeds which are high in antioxidants, and a bit of cinnamon to provide a bit of flavor.
I use this cereal more as a snack to pair with fruit or eat on the go. It’s a bit bland with my usual choice of oat milk, but it makes for a fast, healthy snack when there’s no time to sit and eat.
- Made with puffed quinoa ancient grains.
- Added chia seeds provide additional protein and antioxidants.
- It tastes a bit bland since it’s sugar-free.
8) Sunflower Family Organic Sunflower Cacao Crisps (link)
Flavor Rating: 9/10
When I first found out that my favorite Cocoa Krispies weren’t vegan, I was incredibly disappointed. I loved the classic “snap-crackle-pop” and the insanely crunchy texture mixed with chocolatey-goodness.
Unfortunately, though, Cocoa Krispies contain the infamous vitamin D3, making them non-vegan.
Sunflower Family’s Organic Sunflower Cacao Crisps are, by far, the closest vegan alternative that I’ve found. Not only are they delicious but they’re also far healthier.
Each serving has a whopping 13 grams of protein, which is more than some of my vegan protein bars! When I’m looking for a quick dose of protein after the gym, I just bring a bag of this along.
Another feature that makes this cereal so great is that it contains just six ingredients: sunflower protein, rice flour, beet sugar, sea salt, cocoa powder, and vanilla flavoring.
So, if you’re looking for a great-tasting, crispy chocolate cereal that you can feel good about, you can’t go wrong with this one. Sure, it is a couple of bucks more expensive than other non-vegan options, but the added protein and organic goodness are impossible to beat for the price!
- Added sunflower protein provides 13 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
- Great semi-sweet taste from organic beet sugar and cocoa powder.
- Delicious, crispy, and crunchy (just like Cocoa Krispies).
- It’s a little expensive.
9) 365 by Whole Foods Market, Frosted Wheat Squares Cereal (link)
Flavor Rating: 8.5/10
I first tried this cereal after a visit to my local Whole Foods Market. If you don’t have a Whole Foods Market nearby, though, Amazon always has it in stock. 365’s Frosted Wheat Squares are an excellent vegan alternative to Frosted Mini-Wheats, which contain animal-derived gelatin.
Overall, the flavor and texture are very similar. The only difference that I can taste between this cereal and its non-vegan counterpart is that the Frosted Wheat Squares are slightly less sweet, as they only use organic cane sugar to add flavor.
Health-wise, you can expect 40 grams of natural whole grains per serving, plenty of dietary fiber, and 6 grams of protein. The cereal also has added B vitamins, designed to give you a light energy boost first thing in the morning!
- Contains 40 grams of whole grains per serving.
- Easy to find at Whole Foods Market or on Amazon.
- Packed full of healthy B vitamins.
- It’s not as sweet as Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats.
10) 365 by Whole Foods Market, Peanut Butter Cocoa Balls (link)
Flavor Rating: 10/10
If you love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, I promise you’ll love these delicious Peanut Butter Cocoa Balls by 365/Whole Foods Market! They taste remarkably similar to Reeses’ Puffs and make for a great breakfast or dessert (depending on your mood).
The only difference is that 365’s Peanut Butter Cocoa Balls are made with 100% organic ingredients and contain no animal by-products, making them perfect for vegans.
Of course, there are 10 grams of sugar per serving, which means that it’s not the healthiest cereal. However, if you’ve got a craving for sweets, this is a great choice!
- Made with real cocoa and peanut butter.
- Made from 100% organic ingredients.
- Tastes just like Reeses’ Puffs.
- Contains a lot of sugar.
Unfortunately, many of the vegan food options that I’ve tried over the years aren’t all that healthy. They’re often laden with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients that are pretty much the opposite of healthy.
However, all of the vegan cereal options on this list are far healthier than their non-vegan counterparts.
In general vegan cereal tends to be made with higher-quality organic grains, cruelty-free sweeteners, added superfoods (like quinoa and chia seeds), and may even have added plant-based protein!
Just because you’ve adopted a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to give up eating cereal! Simply substitute a vegan-friendly milk alternative and try one of these delicious vegan cereal options.
I’ve tried to make the list as conclusive as possible, and in my opinion, these are some of the best vegan cereals on the market.
If you’re just getting started with your new vegan lifestyle and you’d like to learn more, be sure to check out my vegan lifestyle blog and vegan eating blog on Vegan Calm! I’m always adding new content to help others live their best life, eat great, and truly enjoy veganism.