These days, we’re all looking for a delicious and nutritious breakfast option. Our morning meals should be home-cooked, but with the flavor that only comes from store bought, factory produced goodness.
Now, I’m no Emeril Lagasse or Rachel Ray, but I can cook things like Progresso soup and Subway sandwiches. My mom also told me I could do anything if I just set my mind to it—and I don’t want to let her down.
One recent Saturday morning, I woke up before noon. It was quite possibly the first time this had occurred since I’d hit puberty. Inspired, I turned on some cartoons and soon my mind had wandered from animation to the growing hunger in my stomach. I needed breakfast. But not just any breakfast. The greatest breakfast in the history of the world: Ralston Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal. Seriously. There has never been and will never be another breakfast with the perfect mixture of flavors, texture and marketing tie-in than TMNT Cereal.
The only problem? Ralston stopped making Teenage Mutant Ninja Cereal decades ago (Side note: It happened the same year Hi-C ceased production of Ecto Cooler–I almost starved to death). To make my mom proud, I set out to concoct my own recipe simply using the greatest tool available at the time: my mind. Also helpful? The Internet. Using a killer combination of memory and something called Google, I found the classic cereal box which said:
Crunchy sweetened “Ninja Nets” with “Ninja Turtle” Marshmallows
In layman’s terms: sugar coated rice Chex squares and marshmallows.
After hours of experimentation, here’s the recipe I created:
Warning: It’s awesome.
1-2 cups Ninja Nets (Rice Chex or generic rice square cereal)
3 generous squirts of honey from a honey bear or other honey-loaded apparatus
40 multi-colored marshmallows
1 Medium-size spoon of Olive Oil
Add the olive oil to your frying pan and heat for a little while on medium. Then toss in your Ninja Nets and honey. Cook on medium or high while stirring the rice squares to achieve an even coating of honey. The goal is to caramelize and, maybe, lightly brown the honey to the Ninja Nets.
After a few minutes, the honey should have sugar-ized itself to the Ninja Nets. A light browning is fine, but be very careful not to burn your Ninja Nets. Burned Ninja Nets taste awful and can ruin a whole batch of cereal.
Step three, the much anticipated marshmallow step, is the most controversial part of the whole process. There are two camps of marshmallow fiends. Some people staunchly support the crusted, crunchy, freeze dried, awful-to-chew cereal marshmallows that are found in everything from Lucky Charms to, well, the original TMNT Cereal. Then there are marshmallow purists who argue that a marshmallow should be fluffy, light and easy-to-chew. I fall somewhere in between. Even when I was a child I resented cereal marshmallows and would let them soak in milk until they became chewier, but there’s something very authentic about them. As an adult with cavity ridden teeth, I’ve warmed to the soft, chewable, store bought multicolored marshmallows.
In step three you combine your marshmallows with your cooked Ninja Nets. Feel free to buy a box of Lucky Charms or Spider-Man Cereal (depending on your shape preference) and pick out enough marshmallows for a delicious bowl. The other option (which is now my favorite) is to buy a bag of the multicolored mini-marshmallows and simply add those to the mix. These were very hard to find at a regular grocery store, but Walmart in my area had a bag that worked out beautifully. Either way, you’re in for a healthy amount of deliciousness.
Everything is combined, but you need to achieve the perfect blend of rice square to marshmallows before you dig in. As is widely known, the ideal composition of the perfect bite of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal is a 2:1 ratio of Ninja Nets to marshmallows and you should strive to achieve this ratio, especially if you plan to serve a large batch to guests or coworkers. You don’t want your coworkers thinking you’re the kind of weirdo who doesn’t know (and strive to achieve) the ideal ratio of Ninja Nets to marshmallows.
Carefully mix things around without crushing the delicate Ninja Nets. I recommend using a large cup to combined the cooked cereal and marshmallows. It is easy to hold a hand over the top of the cup and shake the mixture lightly. This tends to be the best way to avoid breaking the delicate Ninja Nets. My original method was to simply use a spoon and stir the mixture right in a large cereal bowl (or a mixing bowl for larger batches). This works, but be gentle in your stirring motions. Ninja Nets are made of rice, not the cold hard steel one would find in a katana blade.
I’ve found that the still-warm rice squares make the cereal taste a little better and provide a sweet contrast to the ice cold milk. If you prefer your cereal at room temperature, let your mix sit for awhile before moving on to Step Five.
The most important step: Add your mix to an official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cereal bowl. It tastes better that way and you look cooler. These came bundled with the cereal back in the day and can be found on eBay. I have a mint Raphael bowl from eBay and a Leonardo bowl that I’ve had since childhood that I use on special occasions and to impress casual hookups and long-term sex partners.
Add some milk and eat up! If you didn’t make a triple batch, make sure to leave the ingredients out because you’re definitely not only eating one serving of this.