This post is sponsored by Kellogg's and
Growing up, there was no shortage of Rice Krispies in our pantry. I mean, truth be told, the entire Kellogg's cereal squad had a shelf of its own. Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, you name it. Even those little single serving packages bring back memories of sitting on the rocks at the beach. My brother and I would pop a box open and eat the colorful cereals in our bathing suits. That nostalgia kicks in when I see those colorful little boxes lined up on the shelf in the plastic wrap. To this day, Rice Krispies (cocoa and plain) is my cereal of choice. So, when Kellogg's asked me if I'd like to see where the rice from Rice Krispies and Special K® is sourced, I was absolutely along for the ride. It's almost like getting an invite to Santa's workshop! Amirite?

I think the Open for Breakfast team at Kellogg's nails it when they say how important it is to know where your food is coming from and to understand the process from seed to box. It’s important to know that companies like Kellogg’s are using only the very best ingredients and working to ensure they are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced. Kellogg's has made the commitment to responsibly source ten priority ingredients by 2020, including rice.

So down to Louisiana I went to find out the secrets of snap, crackle and pop.

After a hop, skip and a jump from NYC, I landed in Monroe, Louisiana, home to where the first bottle of coke was bottled, where Delta Airlines was born, and the family-owned farm where Kellogg's sources some of its medium-grain Jupiter rice lives. Kennedy Companies has been in the rice business for over 50 years and grows about 8,000 - 10,000 acres of rice each year, including long-grain and medium-grain varieties. For Kellogg's, they grow rice that is used for products like Special K and my beloved Rice Krispies. All the rice is milled at the Kennedy Rice Mill. The entire growing process takes about 120 days and requires the farmers to flood the rice in 4-6 inches of water before harvesting between late August- October.

When we made our farm trip, the crops were already harvested, but that doesn't mean the fields are abandoned until next season. After the rice is harvested and the weather up north starts to cool down, birds flock to the open water in winter time to graze on the old crops, providing acres of wildlife habitat during the off-months.

One of my favorite parts of catching a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a day in the life of farming, aside from the technology advancements, is getting to know everyone involved – from the CEO of Kennedy Rice, Meryl Kennedy, to the Farm Manager and the Mill team. I've never met a group more proud of what they do. It definitely made me scoop up a couple of extra boxes of Rice Krispies for breakfast after coming home, just so I could share with the boys how the little crisps they eat every morning come to life. And it’s not just our personal favorite Rice Krispies -- many Kellogg’s cereals start with wholesome grains; wheat, rice and corn and are cooked with a handful of ingredients including vitamins and minerals before hitting the shelves, then table.   

The whole trip inspired me to create a little something special to help you step up your breakfast game with Rice Krispies. Yeah, they're amazing on their own and I could easily eat a couple of bowls throughout the day without hesitation, but making the mix was fun, and I definitely won the boys over with Rice Krispies Yogurt Bowls. That on its own is a feat because they're creatures of habit, but they have seriously been all about the added toppings and dairy swap since. I personally wanted to keep the 'crunch' from the cereal, and I added more ingredients that would fall in line with that consistency, such as pomegranates, pistachios, and blackberries. But really, you could add just about anything you please. Go nuts! (no pun intended)

Winter Fruit and Nut Rice Krispies Yogurt Bowls
(One Serving)
1 C Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1/2 C Plain or Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 C Shelled Pistachios
1/4 Pomegranate, seeded
5-8 Blackberries
2 large Strawberries, sliced
Optional: Chia Seeds

1. In a bowl, add Rice Krispies and top with your yogurt.

2. Add pistachios, pomegranates, blackberries, and strawberries. Sprinkle on a little chia if you please.

3. Enjoy while doing a little morning reading on to learn more about where your favorite foods are coming from, and how Kellogg's is making strides in the community with sustainable initiatives.