TikTok’s Viral ‘Nature’s Cereal’ Recipe Is, Frankly, Not Better Than Actual Cereal

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Grace Jaeger

Remember the feta pasta dish that went viral last month? Well, there’s a new TikTok recipe in town, and even Lizzo likes this one. Obviously, as the Cut’s resident Gen-Zer and TikTok enthusiast, I had to try it out to see for myself whether the hype was warranted.

This recipe was created by the TikTok account @natures_food. The man behind this dish creates recipes using only fresh ingredients straight from the ground. On February 15, he casually debuted his “nature’s cereal” recipe, and it now has 5.6 million views. In a 30-second video, he cracks open a fresh pomegranate for its seeds, sprinkles in the some of the most vibrant blueberries and blackberries I’ve ever seen, and tops it off with coconut water that he pours directly out of a coconut (and not the sort you buy from Whole Foods — this one was straight out of a tree). While making this magically colorful breakfast, he explains its health benefits: It purports to aid digestion, prevent constipation, and boost energy levels. He even goes so far as to state that he feels as though he could run a marathon after finishing this selection of fruit and water. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like that? I was intrigued after watching his video, but what really sold me was Lizzo’s endorsement.

Lizzo recreated “nature’s cereal” but added in a few twists of her own. The woman is an innovator and visionary, after all. She substituted strawberries for blackberries and finished off her bowl with some ice cubes. She narrated the video in a hushed tone and overlaid it with the TikTok sound “romantic piano music.” What does she think of the dish? To use her own words, “It’s actually really good, y’all.” If Lizzo likes it, then I simply have to try it.

Photo: Grace Jaeger

First, a disclaimer: I am not the biggest fan of fruit. I know it’s a controversial thing to say, but I feel I must be honest before offering my review of, well, a glorified bowl of fruit. However, if I had to pick a favorite fruit category it would be berries, so I felt pretty neutral towards this fruit-salad situation heading into it.

When it came time to tackle the recipe, I had two options — keep it classic and follow @natures_food’s original TikTok or embrace Lizzo’s updated version. Although Lizzo does have over a million more views on her video (admittedly that probably has more to do with the fact that she’s a Grammy-winning artist than it does with her food-influencer bona fides), I decided to go with the O.G.

After purchasing my ingredients from Whole Foods (the closest thing I could get to @natures_food’s ‘straight from the earth’ vibe in my Chicago suburb), it came time to assemble my bowl. The directions are simple enough: fruit, then coconut water. First, the pomegranate seeds. I pour half of my four-ounce tub in. I sprinkle in a handful of blueberries and match it with a handful of blackberries. I must say, at this point, my little white bowl of fruit is looking incredibly aesthetically pleasing. The dark blue and red tones really work together — major nail polish inspiration for next fall. After admiring my beautiful fruit, I top it off with some Harmless Harvest coconut water (about half the bottle). My coconut water has turned pink by this point, which always slightly grosses me out, even though, as my roommate reminds me, “It’s meant to do that!” Anyway, I don’t let my pink coconut water deter me, and I mix the concoction together.

Photo: Grace Jaeger

Honestly, it’s visually stunning. This fruit bowl should get an award for best-dressed breakfast. But then, it’s not all about looks. I take a bite. I am underwhelmed. It tastes like fruit with a little bit of coconut water. I am completely missing the creamy and sweet sensation that was promised. Did TikTok lie to me? Lizzo would never. In a panicked move, I grab a handful of ice cubes and plop them in. It’s better! The coldness offers additional freshness and makes the experience overall more pleasant, but it’s still not viral-worthy, I don’t think. It needs a grain! Oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth! Something to give it substance and make it an actual, you know, cereal.

Feeling slightly defeated, I take another bite and gather my final thoughts. I think this meal is all about context. Unlike the feta pasta, which is a fool-proof dish, nature’s cereal requires a specific situation in which it can be enjoyed. If I was on a beach on a hot summer day and wanted a light and refreshing snack that I could post on Instagram, nature’s cereal would be it. A snowy March day in Illinois? Nature’s cereal is not it. In conclusion, try it! But in my opinion, the grocery stores aren’t going to be running out of pomegranate seeds anytime soon.

We Tried the Viral TikTok Breakfast Bowl, ‘Nature’s Cereal’