Cream of Wheat, also known as farina, is a classic breakfast porridge. It's made from ground wheat kernels. It has a similar appearance to grits which is made from ground corn kernels but it has a smoother texture. This classic hot cereal has been around since 1893 and still remains a popular breakfast choice today. But is Cream of Wheat vegan? Yes, it is! Read on to learn all about it.
Ingredients & Nutritional Information
Even though "cream" is in its name, there's no dairy in Cream of Wheat. It's mostly made up of fortified wheat. Let's check out the ingredients.
Original Cream of Wheat Ingredients: Wheat Farina, Calcium Carbonate, Defatted Wheat Germ, Disodium Phosphate, Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3).
There are no obvious animal ingredients here. It's also a pretty healthy option for breakfast. One serving contains 50% of you daily iron requirements. It also contains 20% of your daily calcium, B vitamins, and numerous other vitamins and minerals. If you're concerned about your iron intake, this breakfast cereal can be a great addition to your vegan diet. However, some vegans worry about Vitamin D3 and if this is you, continue reading below.
What About the Vitamin D3?
While many vegans worry that Cream of Wheat isn't vegan because of the word "cream" in the title, others might be concerned about the vitamins. Vitamin D3 comes from both vegan and non-vegan sources. The vegan source is algae while the non-vegan is from lanolin (often from sheep's wool). If this is a concern for you, you can contact the manufacturer to find out the source of the Vitamin D3.
There are several different flavors of Cream of Wheat that come in both instant and stovetop varieties. The stovetop variety only takes about 2 ½ minutes at most to make so all varieties are really quick.
- Maple Brown Sugar
- Whole Grains
- Bananas and Cream
- Maple Brown Sugar with Real Walnuts
- Cinna-Apple Walnut with Real Apples
- Cocoa Nut with Real Almonds
- Banana Walnut
- Mixed Berry with Real Almonds
The great news is that all flavors of Cream of Wheat are vegan...including Bananas and Cream!
How to Make Cream of Wheat
It's super easy to make this healthy breakfast. For the stovetop version, you just boil either water or milk and stir in the ground wheat. Simmer for about 2 ½ minutes while continuously stirring. You can also make it in the microwave oven. I would recommend either almond milk or soy milk for their neutral flavor. Then it's time to add the different toppings!
Wondering about the different types of non-dairy milk? Check out Vegan Milk Options - A Look at Non-Dairy Milks.
There is an endless amount of toppings to add to Cream of Wheat. Some of the best are:
- maple syrup
- fresh fruit like bananas, blueberries and strawberries
- ground flax seeds or chia seeds for added nutrition
- vegan butter
- chopped walnuts or pecans
- vegan chocolate chips
- brown sugar
- cinnamon and nutmeg
While most people add toppings to give their farina a sweet taste, you can also use it in savory recipes. Savory Cream of Wheat with Onions and Peas by Indiaphile has a unique twist. This vegan recipe uses the following wholesome ingredients:
- Cream of Wheat
- cumin seeds
- green chili
- red chili powder
- lemon juice
- fresh herbs
Recipe That Aren't Porridge
Yes, Cream of Wheat is typically made as the hot breakfast cereal with the creamy texture. But you can also use farina as the main ingredient in other types of dishes. Check out the following recipes:
- Vegan Chocolate Carob Farina Nut Cookies from Food.com - You can make yummy cookies that also have the health benefits of farina.
- Harisseh - Sweet Dessert with Farina by Palestine In A Dish - This recipe isn't naturally vegan but can easily be made that way by swapping the yogurt, milk, and butter for vegan varieties.
- Whole What Muffins (Vegan) by Such a Sweetheart - This healthy muffin recipe can be dressed up by mix-ins of your choice.
- Healthy Vegan Chocolate Muffins (Oil-Free) by the Vegan 8 - A healthy muffin that's also chocolate?! I'm in!
History of Cream of Wheat
Cream of Wheat has been around for a long time. According to Wikipedia, it was invented in 1893 in North Dakota. The Diamond Milling Company was having a problem with low prices and demand for flour. Their chief miller, Tom Amidon, suggested that they create a breakfast cereal that his wife would make from the part of wheat that's not used in making flour known as "middlings".
At first, there was little interest. Eventually, the idea caught on and the factory began only making Cream of Wheat instead of regular flour. Eventually in 1961, it was bought by Nabisco for about $30 million. Later, Nabisco was bought out by Phillip Morris Companies and merged with Kraft Foods. In 2007, Cream of Wheat was bought by B&G Foods for about $200 million.
Even though it's been around for over 120 years, Cream of Wheat is still a popular breakfast food. It's quick and easy to make and contains iron and other vitamins and minerals. Luckily, all of their flavors are vegan! It's a versatile hot breakfast cereal and tastes great with many different toppings. What's your favorite way to prepare Cream of Wheat?
Wondering if other breakfast foods are vegan? Check out:
Saying “there are no animal ingredients here” may not be accurate. Vitamin D3 is listed as an ingredient and Vitamin D3 is often derived from lanolin, which is an animal ingredient. So this very well may not be vegan - one would have to check with the manufacturer to see whether the D3 is animal-derived or plant-derived.
Good catch Travis. Yes, some vegans might be worried about where the D3 is derived from while others aren't. I'm going to add information about this into the post. Thanks.