Food News

TikTok's Nature's Cereal. It's Natural, but Is It Cereal?

We dove headfirst into a bowl to investigate this bright, juicy breakfast.

March 18, 2021
Photo by Valerio Farris

A little over a month ago, Sherwayne Mears shared a simple recipe via his TikTok, @natures_food. “This, my friends, is what breakfast cereal looks like for me,” he says as he combines blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds in a wooden bowl. “I call it nature’s cereal.”

He tops the berries with a glug of coconut water straight from the source and eats the whole affair with a spoon as he praises the personal benefits of his winning breakfast: “My number one thing when I eat this that I notice is the energy level. I literally felt like I could run a marathon.”

Before long, the recipe, like so many on TikTok, started to catch on as imitators across the site tried their hand at this new breakfast of champions. It wasn’t until singer Lizzo made a batch of nature’s cereal and broadcast it to her audience of 13 million followers that it truly took off.

Her version stars strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate, and, of course, coconut water. She ups the ante, however, and adds a few cubes of ice. “It’s gooooood,” she whispers soothingly as she takes her first bite.

With Lizzo’s endorsement, nature’s cereal entered the upper echelons of viral food recipe-dom. In the week since her take, I’ve seen nature’s cereal appearing across Instagram and TikTok, spurring countless permutations. Jason Derulo assembles a version that makes him float. Internet star Trisha Paytas claims her version “tastes like ice cream.” A cursory glance at the hashtag on TikTok reveals a small army trying their hands at this very simple recipe.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“It's a watery fruit salad. ”
— advansi

I talked to Mears about the runaway success of his go-to breakfast: “I've always been a lover of fruits and leaves,” he says. “The idea behind nature's cereal originated from just simply thinking about what to eat the next morning while I was laying in bed the night before.” Awesome!

Of course, I couldn’t resist trying. With the help of my friend Zach, I assembled the requisite berries in a bowl and topped them with a heavy splash of coconut water. I don’t usually love to eat super-cold things, but I tossed a few ice cubes in there for the experience, and took a few bites.

The cool thing about this recipe is that it tastes just like it looks. Which is to say it tasted like berries suspended in water. That’s ultimately what it is. I hate surprises, so this was good for me.

“There is something about eating berries with a spoon,” Zach said. “If you tried to do that without the coconut water, there might be a struggle with the lips. Spoonful of dry berries, dry lips, berry or two in the lap. The way I usually eat berries with a spoon is with yogurt, which does a lot for the flavor and texture. So this cereal is a way to have berries by the spoonful with the ease of yogurt, but with pure berry flavor which is…cool, I guess.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself! I think this tweet sums it up for me:

Have you tried nature’s cereal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • j7n
  • Matt
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  • Cori Ann Carter
    Cori Ann Carter
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


j7n August 7, 2021
I like to eat strawberries with milk. It is a seasonal dessert. Ream milk slightly boosts the nutrition value with protein. Berries are very expensive even in-season and can't be primary means of sustenance. She felt an energy level? That's sugar, chemically the same as any other sugar. "Cereal" is a vague term, but in most contexts describes a product derived from grass seeds (grain).
Matt May 26, 2021
Berries and (heavy/double) cream is a pretty common summertime snack for the English diaspora. This is just that with those weird non dairy substitutes that the diet obsessed fantasize about. It's not breakfast.
Amelia March 21, 2021
Cereals are grains. They are also natural. Doesn’t make any sense to call this natures cereal lol...
Anita104 March 19, 2021
Looks like a yummy snack. But a meal??? Another example of our diet obsessed culture.
Cori A. March 18, 2021
Can’t understand the naysayers. In a world filled with added sugar in nearly everything and constant reports of increasing obesity and chronic disease, I find it refreshing that social media has gone viral with one of the most healthy snacks you can have... simple, sweet, antioxidant-packed berries.
Japera M. May 6, 2021
I get what you’re saying but it’s not healthy, it’s encouraging barely eating as “healthy eating”. It’s diet culture. A new weird uncreative diet trend. Like eating cereal is bad for you? Just eat cereal. And then have some fruit too. It’s ok to eat real food ya know?
Cori A. May 6, 2021
When did fruit stop being “real food”? One of my favorite snacks in the afternoon is an apple. Anyone who says an apple isn’t a healthy snack has got it all wrong. I don’t see how a bowl of berries is any different.
Matt May 26, 2021
No one is saying an apple isn't a snack. They're saying that a bowl of berries isn't a meal. It's just sugar, with little fiber and no protein.
Cori A. May 26, 2021
Agree berries alone aren't a meal, but a lot of cereals are worse than a bowl of berries. So, if my daughter was going to have a sugary cereal or a bowl of berries, I'd rather she reach for the berries. And, while I get what you're saying about the macros, berries actually do contain protein.
stilllifewithwhisk March 18, 2021
It looks like a healthy and refreshing snack.

Is it cereal?

Is it a recipe?
Vinod March 18, 2021
Sad to see Food52 feels the need to comment on faddy nonsensical tiktok diets.
Girlfromipanema March 18, 2021
It is click-bait. And it worked, we clicked.
Seshet27 March 18, 2021
That sounds disordered. Add some complex carbs, protein, and fat. My clients with eating disorders would be all over this, I'm sure.
Japera M. May 6, 2021
advansi March 18, 2021
It's a watery fruit salad.
Alexis M. March 18, 2021
Why do I have the feeling that none of these people will eat this again after the trend goes away?