Kapai Puku and how to make it
In this post, I’m going to show you how to make your own version of Kapai Puku – a seed based cereal and arguably the best “cereal” on the market – with the exact same ingredients, saving you money, improving your health and giving you loads of vital protein, energy and amino acids.
This is quite a long post so the main sections are shown below. Feel free to click straight through to each section.
*Update – anti-sugar crusader Marisa Peer has picked up on this post. Cool!
- Why normal cereals are bad for you
- Why Kapai Puku is a good food
- Why Kapai is good for cyclists
- List of Kapai Puku ingredients.
- Why Make Your Own
- Where to buy the ingredients
- How I make my own Kapai Puku and Mixing Tips
- Breakdown of Protein, Fat, Carbs etc
- Taking it overseas
- Customising your blend
Why normal cereals are bad for you
For those of you who aren’t aware, there’s a fair bit of evidence that the grains widely used in normal breakfast cereals are not good for you.
This means breakfast cereals – usually processed – are a ticking time bomb of insulin-spiking and sugar and grain-laden badness.
Why Kapai Puku is a good choice
Kapai Puku is made almost entirely of seeds. Seeds are the complete opposite to grains in terms of health benefits. Seeds are totally good good for you.
I always feel sick, lethargic and almost immediately hungry after any normal cereal whether it’s porridge, cornflakes, Weetbix ® or anything processed.
Conversely, when I have Kapai Puku (or my home made version):
- I feel a million dollars
- I don’t get hunger cravings
- I don’t get sugar cravings – it actually reduces my sugar dependence
- I don’t need to eat a lot of it as it is so filling
- It absolutely keeps my digestion in tip top shape
- It gives me loads of minerals, amino acids, protein, fibre and healthy fats
- It helps me strip fat – as soon as I remove all cereals/grains from my diet I will drop 1-2% body fat
It’s difficult to describe all the benefits of the ingredients in Kapai Puku. Most people realise to some extent the damage a modern diet does to our bodies, which are essentially the same as thousands of years ago.
Dough (bread, grains), coffee, alcohol, sugar and so on all serve to wreak havoc upon your body in particular your digestive tract.
Why Kapai is good for cyclists
Kapai is energy and nutrient dense, meaning you don’t have to have a lot to get loads of energy. Its “bang for buck” also means it’s perfect for travel. I took Kapai on my last trip to France and it was my staple breakfast. With all the French croissants, ham, baguettes and cheese, Kapai kept me in tip top shape.
It’s the perfect pre-race, pre-training and pre-sportif breakfast. It is satisfying, is light on the stomach and will keep you going for hours. Generally speaking, my fuel for any 3-4 hour ride is simply a bowl of my seedy breakfast, some milk, yoghurt, cinnamon and a cup of coffee. Even after 4 hours (and around 100km in the Byron hinterland and its hills and heat) I won’t be hungry.
Kapai Puku ingredients list
Here are the actual Kapai Puku ingredients. This list is straight off the back of a packet of Original Blend®. There is no information about ratio of each ingredient, which is something I’ll deal with later.
I’ve linked to Wikipedia for most of these, so you can read about each ingredient’s benefits.
- Buckwheat kernels – nope, not related to wheat. It’s of the sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb family – read more on Wikipedia
- Poppy seed
- Rice bran
- Sunflower kernels
- Pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
- Chia seeds (black or white)
Why make your own
You may be wondering why you’d bother making your own.
- It’s fun – yup, it’s fun to make your own cereal. You can change the ingredients as you wish to suit your tastes and budget.
- It’s hard to find outside Australia – for all the UK, US, NZ, ZAF and other visitors to VeloNomad from around the world, you’ll struggle to find this cereal in your local shops.
- Save money – Kapai Puku is expensive. It’s around $35 (2kg) in shops for the original blend. This is equivalent to $8.75/500grams which is pretty pricey (not outrageous by any means) compared to other cereals. If you make your own, you can cut the costs in half. If you buy 2kg of Original Blend online, expect to pay $50 including shipping – which works at out a hefty $25/kg or $12.50/500grams.
I’ve done a detailed cost comparison per ingredient between the official Kapai Puku and a DIY mix. This is in a downloadable spreadsheet which also contains nutrient breakdowns per ingredient.
My cost comparison is based on you buying 2kg online, because it is the most cost effective way to do it, if you can’t find a 2kg supply in shops.
If you want to buy the official Kapai Puku, I encourage you to support this awesome company by buying it online or at your local shop.
Where to buy the ingredients
Most supermarkets will have most of these ingredients, as will health food stores.
If you want to pay the absolute least amount of money as possible, you’ll have to do some price comparison as it’s a bit of a crap shoot as to which will be cheaper.
My Kapai Puku ingredients spreadsheet describes which location (supermarket/health food shop) is cheaper as well as what you can typically expect to pay.
For the Aussies, you’re best off looking at Woolworths (spice aisles and the Macro Foods section), Fundamental Foods (Byron Bay, Lismore etc) or your local health food shop. Fundamental Foods have most of the ingredients available online.
You’re best off buying 500 gram bags of seeds as once you mix everything up, you’ll have around 6 weeks supply.
I’ve created a shopping list for you to take shopping when you’re buying the ingredients.
Download the shopping list here [pdf, 109kB].
How I make my own Kapai Puku and Mixing Tips
Firstly, a disclaimer: I am NOT a health food professional. I am NOT a food scientist. This suggested mix reflects how I made my own Kapai Puku and in no way constitutes medical or dietary advice as to how you should mix your own. My mix does NOT take into account any suggested daily intake limits of these ingredients. It does not take your circumstances into account. This is simply an article on how I did it.
Remember: you’re an adult. If something goes wrong because you copied my mix, that’s your responsibility.
By mixing your own, I assume you’ve read this disclaimer and accept full responsibility.
Inspecting the official Kapai Puku Original mix, it appears that the ingredients are largely mixed on a 1:1 basis.
So, mixing this is pretty easy. Simply mix everyone on a volume basis; that is, 1 cup of each ingredient.
Because almost all the ingredients have a similar composition, 1 tablespoon is roughly equal to 12gm. Amaranth is the only exception as it’s very light. In this case, 1 tablespoon is equal to 2gm.
Here’s a photo I took of my initial mix, with 1 tablespoon of each ingredient. I call this the Ola Mix (Ola means health/life/well-being in Hawai’ian). Note, I have substituted sultanas for raisins.
Your mileage may vary according to your scales and how you measure out each ingredient – I just scooped each one out.
For bulk mixture, just mix 1 cup of each ingredient into a big bowl (trust me, you’ll need a big bowl) and then mix it all up and put in my cereal container.
1 cup of seeds is equivalent to around 200 grams; 1 cup of amaranth will be about 1/6th of that.
Breakdown of Protein, Fat, Carbs etc
Many of these seeds have a recommended daily intake as they are quite high in fats (albeit good-for-you fats) and in some cases carbohydrates.
So if you were really conscious of fat/energy/etc intake, you might want to know what the breakdown was in terms of fat, protein and so on.
I was able to *roughly* worked out what this all works out to in terms of energy, fat etc for my own information.
This is based on 1 tablespoon per ingredient. One tablespoon of every ingredient will add up to around 95 grams or 1/2 a cup, which is enough for 1 serve.
Remember, this is NOT 100% accurate.
|– Fat Sat||3.42||grams|
Taking it overseas
This type of food is perfect for pre-ride, pre-Etape or general holiday duties! It is therefore perfect for taking overseas, especially if you’re likely to be hitting the delicious French croissants, cheese, baguettes, ham and pizzas hard.
So, how to work out how much to take overseas?
Based on a daily serve of 1/2 cup (~100grams), simply multiple the number of days of holidays by 1/2 cup a day.
Example: if your holiday is 20 days, take 10 cups or 2kg.
As an aside, this mix is also perfect food for the aeroplane; read here to find out why.
Customising your blend
Here are some ideas for customising your cereal. Remember, keep it simple. Unprocessed is best.
If you have some good ideas for customisation, drop your ideas into the comments below
- Sultanas instead of raisins
- Dried apricots (minimise though because of sugar)
- Cinnamon (also good for lowering sugar cravings)
- Cacao (nibs are great)
- Goji berries
- Macadamias, almonds or other nuts (minimise though – a LOT of fat)
- Dried banana chips