Cereal for Cyclists – Kapai Puku Ingredients
Kapai Puku Ingredients and how to make it
In this post, I'm going to list the Kapai Puku ingredients and show you how to make your own version of Kapai Puku. Kapai Puku is a seed based cereal and arguably the best “cereal” on the market. My Kapai Puku recipe has the exact same ingredients, saving you money, improving your health and giving you loads of vital (non-animal) 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.
- 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
Modern cereals are packed with highly refined ingredients, lots of refined sugar and usually fat.
For what it's worth, I don't have a problem with sugar (glucose) per-se: glucose is vital for the body and is the brain's fuel. I have a problem with the types of sugar (and the additives that go with it) in modern cereal.
Some people will make the case that the grains in cereal are bad. I don't agree. To make your mind up about grain, do your own research. I recommend Dr Michael Greger's Nutrition Facts website. Here's a link to a salient post on grains.
Why Kapai Puku is a good choice
Kapai Puku is made almost entirely of seeds. The seeds provide amino acids, fibre, oils, plant protein and loads of other goodies.
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'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.
White bread and refined grains, alcohol, refined sugar, animal protein and fat 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. Note, it does contain plenty of fibre, and fibre is not recommended pre-race. My experience of it has not been detrimental, but your milage may vary. As always, experiment pre-race first.
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 soy milk, 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. (Click here to download now.)
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 a container.
1 cup of seeds is equivalent to around 200 grams; 1 cup of amaranth will be about 1/6th of that.
If you mixed 1 cup of each ingredient you'd have 1.6kg or about 16 days supply.
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
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Thanks for such a comprehensive overview of how to make Kapai Puku for yourself – it was exactly what I was looking for! I really like KP, but it is really expensive so great to have an alternative.
thanks for the comment! Tim
Great recipe. Thanks for sharing it. A couple of questions though. Do you use Hulled Millet or Puffed Millet? Do you use Amaranth Seeds or Puffed Amaranth? Also Puffed Quinoa makes a nice addition and tastes great too. Thanks.
I used puffed amaranth and hulled millet. I suppose you could just switch whatever works for you.
The recipe is meant as a starting point, so, adding Quinoa, or subtracting/other stuff is very doable.
I’m adding roasted macas from our trees, and then trying pecans that I bake in golden syrup.
Maybe I should start selling it!
Seems really good but 10 grams of sugar? 10% by weight is very bad for you and please don’t talk about empty calories…
Rob, these numbers are back-of-the-envelope calculations based on mashing all the numbers together.
And remember the context – cereal for cyclists. 9gm of NATURAL sugars is a piddling amount. Most of us would smash through that amount of converted sugar in no time.
If you want less sugar, omit the sultanas.
I don’t know what your reference to empty calories is.
How many calories per 1/2 cup serve? And is 1/2 cup ok for women?
1900kJ in half a cup, roughly.
As for whether it’s ok for women – I’m not a nutritionist, but, I’d say if you’re exercising enough and it doesn’t blow out your daily energy budget I don’t see why not.
I have a BMR of over 2000 CAL, so this would be 20% of my daily needs. Roughly.
Thank you! This is great. Love Kapai Puku and now I can’t wait to make it myself and customise. Yew!
Tim, I’ve only recently discovered your site and the fantastic material available . Have just turned out my first batch of energy cereal (trade name omitted) and can I say that I’m absolutely delighted with the result. I was always a big fan of the original recipe that Graeme brought to the worlds breakfast table. I’ve recently found found the cost prohibitive and , my, it did not take long to see the result (no shit, Effectively) Now, thanks to your helpful formula I can produce the same result at a fraction of the cost and spend more time and infinitely energy on the beloved bicycle. Many Thanks
Hey Mark, too kind! I shall have to swipe these words for a testimonial.
I agree, it’s a great product but cost prohibitive. Plus, I add my own stuff, eg desiccated coconut, nuts, turmeric etc.
thanks for this – no more lugging 3KG bags back to Singapore!
Thank you for the effort you have put into this article.
Is there any benefit of grinding all of these seeds and then drinking it?
This would allow a lot quicker digestion in the small intestine, and hence into the blood stream.
Or, is the main of this formula to be slow energy release over 3-4 hours of endurance riding?
Faster metabolism I guess, but I prefer to eat things as close as possible to their natural state.
Plus, it serves as a slow burn fuel source.
Hey Tim – great article that is probably worth updating for your readers as you can buy a 3kg bag direct for $41which at $13.66 per kg is great value for a fantastic product for those of us that lack the gathering instincts. Peter