I am a cereal freak. (Homemade Grape Nuts Cereal)

Homemade NT-Friendly Grape Nuts

I really am.  A. Cereal. Freak.  I don’t like it for breakfast, but I LOVE it for a afternoon or even a bedtime snack!  Unfortunately, most store-bought cereals, with few exceptions, are made by the process of extrusion.  Sally Fallon, in her article, “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry,” explains what extrusion is:

Cereal makers first create a slurry of the grains and then put them in a machine called anextruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the hole, the grains are made into little o’s, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in Shredded Wheat or Triscuits), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). A blade slices off each little flake or shape, which is then carried past a nozzle and sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch.

This extrusion process can have harmful effects on our bodies.  It destroys nutrients and fatty acids, and even the vitamins that they add to the cereal later are made toxic.  Lysine, which is an essential amino acid, is denatured by the process.

So what’s a girl to do?  I definitely notice a difference when I get back into the habit of store-bought cereal.  Some of them make me feel bloated and nauseous, and no matter which ones I eat, if I eat them on a regular basis will make me gain weight.  I never noticed these effects until I switched my diet to traditional.

I do make granola regularly, but sometimes I want something different, so I was very happy when I found this recipe for Grape Nuts in several Amish/Mennonite cookbooks.  I’ve adapted it for Traditional Nutrition by adding a soaking step, and using whole wheat instead of just graham flour and wheat germ (the whole grain will have both of these goodies already!).  I cut the sugar in half and substituted dehydrated cane juice.  This isn’t something I would give Little Boy (or myself) everyday, due to the sugar content, but I feel it is an acceptable substitute, used sparingly or occasionally.  And, freak that I am, this cereal makes me very happy.

Homemade Grape Nuts (adapted for NT)

I’ve read somewhere that commercial Grape Nuts may not be extruded.  However, I like the homemade version much much better!  And, the nutrient usage is much higher due to the soaking.

  • 3 1/2  c. freshly ground whole wheat pastry (soft) flour
  • 2 c. kefir, divided
  • 1/2 c. sucanat
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Night Before:

Mix the flour with 1 1/2 c. kefir til flour is moistened.  The dough will still be pretty dry.  Cover and let sit overnight.

Next morning:

Preheat oven to 350.  Add remaining 1/2 c. kefir, sucanat, soda and salt to soaked dough.  Mix until all is incorporated.  Spread on baking sheets and bake until starting to brown around the edges.

After baking, before whizzing

Let cool slightly, then break up into big chunks and whiz about a cupful at a time in the food processor.  If you know what commercial Grape Nuts look like, these will look very similar, but not as uniform.  It doesn’t matter if you have some slightly bigger chunks because they don’t get as crunchy so they won’t threaten to break your teeth.

After whizzing, before crisping

The original recipe says to return to pans and bake at 250 degrees until crisp, about 30 minutes.  This usually takes longer for me.  Sometimes I just leave it in the oven overnight with the light on to finish crisping.

Store in airtight containers.  Not sure how long it would stay fresh–it’s gone long before it goes stale. ;)

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8 responses to “I am a cereal freak. (Homemade Grape Nuts Cereal)

  1. Ooo, thanks for sharing this – I am going to give it a try for sure! (I am a cereal-snacker too!)

    Visiting from OrgJunkie’s Meal Plan Monday link!

  2. What a great blog, I am very excited to find it.
    I too am a late night cereal fanatic. My husband and I were just talking about how we were going to have to find a new late night food, because we are sick and tired of granola. Now we can continue our bad habit, with homemade grape nuts. Thank you!

  3. It was pretty good Aunt Lori!

  4. If I used sprouted soft wheat flour do I have to do the kefir soak?

    I don’t have dairy kefir (I do have water kefir going). The dairy kefir kept taking over my life and I could never match consumption with production since its just me and DH and he doesn’t like dairy kefir.

    • LOL! I understand kefir taking over your life! I have never used sprouted wheat flour, but I believe you would not have to soak. Just skip that step. And as for the kefir, if the grains become too much for what you need, just pop the extras in your smoothie. You’ll never know the difference in the taste, but you’ll reap the benefit from all that concentrated goodness.

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