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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.