This particular post is probably going to be “in flux” over the next 4 days, as I write about my process with 4 homemade cereal recipes.
So just what is going on, on my table with all these towel covered bowls?
Well, all of these recipes require soaking, and so while the Buckwheat Crispies are already in the oven, my three other recipes are soaking and fermenting in bowls (to break down the anti-nutrients and to make the nutrition more bioavailable). We can think of these “ferment bowls”, like stomachs outside of our stomachs- working hard to ease the work for our digestive organs!
So why make your own cereal anyway?
#1 homemade cereal is more nutrient dense than store-bought varieties
#2 boxed cereal is toxic because of the processing it undergoes to become “puffed”. This is referred to as “extrusion”. Unfortunately, organic whole grain varieties are potentially the most toxic because there is more protein within whole grains to be harmed. So if you are buying organic cereals because you think they are healthier than their conventional counterparts, you have to read this:
#3 commercial cereals are totally unsatisfying (in fact I don’t really like cereal) so testing out these recipes will be very interesting being that I prefer a heavier breakfast….for me, eating cereal is akin to having a glass of juice….too many empty calories!
#4 brings me to “the why” of why I am personally experimenting with these recipes in the first place… because my kids covet societal food norms and I love to find ways to make simple, healthier versions of commercial foods, in order to make eating healthy more accessible for those mamas less passionate about cooking!
#5 As a whole “foodie”- every meal from scratch- kinda mama, I have to tell you that I often wish that I had more healthy prepared food on hand-giving me the freedom to just grab and go sometimes (or sleep in a little later)!
“But isn’t this going to amount to a copious amount of work” you might wonder?
And can homemade cereals really taste good?
Well, firstly I can tell you that the Maple Cinnamon Buckwheat Crispies in the following picture took me all of 20 minutes to put together so far, and as for taste, we’ll see because buckwheat isn’t on my top list of favourite grains. This recipe comes from the “Raw Food Real World” cookbook.
As I write, this recipe is dehydrating over night in the oven and will be ready for breakfast. All that is now left to do is turn it over once (dehydrate a little longer) and then crumble it into pieces by hand. I will be serving it in the morning with Manitoba Made Hemp Milk.
Tomorrow morning, I will also be doing the second stage of my Seed Cereal (adapted from Cranberry Maple Granola from “Raw Food Real World”). Currently the ingredients are soaking (see pic below). The preparation time so far for this recipe has been 16 minutes. Tomorrow I have to blend with the rest of the ingredients, pulse them in the food processor and dehydrate it much like the buckwheat crispies.
In order to save time and electricity, I will also be dehydrating my Soaked Granola at the same time. Took me 7 minutes to do the “night before prep” and in the morning there will be some more ingredients to stir in. Then I will dehydrate it along with the Seed Cereal. Here is a pic of the ingredients soaking for the Soaked Granola. The recipe is from the blog “Cheeseslave”: http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/07/27/homemade-granola-with-soaked-oats-sprouted-flour/
Finally, (hopefully around dinnertime) I will begin dehydrating my “Cold Breakfast Cereal”. The prep time for this recipe has so far been 16 minutes. This is a dough recipe that bakes into crunchy cereal. The recipe that I am trying comes from The Healthy Home Economist Blog and you can get it here with a video demonstration,http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/08/video-healthy-cold-cereal-2.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheHealthyHomeEconomist+%28The+Healthy+Home+Economist%29
Ok, it is Day 2
Well, I have to say that the Buckwheat Crispies recipe from the cookbook “Raw Food Real World” tasted too salty and too sweet (or maybe it was just the weirdness of stevia- I should have known, stevia needs something sour to cut the aftertaste (see my post on stevia)! Also, I dehydrated it too thick (thus, it took way too long to dry out- not in time for breakfast!), so next time I will make the recipe and dehydrate it on two cookie sheets instead of one. I can tell that this idea for a breakfast cereal has a lot of promise, so I intend to perfect the recipe after we eat the first batch (still edible, but not amazing!). I forgot to time the rest of the prep for the seed cereal, but I am gonna say that it took me at least a half hour to process and stir in the remaining ingredients before spreading the mixture on the cookie sheets and placing in the oven.
So right now the Seed Cereal is dehydrating on TWO COOKIE sheets (learned my lesson) which means I am gonna have to dehydrate each recipe seperately. I have high hopes for this recipe, which I adjusted to be mostly seeds and some almonds to make it more affordable….the wet batter tastes great!
I hope to have the Cold Cereal Recipe in the oven before I go to bed and then bake the granola tomorrow morning. So that is where we are at!!
To be continued……
Nov. 20, 2010
Well I have officially completed this experiment and can tell you that making homemade cereals is well worth the effort! My favourite turned out to be my rendition of the Seed Granola. See picture below. Tastes great with Manitoba Hemp Milk!
The following image is of the cereal recipe I used from The Healthy Home Economist called “Cold Breakfast Cereal”. This was my 4 year old daughter’s favourite. It tastes good with hemp milk and with yogurt, but mostly she enjoyed snacking on it dry!
And finally, the one recipe that didn’t turn out the first time (yucky with stevia and too salty), became the family favourite after I changed up the proportions. Buckwheat Crispies! Taste great with Hemp Milk and great snacking food for the kids too!
Of all these cereals the Buckwheat Crispies is the easiest and we’ve made it three weeks in a row! The fact that we are enjoying this one so much is quite amazing, considering that I am not normally a big fan of the taste of Buckwheat! Go figure!