Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

09
March
2009

Spring Forward to Homemade Cereal

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This morning we were all supposed to “spring forward” for Daylight Savings Time. This is a practice filled with reluctance and controversy at our house. Why exactly are we doing this again? When I was growing up, the myth I heard was that it gave farmers extra time to work in the fields at the most productive time of the year. Lately, I’ve heard that it’s a way to save energy by reduced use of electricity. It turns out that it was originally proposed in 1907 by a man named William Willet, an avid golfer who wanted to finish his game at a more leisurely pace. It figures. Extra sunlight in the afternoon does mean more time for sports and walking around Greenlake. But it’s not helpful to farmers whose animals don’t change their schedules twice a year. As far as energy savings go, the results are inconclusive and in some cases, suggest an increase in energy usage.

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I’m not sure why we try to control our natural instinct to rise with the sun and slow down when the sun sets. Most of the people I know are already sleep-deprived and this seems to only add to the problem. It encourages us to move away from noticing seasonal changes in the light and responding with our own internal clocks.

Enough ranting from me about this and if you know Charlie, don’t even get him started. We do try to keep things positive. What I’m very excited to share with you is a recipe for a mostly local cereal that is easy to make and tastes delicious whenever you happen to get up in the morning. It is similar in flavor to Grape-Nuts, but making your own means no more boxed cereal, stripped of its natural goodness, added vitamins and packaging. I’m happy to be able to eliminate one more processed food from my shopping list.

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The process is basically baking a not-too-sweet cake, crumbling it up and then toasting the crumbs. The recipe originally came from the book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon. I tried some at my friend Lorna’s house and couldn’t wait to make my first batch. The recipe contains whey, which is revelation in itself that I’ll share another time. In the meantime, you can use the watery liquid at the top of the yogurt container or yogurt itself with a little extra water.

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Breakfast Cereal

3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat graham flour)

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 T whey or yogurt

1/2 cup water

2 t baking soda

2 T melted butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 t salt

1/2 t vanilla

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t natural maple flavoring

In a large bowl mix flour, milk, water & whey. Cover with a towel and leave out on the counter overnight.

In the morning add the rest of the ingredients & more water if it seems too thick to stir.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake in a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking pan for 35 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool, then crumble into small pieces. (I tried a food processor but felt the crumbs were too fine. I ended up doing it by hand)

Spread on 2 baking sheets and toast at 200 degrees for at least 1 hour. (I have to admit I forgot about them and left them in at least 2 hours which turned out fine).

Cool and store in a closed container.

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Even if you sneak a tiny sprinkling of sugar, this cereal will help take the edge off a too-early breakfast.


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12 Responses »

  1. I was just thinking about making granola. I’ll try this instead. As for Daylight Saving Time, I can’t stand it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any individual say a nice thing about it.

  2. Just this morning we were debating the origins of DST while still in bed. It was 8am, no 9am, but felt like 8am. I said it had something to do with farmers and then google searches revealed all that you just wrote about. We also learned that arizona doesn’t follow it, and that until recently half of indiana did, half didn’t. It’s all totally ridiculous. It’s midnight now and I’m totally awake. Harumph.

  3. Thank you!!! It is beyond perfect that you posted this now, as I have been struggling with portable munching that can go to work with me. The cereal is ideal. I will try it this evening (if I get home from said work in time) and report back. It looks delicious, and easy too 🙂 About how much does the recipe make?

  4. craftydabbler, this is a good alternative to granola or even mix a little of each in your bowl like I’m doing this morning.
    Becky, DST is one of those things we’ve been doing for so long without questioning why. If Arizona can stop, why can’t we? Especially with our long summer days.
    Mangochild, good question about the amount. I halved the original recipe and it seems like about the amount that would be in a cereal box, maybe a bit more. I’ll try to measure it.

  5. thanks for the great post – do you toast it with coconut oil or anything, or just leave it plain as is. thank you alison

  6. This looks so good! I just found out that box cereal is unhealthy. I had no idea! What I’m wondering is, how can it be food safe to leave the first set of ingr. out all night without being refrigerated? (milk) Thanks!

  7. Christine, some people may not agree but I think it’s fine to leave milk out over night — after all that’s how you make yogurt and creme fraiche.

  8. I love this! And I plan on making it, but…
    doesn’t it need to be rinsed to remove the phytates? Or does the whey ‘deactivate’ them without needing rinsing?
    Thanks

  9. This is a fabulous idea, and I cant wait to try! my son already loves scrambled eggs or porridge and i make my own granola, but this might just add a bit more variety to our brekfast table. thanks!

  10. I can’t use milk (daughter is intolerant), so I am wondering if almond milk would be okay….as well as coconut yogurt instead of regular yogurt or whey?

    I too find it odd to leave it out overnight. Can you keep it in the fridge??

    Thanks,

  11. Lorraine, I think almond milk and coconut yogurt might be just fine. I haven’t tried it so let me know if you do.

  12. This reminded us of Raisin Bran when you add raisins just before eating! Soooo good! Thank you for this recipe!
    And almond milk worked just fine for us in the recipe, in case anyone was still wondering. We also used apple cider vinegar for the acid to soak it in overnight in place of whey/yogurt since we have a milk allergy in our family.