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Homemade breakfast cereal

November 14, 2008

Tansy’s post on homemade corn flakes inspired me to look through my mess recipes to find my recipe for homemade Grape-Nut® like cereal.

Here it is:


3 1/2 c graham flour (whole wheat)
1 c brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
2 c buttermilk
2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix well.  Pour into an oiled 12 x 16 baking pan and spread with a spatula.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until batter is firm and medium brown in color, and shrinks from the edges of the pan.  With an offset spatula completely loosen the pattie from the pan, cool on a rack for several hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 275*F.  Break the pattie into chunks and put through a meat grinder using the coarse blade, or pulse in a food processor, until coarse crumbs are formed.  Divide crumbs between two 12 x 16 pans.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Let cool, store in an airtight container.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2008 10:03 pm

    Boy that sounds good. I have enjoyed catching up on your past posts. I’ve been really busy and have not got to spend much time reading my favorite blogs. Keep up the great work.


  2. November 15, 2008 1:38 am

    What a terrific pair of posts! I love the expression on Trace’s face at the pepper. And I learned three things that I will use…how to string peppers, fix jeans, if I can find that stuff, and a great sounding recipe. Our coat rack has the halters, training collars, hummingbird feeders etc. (no coats at all) and a pair of brand new waders.

  3. November 15, 2008 6:56 am

    Chris, I wondered what happened to you, I thought maybe you needed one more recipe for stocking up. 🙂

    TC, I have no idea why Trace has fixated on the peppers, he is always getting into them. If they’re hot, he doesn’t gobble them, he just takes his time and eventually he takes the heat. Crazy boy!

    I did an internet search and the Tearmender is available at most stores like Walgreens, and Ace or even fabric stores. We found it at a logging supply place.

    Maybe a “what’s on your coat rack” tag is in order? The one below it, has training collars, dog leashes, scissors for cutting dog pants (not to be confused with the scissors I use for pie crust)more string and whatever falls off the one above. One morning the tin coat would make a buzzing noise everytime I put my hand on it to steady myself while putting on my boots. If I took my hand off, it quit buzzing. ON BUZZ, OFF QUIET, it turned out to be a bat hiding in the folds. He usually only comes out at night to fly around, I guess I was disturbing his sleep!

    I guess Boss needs those waders for getting the corn in!

  4. November 17, 2008 2:48 am

    Ha! He could use them for that, but they belong to the boy for fisheries and wildlife class…..he has already been dumped in the creek wearing them, worrying his mom and making me wish I had never seen the darned things…and they smell so bad!

  5. November 17, 2008 6:14 am

    TC, those waders can be dangerous – no wonder you’re worried. Hopefully, it is just creeks and not rivers. 🙂

  6. November 18, 2008 11:15 am

    i am going to have to try these…i love grape nuts!

  7. vegyear permalink
    March 19, 2009 5:59 pm

    I’m intrigued and would like to try your recipe, but I have questions about some of the ingredients.

    How is graham flour different from regular whole wheat flour? Can regular whole wheat flour be substituted?

    Is there a good substitute for buttermilk? If I have to buy buttermilk, I might as well just buy boxed cereal.

    Is so much sugar really necessary?

    I’ve been trying to figure out alternatives to boxed breakfast cereal. Living in a Local Zone sent me over here. Thanks for posting this.

    • Mona permalink
      March 16, 2016 8:23 am

      Friends, you don’t have to keep buying buttermilk. It’s a culture. When the container is down to 1/2 cup or so, add more milk; whole, two percent, fat free or even reconstituted dry milk. Affix lid securely. Shake container well. I always wash lid after shaking and then secure again. Keeps mold from forming in it. I only buy buttermilk a few times a year. It’s worth it to buy the best quality available. Love that homemade cereal!

  8. March 19, 2009 10:08 pm

    vegyear, graham flour is a coarser grind than regular whole wheat flour, but you could probably substitute the whole wheat flour if that is what you have. If you are grinding your own wheat, that would be about the same as graham flour.

    Use Rapidura for the sugar and probably to taste. Try half and taste the batter, if it is sweet enough, go with that amount, or you could try 1/4 and see if that is sweet enough for you.

    As for the buttermilk, it is acidic and would help to get rid of some of the phytates in the wheat.

    I’m not sure why buying buttermilk and using it in this recipe makes it seem like you should just buy readymade cereal…commercial boxed cereals are made with a high heat extrusion process that totally changes the makeup of the ingredients used. So making something at home at lower temperatures is not the same thing.

    Look for the book Nourishing Traditions at the library and read up on grains and cereals it is an interesting read for sure.

  9. March 21, 2009 11:59 am

    The problem with buttermilk is that it’s not readily available from local sources. It takes some doing (maybe even a trip to a different grocery store) even to find processed, traveled-long-distance, very expensive stuff labeled as buttermilk. Do you have an easy way to make your own?

  10. March 22, 2009 7:43 am

    Vegyear, I thought I lived a long way from a grocery store – guess I’m spoiled since I have my own family cow. The easiest way I know to make buttermilk is to make butter. True buttermilk is the milk fraction of the cream left over after the butter making process. Buttermilk from the store is usually ultra-pasteurized and bears no resemblance to the real thing.

    Since this recipe is not really Nourishing Traditions type recipe where the grain is soaked, I would just use milk instead, or a mixture of milk and yogurt which is thinned to the consistency of commercial buttermilk. I believe the buttermilk in this recipe is to lend a tart balance with the sweet, so in that case you could do the old substitution for sour milk in a recipe, which is to add a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to milk and use that.

    • Matt permalink
      April 17, 2010 10:54 am

      I have my very large graham cake cooling on a rack in my kitchen right now. Since the store-bought Grape Nuts are actually wheat and barley, could 1/3 or 1/2 of the graham flour be substituted with barley flour?

      I’ve seen other recipes around that just use regular whole wheat flour. I understand what you’re saying about the grind of the graham flour, but it’s significantly more expensive than whole wheat flour (Bob’s Red Mill being the only brand available at my local store). Of course, so is barley flour, so maybe I’m making it more expensive at the same time I’m making it less expensive.

      And I didn’t want to buy buttermilk either, and have no cow. We pretty much always substitute sour milk for buttermilk, unless we’re making multiple recipes that use buttermilk in a short amount of time. For every cup of buttermilk the recipe calls for, put a tablespoon of vinegar in a measuring cup, then fill with milk up to the cup line. I don’t really think it has to be that precise, but that’s what we do.

      Thanks for the recipe!

      • Matt permalink
        April 18, 2010 6:31 am

        Also, I’d like to echo vegyear’s comment regarding the amount of sugar in this recipe. Real Grape Nuts are not a sugary cereal, while this recipe makes something I would definitely call severely sweet. When I make it next time, I’m losing most of the sugar, maybe putting in only 1/8 of a cup. Probably have to adjust the liquid, but it just doesn’t need to be that sweet to be good. Thanks!

        • April 18, 2010 7:38 am

          Matt, I don’t think it would matter what type of grains you use, it is probably more the method than the ingredients that are important.

          Even having a cow doesn’t always insure that we have sour milk on hand, so I use my mom’s tip of vinegar or soda in sweet milk to make it sour, or sometimes we just substitute sour cream (not the commercial kind, but raw) for buttermilk or sour milk in recipes.

          I actually am not surprised in the amount of sugar in this recipe since it comes from one of my Amish cookbooks, which are always heavy on the refined flour and sugar in the recipes. But I try to share a recipe as given, and feel that readers can substitute and tweak to suit their needs and tastes.

          We don’t really eat cold cereal anymore, but many people do and I think maybe making their own even with a cup of sugar but sans preservatives would be a step in the right direction.

  11. Mona permalink
    March 16, 2016 8:33 am

    Don’t know if my original post made it or not so here goes. You can keep your buttermilk culture going simply by adding more milk. Any will do, even reconstituted nonfat dry milk. When there’s only about a half cup left in container, add more milk. Affix lid securely. Shake well. At this point I remove the lid and wash thoroughly to prevent mold growing in it. Secure lid. Allow it to sit at room temp until it cultures. Refrigerate. I only buy buttermilk if it goes bad from too little use. It’s a good idea to buy the best quality buttermilk available. Love that homemade cereal and can barely keep it in the house with three teen sons.

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