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Making Your Own Cereal Mixes

Mar
10


I’ve been on a homemade granola kick lately, and because one thing leads to another, one day when I didn’t have enough yogurt, I just poured milk over it. Hello, I have invented cereal! Okay, not really, I think someone else invented it, but I’m not sure who. They were a genius because cereal is delicious and it makes a fast breakfast. I don’t keep a lot of cereal around because the really awesome gourmet cereal mixtures I like cost around $7 a box. Cereal is one of the most expensive items in the grocery store. Even the non-fancy cereals.


I don’t know why I didn’t think about making my own before. I’ve been making a homemade granola mixture based on this recipe. I adapted it to a toasted oat and bran cereal with nuts and fruit. Just like those awesome $7 a box cereals at the store! Only it’s a whole lot cheaper. When you make your own, you can buy the plain, basic ingredients individually in store brands or in bulk. (Dried fruit in homemade cereal mixes can be fruit you dehydrated yourself.) Put it all together just how you like it and you have the best cereal in the world.

Here’s a breakdown of the components of those fancy cereal mixtures. Mix and match! (You can probably think of more. These are just starting points.)

The grains: Oats, bran flakes, wheat flakes, shredded wheat, rice crisps, and so on. This is the backbone of the cereal.

The nuts: Pecans, cashews, slivered almonds, walnuts, etc.

The dried fruit: Raisins, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, dates, apricots, apples, etc.

The extras: Coconut, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, flax seed, etc.

Kid stuff: Dehydrated mini marshmallows. (Seriously. Just like Lucky Charms. See how here.) Or chocolate chips!

If you use oats, you’ll want to toast them first. Either buy toasted wheat germ or toast wheat germ along with the oats, if using. Also toast the coconut. You might also want to toast nuts and seeds. You can toast the ingredients dry, or toast them granola-style for a granola cereal.

To dry toast the oats etc, spread in a pan and toast for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before mixing with your other ingredients and storing.

For a granola cereal, toast with a coating of molasses, maple syrup, or honey mixed with equal parts vegetable oil and brown sugar plus a little cinnamon, and vanilla (if you like). You could use apple or other juice in place of the syrup. Toasting the granola mixture takes longer than toasting dry. Stir frequently and be careful not to burn it. Once the mixture toasts dry, let it cool before combining with your other cereal ingredients and storing. If you add your other ingredients right at the end of the toasting phase, you can make the “clusters” cereal because the bran or wheat flakes and dried fruit will stick to the still-gooey granola mixture and make little clumpy bits!

Here’s how I made my toasted oat and bran cereal with nuts and fruit. Decrease the brown sugar in this recipe if you want a low-sugar recipe. Or toast dry and use no sugar at all. Notice there’s no salt in the recipe. One of the great things about mixing your own is controlling the sugar and salt and every other ingredient.

Mixing with the plain bran flakes keeps this cereal from being too sweet.

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How to make Toasted Oat and Bran Cereal with Nuts and Fruit:

6 cups oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup walnuts
¾ cup maple syrup
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups bran flakes
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dried cherries

If you don’t want to make this granola style, omit the syrup, oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla coating mixture. Just toast the oats, coconut, and nuts for about 15 minutes at 350. When cool, add the bran flakes and dried fruit. Toss with a little sugar when serving, if desired.

To make it granola-style, combine everything but the bran flakes, raisins, and dried cherries in two 9 x 13 pans. Stir to coat evenly and spread out in the pans.

Toast until dry, checking and stirring frequently. If you toast at 225 degrees, it will take an hour or more. If you toast at 350, it will be done in about 30 minutes. Beware that if you toast at the higher temperature, you have to be vigilant at checking and stirring, and removing from the oven when it’s dry. You don’t want to burn it. Cool before combining with the bran flakes and dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container.

Fancy gourmet-style homemade cereal with milk. (Beulah Petunia made the milk. She’s good at that.)

Delicious.


See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.


See All My Recipes


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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 10, 2011  

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Comments

23 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 3-10
    7:53
    am

    This looks really yummy!

  2. 3-10
    8:05
    am

    Very generous of BP to share her milk with you. So you must have braved the mud and gone ahead and milked her after all. I’m sure she thanked you for it. :moo:
    Suzanne

  3. 3-10
    8:15
    am

    Awesome! That is something to try.

  4. 3-10
    8:23
    am

    Sounds DEEE-lish! Will have to give it a try.

  5. 3-10
    8:33
    am

    Been playing with granola mixes lately also, but accidently found one which is very like the “Gorp” from the 60’s! It is so yummy, and has no oil/fat in it. We have become hooked! And then had to start making yogurt as well.

    Now, if BP would come by to visit occasionally we could quit buying the soy milk? :smilerabbit:

  6. 3-10
    8:37
    am

    Pete, milk is covered from Coast to Coast, I have 3 cows. They would gladly provide for you.
    Suzanne, I try NOT to purchase if I can make it and my BO likes cereal for breakfast, so I will have to make some for him. Very well done like all your posts.

  7. 3-10
    8:56
    am

    I make a granola cereal very similar to this, except I use honey instead of maple syrup, and slivered almonds instead of walnuts. But the biggest difference is that after toasting and cooling, I add finely chopped bittersweet chocolate morsels. I keep this mixture in a container and add it to the bran flakes as we go. It doesn’t last long around my house!

  8. 3-10
    9:36
    am

    I’m wishin’ I had a bowl of it now.

  9. 3-10
    10:30
    am

    My favorite is apple cinnamon cheerios (actually a generic version as it’s cheaper than the name brand). Wonder if there is a homemade version of this? :help:

  10. 3-10
    10:36
    am

    I tried making my own cereal a few weeks ago and found it very simple (but time consuming). You can even make your own bran flakes if you really want it to be uber-homemade (but that’s even more time consuming). A recipe for homemade bran flakes is here: http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/48-homemade-breakfast-cereals/

    Mine turned out really tasty, but the recipe at the above site only yielded two cups of flakes so it would have to be seriously doubled to make it worth the effort.

  11. 3-10
    12:56
    pm

    I am on my way to the store to buy my bulk items. My family has completely enjoyed the fact that everything is homemade now. Most of it was before but of course there were the small things like cereal and cream of whatever soups that were not and now they are. Thanks Suzanne!

  12. 3-10
    1:14
    pm

    Right after I read this, before I left for work, I made a bag. I put in 4 cups generic corn flakes, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup walnuts, cinnamon, and ground flax seed and about 1/4 cup sugar. I brought it to work and made a bowl. I put in dried non-fat milk and used cold bottled water and had a nice healthy bowl of cereal. It was quick and tasted great and I got to use up some of my extra ingredients I had in the fridge. Work out well. Thanks!

  13. 3-10
    3:24
    pm

    OK, I actually know this bit of trivia. Dr. Kellogg invented cereal. He was a doctor at a mental institution and was looking for something easy to feed the patients. He left his bran in the oven to long one day and presto… cereal. POST who is now Kellogg’s biggest competitor was a patient at the hospital. (I heard that on the radio)

  14. 3-10
    9:10
    pm

    GaPeach, the radio got it slightly wrong: John Harvey Kellogg ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium, but it wasn’t a mental institution, it was a famous health resort. They did hydrotherapy, physical therapy, colonic cleanes, etc, and they taught people to eat health foods, with an emphasis on high fiber. All sorts of famous people stayed there, like President Warren G Harding, Amelia Earhart, Mary Todd Lincoln, Johnny Weissmuller. And C.W. Post, who got so sold on the idea that he started inventing his own health foods, starting with Postum (remember Postum?), then Grape Nuts and Post Toasties. Post even tried founding a utopian community based on the principals of healthy living.

    J.K. Kellogg invented the cereal, but his brother W.K. was the one who decided to manufacture and market it.

  15. 3-10
    9:23
    pm

    PS – Sorry, I hope I didn’t come across like a know-it-all. I just love food, love history, and so I’m kind of a food history nut. It’s interesting to me, because it’s the history of how real people lived, not just the history of politics and kings.

  16. 3-10
    10:40
    pm

    I’m already a huge fan of homemade granola. It never occurred to me to branch out to all these types of cereal! Thanks for the idea!

  17. 3-11
    12:28
    am

    I recently discovered your blog and I’m loving every inch of it! Thanks for the inspiration on the cereal and granola – it looks and sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to have hours to read the back-posts here at Chickens In the Road! Take care, Teri

  18. 3-11
    8:43
    am

    When I saw the title of this post I thought it was going to be how to make your own Wheaties or something.I love granola but I also love the cereal flakes.Does anyone know how they are made? Cereal (along with everything else) is getting so expensive to buy these days.

  19. 3-11
    6:04
    pm

    :happyflower:
    Many years ago I had toasted some oats for cookies, and had some left over, so I put them in a zip bag, one morning I pulled out that bag and put the oats into a bowl with a little drizzle of honey and poured on some milk, and have been eating my oats like that ever since. Once in a while I sprinkle on a few chopped toasted nuts.

  20. 3-11
    10:23
    pm

    When you say “oats” you mean oatmeal, right? That comes in the round box? Do you use quick cooking or old-fashioned? Just want to make sure before I try this.

  21. 3-11
    10:26
    pm

    Whaledancer, thanks for Kellogs and Post info. Very interesting.

  22. 3-12
    6:22
    am

    brookdale, I use the old-fashioned oats (yes, the ones in the cylindrical container!).

  23. 3-12
    7:40
    am

    this is exactly the kind of cereal my husband loves but denies himself because it costs so much (as he pays $5.00 or more for a box of artificially flavored air because that’s what the kids like). I’ll have to perfect my granola skills, the last batch didn’t go over so well. But the birds loved it.

    Cheryl LeMay: the Willowbird blog link that Betsy posted above showed how to make bran flakes at home. I wonder if you substituted corn meal, maybe ground into flour, for the bran, if you’d get corn flakes or all whole wheat flour for Wheaties.

    My question is what does she mean by “bran”? Can you buy bran like you buy flour? The only bran I know of is bran flakes. Of course, I’m still looking for a source of lecithin locally for the bread dough enhancer. And the citric acid crystals, all I see is “Fruit
    Fresh”. It isn’t that, is it?

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