Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who Woulda Guessed!

Okay, gotta tell you about something that has just tickled me no end.

Last Thursday, Jane at Hard Work Homestead did a post on making your own Grape Nuts. You know, that crunchy cereal that's been around forever. The cereal is a little weird starting with the very name. I know many people wouldn't eat it if they were starving, but I've gotta admit it's always been a favorite of mine. So what if it is a little like chewing ground cement and sounding like a horse masticating whole grain while doing it. Either you love it or hate it. Well, as I say, I've always been one of the lovers but rarely purchase it anymore because I know the ingredients including the preservatives, just plain and simple, aren't good for me.

But back to Jane's recipe for making homemade Grape Nuts. Last Sunday afternoon I finally got around to following her excellent tutorial and recipe. (I nearly incited a full-blown riot when hubby saw the first stage going into the oven and thought it was a sheet cake. He's really battling sweet deprivation since we've been on our weight loss kick.)

As I worked through all the stages of the creation of healthy, homemade Grape Nuts, I was really very leery of it coming out tasting anything like my beloved cereal. But I followed the process through to the end.

The two pans of the finished product sat in the turned off oven overnight as Jane had suggested. First thing yesterday morning I bottled up the cereal. I had already planned a poached egg breakfast so that's what we had. (Besides, hubby is not a cold cereal eater so I knew I didn't dare feed him Grape Nuts [healthy variety or not] for breakfast.)

After finishing breakfast, I couldn't wait any longer so I put a small portion of "Jane's Grape Nuts" (as they will now always be known) in a small bowl with some milk and let them sit for a couple of minutes.

Then the taste test. Did they taste like store-bought Grape Nuts? Heck, no. THEY WERE MUCH BETTER! I happened to have about 1/2 cup of purchased Grape Nuts left in the back of the cabinet so I dragged them out and gave them the taste test after sampling Jane's. The commercial ones tasted very stale (I don't believe they were as I'd stored them in a well-sealed jar) and tasteless compared to the ones I'd just made.

The one change I would make to the recipe was one Jane suggested herself. In future batches I'll experiment with cutting the sugar amount as so much simply wasn't needed for my taste.

Never in a million years would I have guessed you could make Grape Nuts at home let alone a better, more nutritious, delicious and healthy substitute.

Now I have one question for you, Jane. Can you come up with a recipe to make healthy Cheerios, my other childhood favorite cereal??

18 comments:

Carolyn Renee said...

I also saw Jane's post about the home made grape nuts and was a bit sceptical about it (sorry), but now that there are TWO people making it, I'm definately going to try it as Grape Nuts is also one of my favorite cold cereals! I did the same as you years ago; looked at the ingredient list, the price, and said "goodbye" to my beloved grape nuts. Oh, how I've missed them!
And what great timing! The first of the goats are due to kid later this week so we'll have MILK again AND GRAPE NUTS!

Thanks to both of you!

Susan said...

Now there there has been a Guinea Pig, ahem, I mean you, Mama Pea, have so generously made JGN with your very own capable hands, I will give it a go myself. I love them, too, and have not eaten them for the same reasons. And I have the added benefit of knowing that I should reduce the sugar amount. It's all good!

Sparkless said...

Never did like Grape Nuts cereal but that version looks enough like granola to be good. I'd just add some actual nuts and seeds to it to add to the goodness and maybe someone in my house would eat them.

How's the snow situation? It's snowing here today but very wet so it's melting fast.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I'm not a Grape Nuts fan either, but if anyone comes up with a recipe for Cheerios, I'm in :)

Jane said...

Mama Pea, you doubted me?!? My ego is a little bruised right now.-just pulling your leg. I agree a little to sweet for me too. Although at the sheet cake stage they don't taste all that sweet. Glad you liked them, now cheerios, hummmm that might take some time ;)

Jennifer Jo said...

I grew up making grape nuts but, sadly, no one in my family likes them... They're all granola purists.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn Renee - Fresh milk from you goats! Oh, how I envy you. We've been thinking more and more about getting dairy goats again. I'm sure I'll be thinking more when eating my homemade Grape Nuts!

Susan - Do give this recipe a go for sure. You'll be impressed!

Erin said...

That's IT - 2 against 1, I'm doing it! I, too, LOVE Grape Nuts, even the kids like it, so now I simply will have to make time for this. I will try cutting the sugar like you and Jane suggested since I'm not a fan of sweet cereal, either. They look delicious.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Hey, not everybody can like ground cement! I love granola, too, though.

We've gotten about 8" more snow in the last 36 hours but also had a lot of melting today. We're definitely on the downward slope of winter. The new snow did make everything look so pretty, for sure.

Jen - But however will we cut out ALL those little donut shapes??

Jane - I found it really curious how it did taste different until the very end when it turned out so good!

Erin said...

one question, what did you use for the milk? I can do the vinegar/milk thing, but may buy buttermilk if you think that's better...

Mama Pea said...

JJ - Homemade granola is hard to beat. Not everyone is quirky enough to like Grape Nuts!

Erin - Go for it, Girl. Especially since your boys like them. I didn't have buttermilk so I made sour milk . . . 1 T vinegar with one cup regular milk.

meemsnyc said...

I've never liked grape nuts, but I would like to try a homemade version if it's tastier.

Angie said...

I have made grapenuts, several times. I love the homemade ones so much better! Why is that, homemade is always so much better? ENJOY!

Mama Pea said...

meemsnyc - They taste wonderful . . . but it's still like chewing ground cement! ;o)

Hi, Angie - Thanks for commenting! Maybe preservatives don't taste very good! ;o)

Leigh said...

Well, always being behind in my blog reading, I didn't see Jane's post, but am on my way over right now! I've always like Grape Nuts, especially as a hot cereal. I've been thinking a lot about making my own breakfast cereals anyway, so this may be my jump start. Thanks Mama Pea!

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - You're very welcome. Hope the Grape Nuts work for you. Cold cereal is such an easy meal . . . I even like it for dinner sometimes, but unfortunately my hubby is simply not a fan! He'll eat homemade granola once in a while but not nearly as often as I would. Oh well, he's very good about most anything else. I'm gonna keep him.

Anonymous said...

LOL...yes, I think you do love it or hate it, and I'm definitely a Grape Nuts hater, ha ha!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Ha! Another vote for the Dark Side!