Monday, March 11, 2013

Homemade Grape Nuts

Had the munchies recently and wanted something satisfying without adding more to my girth. I used this recipe from my favorite cookbook, More With Less. When I requested this cookbook for my thirtieth birthday, my mother complained that this was about as exciting as the stepstool I had asked for the previous year.

Funny thing about this recipe. It's a two-step process and we usually consume Stage 1 and rarely get to Stage 2. I love that this recipe has no oil so the calorie count should be lower. But then again, if we eat a lot of it (and we do), we're back to expanding girths.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine and beat until smooth:
4 c. graham or whole wheat flour
1/2 c. Wheat germ (opt)
1 c. Brown sugar
2 2/3c. Buttermilk or sour milk (add 2 Tb. vinegar to the milk and let it sit for five minutes)
1. 1/4 t. Baking soda
Pinch salt

Pour batter on two large greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes.

(You'll be glad you tuned it today because this recipe produces two products. Stage 1 makes a tasty, soft flatbread. We discovered that this bread tastes great. We often make the recipe to this point without advancing to Stage 2. Our family calls it "Snack Bread" and likes to rip off chunks and, well, snack.

Often the edges get a little hard and crispy, reminding me of a whole wheat fortune cookie.

If we want grape-nuts and not Snack Bread, once Stage 1 is done, I break the bread into pieces and whirl briefly in a blender, about a cupful at a time. When I like the texture, I put it back on the cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 20 to 30 minutes.

When cooled, I have homemade Grape Nuts. They aren't as hard as commercial grape nuts and don't hold up as well with milk. Milk shouldn't be poured unless the cereal will be eaten right away.

If I'm only making Snack Bread, I'll often add fun things like chocolate or cherry chips, or blueberries, or raisins, or nuts, ground flax seed, oats. Tried it once with bananas and didn't like it as well.

I've seen other grape nuts recipes on the internet and they're different than mine so I might try those
sometime and see which I like better.

Healthy, cheap, and tasty. What more could you ask for?