Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grape-nuts

Growing up, we always kept a supply of grape-nuts on hand. Since store bought cereals were a very rare treat, our favorite cold cereal was grape-nuts. With five hungry brothers we went through a lot of them, and sad to say, I learned to not enjoy making them.

For the first time since we got married, last week I finally pulled out the recipe to make grape-nuts. The girls were amused and intrigued by the very pioneer-ish look of the batter, and couldn't imagine how it would possibly be turned into a good cereal.

Much to their surprise, everyone loves it, and I see it becoming a go to recipe for our family, successfully breaking the teenage promise I had made to myself to not be making grape-nuts once I'm in charge of all food decisions.

They take simple basic ingredients, and while they do take a long time to make .... I can't believe I'm saying this ...... they're worth it. Here's the recipe I used, but you may want to reduce the size.


Grape-nuts

7½ cups milk
½ cup vinegar
4 cups blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp baking soda
2 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp salt
5 lb whole wheat flour

In a bowl combine milk and vinegar. Allow to set for a minute or two.

In a large bowl, as in, a really large bowl combine molasses, milk mixture, salt, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add flour, about ¼ of it at a time, mixing well after each addition. Divide batter into 3 - 9x13 cake pans and bake at 400º for 40 minutes.

Once cool, cut into chunks and grate. I can't imagine trying to do it without my King Cutter, but LV's family used to use a handheld grater when they made them.

Spread the grated crumbles onto a cookie sheet  and bake at 210º stirring every 10-15 minutes until they're dry and hard. It took me 12½ hours to dry them all, working with two large cookie sheets in the oven the entire time.

Pour into a bowl to cool, then store in an airtight container.

These are really filling. When eating I would suggest starting off with only half a cup full. They absorb a lot of milk, so we always add more than you would think would be needed.

22 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to type this out. I plan to try it soon. :)

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    1. You're welcome .... and I hope you'll enjoy it.

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  2. Yum! We love homemade grape nuts! Some of my kids "dislike" granola, so I remember every once in a while to vary things with grape nuts. I've never done a batch this big though! : ) Isn't it funny how long it can take to "get over" a food you had a lot as a kid? I'll never be able to enjoy whole wheat pasta or brown rice. Give me white every time!

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    1. I don't mind grape-nuts ... I guess it was more a streak of laziness that made me despise making them so much.

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  3. Your picture makes me want to make this! Then I read molasses and that makes me not want to make this! LOL I love that I see crumbs on the counter like real life and not a staged photo!

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    1. I have some recipes that asked for brown sugar instead. I've never tried it that way, but it probably would be good.

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  4. I like the store-bought variety so I'm sure these will be far tastier - I'm assuming absolutely delicious!

    Does the recipe cut in half well? I'm not sure can eat that much before it starts to go bad... :)

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Lea

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    1. Yes, you can easily half the recipe, or even quarter it if you like.

      Since they are dried they keep for a very long time if kept in an airtight container.

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    2. Thanks so much! I have them on the menu for next week - I can't wait!

      Have a wonderful evening,
      Lea

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    3. You're welcome! I hope you'll like them!

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  5. We also grew up on homemade grapenuts and I still make them.

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    1. How nice that you still make them. Are they similar to this recipe?

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    2. Mine uses brown sugar and buttermilk. I add vanilla too.

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    3. My recipe doesn't call for the vanilla, but I add it anyway. It's from the Mennonite cookbook.

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  6. Where does the name grape-nuts come from? Always wondered that!

    I did not realize they were so easy (relatively) to make.

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    1. You can read about the story behind the name here. Behind the Name - Grape Nuts
      They are surprisingly easy to make even though they're time consuming.

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  7. We have been blessed in the past with some of our Amish friends making these for us. Do you think it would work with a gluten free flour blend? We haven't enjoyed them since our family had to go gluten free a few years ago.

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    1. I would probably try a quarter batch with gluten free flour and see what happens. I'd think it should work.

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  8. Um, reduce the size - absolutely! There are only two of us, so what you have there is, considering we are both in our mid-70, probably a life time supply! The do sound good, though, as I have always liked the store-bought kind.

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    1. A batch like this lasts quite a while even with our family. I like that it's healthy and I can feel good about them enjoying cold cereal for breakfast. My, my .... don't I sound like my mother. :)

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.