Breakfast cereals were my favourite thing ever as a child. I had one of those moms who eventually realised that sugary cereals weren’t ok and made me check the boxes to be sure they contained less than 10g sugar per serving (sad times for 9 year old Amy)
I had a few faves, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pops and Frosted Flakes, but my true love was Honey Bunches of Oats. I have a thing for clusters, it would seem.
I’m sure you’ve heard me talk before about the power of aroma and taste in conjuring up childhood memories and emotions, right ? Well, clearly, this is one of those situations.
A few weeks back I stumbled on this recipe and, as I was grinding it up ready to be stored, the look and smell of it brought me back to childhood – watching Saturday morning cartoons with my brother while my parents were asleep. Those mornings were like stealing moments with the coolest person I knew in the world and having him all to myself. Building forts out of couch cushions, watching Indiana Jones on HBO and playing Duck Hunt and Mario Brothers on the old school Nintendo – some of the best memories of my childhood.
Yes, aroma and taste are powerful transporters!
Check out this cereal recipe. It’s very easy to make, keeps for months in an airtight container and, just like “normal” cereal, it’s not just for breakfast; Add it to ice creams and yogurt for a good bit of crunch or mix it with some dried fruit and nuts to create a great snack for travel times.
- If you prefer a less sweet cereal, simply tone down the amount of coconut sugar and/or maple.
- Don’t eat oats ? No problem, simply use buckwheat. Soak the same amount of buckwheat for 1 hour, rinse, sprout 10 – 12 hours and pulse into the almonds in the same way as the oats. Be sure to keep some of their texture.
125g ( 1 cup ) almonds, soaked 8 hours and rinsed
200g ( 2 cups ) gluten free rolled oats
100g ( ½ cup ) coconut sugar
30g ( 2 tbsp ) golden flax, soaked in 100g ( ½ cup ) water for 1 hour
75g ( ¼ cup ) maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
2 tsp cinnamon
- In a food processor, pulse the first set of ingredients just to break the nuts down a little. We want them to remain rather chunky for nice texture.
- Transfer to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients by hand.
- Line a dehydrator tray with Teflex and pour the contents onto the sheet. Dampen your fingers a little to keep it from sticking and helping the cereal to spread out a little.
- We want to encourage clusters to form, so don’t separate the mixture too much. Allow clumps to form.
- Dry at 115f for 10 hours, flip onto mesh and dry a further 10-15 hours or until crisp.
- In small batches, maybe 3 in total, pulse the cereal in the food processor to break down the clumps and create various textures. This is optional, you may prefer to keep it as is and more like granola.
- Once cool, store in an airtight jar at room temp for several months.