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Recipe Challenge: DIY Ancient Grain Cereal

We frequently get questions about “the best kind of cereal” out there, and to be honest, they are few and far between.

Most are laden with different forms of sugar and very low in fiber. We can bore you to tears with our love of rolled oats in all forms (pancakes, hot, cold, overnight, muffins, you name it), but what if you’re missing that satisfying crunchy texture? This week, Rebecca brings you one of her favorite ways to cook ancient grains: do-it-yourself cereal! She blended quinoa and farro for her mix, but feel free to get creative with your own blend! Side note, these crunchy grains may also be added to salads for a crouton-like texture. 

Ingredients (makes 4 portions):

  • 2 cups cooked ancient grains (such as quinoa, farro, barley, freekeh) 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • Your favorite “milk” (we love unsweetened almond) 
  • Optional berries 
  • Optional Greek yogurt 
  • Optional nut butter 

Directions 

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spread the cooked grains on a large rimmed baking sheet, using your hands to break up any clumps. Try to make the layer as even as possible. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. 
  2. Bake, tossing once or twice with a spatula, until the grains dry out and turn a nice golden brown, ~15-25 minutes. Bake time will depend on the size of the grain and how cruncy you want them.* Set pan aside to cool. 
  3. Serve like you would breakfast cereal! Optional toppings may include berries, Greek yogurt, or a nut butter. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom are a nice touch too.  

*A word to the wise: keep a close eye on your grains, as there is such a thing as too crunchy….. sample as you go, and take out of the oven when you’ve achieved your desired texture.  

Nutrition: We estimate ~½ cup of cooked grains is ~100 calories. Your “cereal” will depend on your calorie goals. For example, you can do ½ cup cooked grains + 1 cup berries (+70 calories) for breakfast ~170 calories. You could even add ⅓ cup Greek yogurt (+ about 50 calories, depending on what type of yogurt) for a varied texture and additional protein. For those on a gradual program with more caloric flexibility, you can try adding a 1/2 -1 tablespoon of your favorite nut butter (+50-100 calories). 

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