Making breakfast cereal: granola and bran flakes

May 21, 2012 § 6 Comments

Someone recently mentioned that J and I seem to be getting crunchier over the years. I like that description. On the topic of crunchy, I was wondering if anyone makes their own breakfast cereals. I put the question out to facebook, and my friend Helen passed me this great granola recipe from her blog. Another friend emailed me his granola recipe as well. I took a little from both and made my first granola. Yum!

My favorite sweet indulgence lately has been homemade yogurt with a swirl of apricot jam and granola sprinkled over the top. Unbelievable luxury.

I also found this site, which made me to want to make my own bran flakes. Who knew you could do that? I purchased all of the ingredients at my favorite cooperative grocery store, Rainbow.

The dough is made from almond flour, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and water.

There is something so nice about knowing what has gone into my food.

The tough part was rolling out the sticky dough nice and flat on my Silpats. The fun part was crumbling the giant bran flake into baby bran flakes.

At the end of it all, I had a pile of bran flakes that looked small enough to devour in one sitting. Hmmmm. Worth it? I took a crunch – delicious. A project like this is such a creative outlet for me, so I would say it was a definite win!

The kids love both the granola and the bran flakes. Anyone know how to make Cheerios?

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Making yogurt in the thermal pot

April 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

My kids eat a whole lot of yogurt. It’s the first snack food I pass them when we are home.

I had heard of people making yogurt themselves, and wanted to try it out. There were some great directions on this blog.  Genius! Here’s what I did:

Measure out some milk.  I poured out two quarts.

Heat milk to 180 degrees. It will look bubbly. When it hits 180 degrees, turn off the stove, and let the milk cool to 110 degrees. This part was the most difficult for me – all that waiting!

Scoop out half of a cup of the milk, and stir in a small bit of good yogurt that contains live and active cultures. I used 1 Tbls of Trader Joe’s Organic European-Style yogurt.

Mix the milk-starter mixture in with the rest of the milk. Insulate it. I use my Thermal pot.

Leave it overnight for at least 6 hours. I usually let mine sit for closer to 12 hours.

It’s tangy and delicious mixed with a little jam or fruit. Mmmmm. I’ve done this several times now, and I use yogurt from the previous batch as my starter each time.

Side note: J’s parents purchased this wonderful Thermal pot for us, and we love it.  It is a wonderful alternative to a Crock Pot, and doesn’t need to be plugged in. We make soup by adding ingredients, bringing it to a boil, and then putting it in the thermal pot to cook all day. The soups come out delicious and fresh-tasting. Highly recommend. And now it’s our yogurt-making pot as well!

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