Healthy, Homemade Corn Flakes Cereal

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 6, 2013

how to make healthy corn flakes

Giving up boxed breakfast cereal from the store is without a doubt one of the hardest tasks to accomplish after a Traditional Diet is adopted.  I was the Boxed Breakfast Cereal Queen before opting to get off the processed food train some years ago. I would eat organic cereal morning, noon, and night.  I particularly loved having a bowl before going to bed in the evening.

Can you believe I actually thought this practice was good for me?

Unfortunately, I learned that my boxed breakfast cereal habit, even though it was organic cereal, was far from healthy.

The problem is not with the ingredients themselves, which are simple and seem “whole” enough in the case of organic cereal. The unhealthy aspect of boxed cereal is due to the violent processing required to manufacture it.

Factory Processing Destroys Cereal Grain Proteins

This factory driven process, called extrusion, applies so much heat and pressure to the cereal grains that they actually liquify. This slurry allows the grains to be quickly and easily shaped into the puffs, flakes, and other shapes that make each cereal distinct.

The manufacturing process used to make boxed cereal is so violent and denaturing that the proteins in the grains are actually rendered toxic and allergenic as a result.  This is why whole grain boxed breakfast cereal is shockingly even more toxic than cheap boxed cereals made with white flour — because whole grains are higher in protein.  The more protein, the more toxic the boxed cereal.

What’s a traditional eating family to do?

The good news is that unhealthy versions of processed foods like boxed breakfast cereal can usually be replicated at home using simple preparation techniques which do not denature the food or add toxins like what happens in a factory.

Boxed breakfast cereal is no exception.  It is very possible to make tasty and healthy cold breakfast cereal yourself – I’ve posted articles and videos in the past about how to do this:

  • Click here for a wheat or spelt based homemade cold breakfast cereal recipe.
  • Click here for a gluten free homemade breakfast cereal from the Coconut Mama who took my basic cold cereal recipe above and made it with sprouted brown rice.
  • Click here for two grain free cold breakfast cereal recipes.

In this article, I add my own gluten free cereal recipe to the mix:  corn flakes!

Wait a Minute!  Is Corn Healthy?

Some of you may be thinking – corn?   No way.  How is corn healthy?

Corn really does have a bad rap these days, doesn’t it?

The fact is that corn is a traditional food, particularly in my area of the country. The Indian tribes native to Florida ate a soaked corn gruel as a primary staple food.   It sustained them well.  They remained strong and vital on their native diet and were able to withstand battle after battle with the United States army and were never defeated. In 1957, the federal government officially recognized the sovereign rights of the Seminole tribe of Florida.

So corn itself is not the problem.  What is unhealthy is genetically modified corn or corn that is violently processed creating franken foods like high fructose corn syrup and other additives included in supermarket foods.

Once you realize that corn is fine to eat when properly and traditionally prepared (unless you have an allergy to it) and that it is processed and genetically modified corn that is the real problem, then you are free to enjoy this delicious traditional food!

Corn flakes cereal in particular is so yummy – it was always one of my favorites in my boxed breakfast cereal eating days.

In a burst of crazy and wild experimenting in my home one afternoon recently, I came up with this recipe for homemade, healthy corn flakes cereal.  My kids went nuts and so did I!

These healthy corn flakes taste just like the boxed corn flakes from the store, but this version is actually healthy and very filling!

What is also amazing about this healthy corn flakes cereal recipe is that it is so filling and satisfying.  Just the small bowl you see in the picture above is plenty enough for breakfast or a snack.  This compares with the several much larger bowls of processed corn flakes that don’t seem to fill you up that well and you are hungry again a short time later. Such is the overeating that occurs when one eats processed foods devoid of nutrients.

I hope you enjoy this health corn flakes recipe as much as my family!

How to Make Healthy Corn Flakes Cereal

Makes about 50 oz of healthy corn flakes cereal or 8-10 servings

Ingredients

24 – 6″ organic sprouted corn tortillas
Expeller pressed coconut oil  (where to buy)
Sea salt (where to buy)

Directions

In a large skillet, melt enough expeller pressed coconut oil so that the oil is about an inch deep. Heat the oil to 300-325F, being careful not to let the temperature rise above 350F – 375F as this is the smokepoint of coconut oil. Free radicals begin to form in the oil if you exceed the smokepoint.

You can check the temperature using a frying thermometer or just keep the tortillas to a light sizzle as they are frying and you will know that you are in the safe temperature range.

Place several tortillas at a time into the heated oil. Fry until light brown. This will happen very fast – only a minute or so!

Remove fried tortillas from the oil with stainless steel tongs and place on plates covered with an unbleached white towel.   Very lightly sprinkle with sea salt.

Continue the process until all 24 tortillas are fried.

When the tortillas are cool to the touch on the towel lined plates, break each of them up into small, bite sized pieces.

Serve homemade corn flakes immediately in a bowl with whole raw milk and a bit of whole sweetener or fruit.   Store the remaining corn flakes cereal in a half gallon glass mason jar as shown in the picture or some other airtight container.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Comments (62)

  1. I tried this and was pleasantly surprised. I skipped the salt though (my sprouted tortillas had salt in the ingredient list). I look forward to trying the other cold cereal recipe.

    Reply
  2. Sarah, thank you SOO much for this recipe!! I missed eating cereal so much, especially my favorite Kellog’s corn flakes. I though no way will they taste like Kellog’s, but I thought it’s worth trying…well I fried up the tortillas and lo and behold!! They are so good! I can have cereal again! :)

    Reply
  3. My favorite grain is oats. I could live on Post Oat Flakes, but they stopped making them when they could get a higher price by selling them for horse food. :( Any recipes for oat flake cereal?

    Reply
  4. Holly Sullivan Musgrave via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I made these the other day and while they were good, the texture is just a little off, too thick. They are more like tortilla chips and my husband keeps stealing them to put on his salads. So, I decided to see if I could thin the tortillas out a bit before cooking them, but the store was out of the sprouted corn tortillas, so I bought the regular ezekiel tortillas (I know that they have soy in them and so not the BEST, but baby steps!) anyway, I ran them through my kitchenaid pasta maker attachment and made them thinner and kind of broke the tortillas up more into flakes before cooking them….and they turned out amazing! The texture was so much more like a normal cereal flake. I tossed them with cinnamon, raisins and sucanat. When I put them in milk, I added a little bit of pure maple syrup! They were to die for! Can’t wait to try this method with the sprouted corn tortillas!

    Reply
  5. Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook February 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I buy the Food for Life sprouted organic corn tortillas. $2.50 for a package of 12. 2 packages makes about a quart and a half of cereal.

    Reply
  6. Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook February 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    It’s a good recipe to have in your back pocket to do fast if the kids want cereal NOW and you are out of some of the other recipes that take longer to make (aka soak overnight).

    Reply
  7. Is it possible to make the cereal out the already made tortilla chips?? (Ex. Garden of Eatin’ Tortilla Chips, Sprouted Blue) Just break them up into bite size pieces?

    Reply
  8. THANK YOU!!! I have six children and homeschool and we not only love cold cereal but I need something easy for at least SOME of my breakfasts We do alot of Smoothies and eggs but I really wanted something easy that my 9 and under children can handle themselves like cereal at least for some mornings! I was really dragging my feet about letting go of cereal…I hate oatmeal as a breakfast and I’ve searched on ways to make cold cereal to no avail…I usually came up with just granola. SO oxcited to have found this one and your other cold cereal posts!!

    Reply
  9. I would add a step to take up the nutrition one notch higher on the traditional side. Alexander Beddoe, D.D.S., recommends using heirloom Indian corn because it has higher mineral content. “The Indian grown corns grow on a frequency arrangement that allows them to get way more out of the air than the typical grain corns we are all used to” (Nourishment Home Grown, p. 176).

    Reply
  10. Sarah,
    Like you, I was a cereal junkie. Nothing was more comforting than taking a big bowl of Chex to bed. I got so excited when I read your post that I did not even wait until I had sprouted corn tortillas in the house….I used my sprouted wheat tortillas. With a dash of maple syrup I was in heaven. Oh, yummm. It’s all I want to eat today…and tomorrow…and…
    And my, oh my is it filling.
    Thanks again my friend.

    Reply
  11. Sounds good to me. Do you soak or sprout corn for corn meal?
    A member of my church plans to help me plant some heirloom corn and I intend to use it to make corn meal. I have some seed of this corn and will share with him for his help.
    I used to mix some wheat germ in my burgers to keep them from shrinking and more moist and I wonder if that’s a good idea, since it came from wheat. I used it in meat loafs, too.
    Does wheat germ need soaking?

    Reply
  12. Sarah, what do you think about sprouted cereal like Ezekiel Sprouted Cereal for those of us who work full time outside the home and do not have time to make cereal homemade? I make homemade crackers, stock, condiments, & soak and dehydrate nuts on the weekends, but cereal is just not on the top of my list. So I am curious what your thoughts are on respected brands (Ezekiel) sprouted cereals. I buy their bread as well. I know it is not as good as homemade, but if you only eat it 2 times a week, would it be ok in your opinion? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
  13. In my quest for cereals again, I’ve considered purchasing a flaker/roller to turn soaked and sprouted grains into flaked cereal. I really don’t know anything about these other than looking at them at sites that sell them. Have any of you used one? Would this work for making healthier flaked cereals?

    Reply
  14. I too have missed my organic cold cereal. After I read about extrusion and its detrimental effects, there was no going back. I am eager to try this recipe!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Sarah, I’ve been wondering for awhile about the Ezekial brand sprouted cereals. Do they go through the same debating process in their production of flakes?

    Reply
      • Aari and Alison,

        I was worried about this and contacted the company to ask. They told me that the cereal is made with the same process as their bread, including sprouting the ingredients. I referenced the WPF article about the high heat processing making the cereal unhealthy and they assured me that their cereal was made more slowly using low heat to process the cereal. They did not tell me the exact temperatue, but they did state that it was done with low heat and that this didn’t denature the ingredients like the conventional method.

        This doesn’t make the cereal safe according to Ramiel Nagel’s requirements, but he could be wrong and it could also be used as a less destructive treat if you do believe his method. I don’t want to go into too much about Ramiel, but he states that phytic acid in coconut doesn’t hurt the body, but phytic acid from wheat or other grains do. This part does not have scientific trials or testing referenced in his book and I would certainly like to see a little more study before I would conclude one phytic acid bad the other good. We can measure the effect on blood sugar and sprouting the grains removes any spike in blood pressure thus making it much healthier than non sprouted (sprouting also removes inflamation damage).

        Sorry I got a little off topic, but if you are worried about Ezekiel then write the company and reference the article to see what they say. I personally like the cereal, but some don’t.

        Take Care

        Reply
  16. You could do the same thing with sprouted wheat tortillas and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar while they are still hot.

    Reply
  17. Sounds simple and good. As a kid I used to put left over popcorn in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar and pour milk over it and eat as a cereal. It is very delicious and satisfies that crunchy cereal craving.

    Reply
  18. I hear you on the “cereal queen!” I used to think I was healthy having a bowl of cereal for a snack (esp at night!) instead of something else. This is one of the best articles I’ve read on the topic, good common sense! Thanks for the recipe too! I am posting this article on my FB page.

    Reply
  19. I was excited to click on this post, but this just sounds like tortilla chips? I’m doubtful this will fulfill my cereal cravings…

    Reply
  20. Hey Sarah,

    That is great you created a healthier homemade corn flake cereal. However, I just want people to be aware of sprouted grain products. Ramiel Nagel talks about the dangers of “commercially made sprouted grain products from whole grains” in his book Cure Tooth Decay. He says that “the whole grain plant toxins are not sufficiently neutralized by sprouting and these foods can cause severe tooth decay.” The sprouted whole grain products have not been soaked or fermented to remove anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and lectins.

    I just want people to be cautious about consuming commercial whole grain products. If you are going to eat it, I believe every once in a while will not do a lot of harm if you do not have severe tooth decay or health problems. If you are going to have it on a regular basis like the Seminole Indians, you need to prepare it the way they did at the very least.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would agree Sarah. Excellent point. Corn really does need to be soaked in limewater if it is a staple part of the diet. Here is a link to my video showing you how to soak corn if you haven’t done this before. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-making-limewater-for-soaking-corn/

      In the case of this cereal, corn isn’t a staple food so it is fine as a small part of the diet.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Corn Flakes Cereal: Healthy and Homemade

      Reply
      • Sarah (Pope), I’m a little confused though..doesn’t the sprouting process (for even store bought grain products), take the place of soaking and fermenting? Or were you and the other Sarah just referring to corn? Should I be limiting the sprouted bagels that I buy (they are the brand you suggested at one time)?

        Reply
          • I don’t understand how people sprout grains without soaking them. I have been soaking and sprouting grains, beans, and greens for years now and it takes a lot of soaking and rinsing to make a sprout… that’s my understanding.

          • Lisa and Jesse,

            I would say ideally you should soak it before using it (like a sourdough bread). This goes for all grains. If I am not mistaken, I believe sprouting whole grains activates the food enzymes, increases vitamin content and it does also neutralize some of the antinutrients, but not very well. Soaking/fermenting and removal of the bran and germ makes it a much healthier food and less likely to cause tooth decay or other health issues.

      • I love to make my own tortillas by soaking corn in lime (calcium hydroxyde?) for a few days with the method in your video. It’s so cheap and easy and fun to do. I cook them on two full sized griddles on the stovetop to get them done really fast. I’ll try just cooking them in more oil right off the bat and go straight to corn flakes next time! Thank you!

        Reply

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