Some of the first recipes ever posted on this blog included a series of videos on how to make healthy, cold breakfast cereal. These posts proved to be very popular as getting off the toxic and very unhealthy boxed cereals at the store can be quite difficult to do. Learning to make a delicious, healthy version at home helps tremendously in eliminating this processed food from your home for good.
I have always made this particular recipe with soft white wheat or spelt as my family does not have any wheat allergies and, let’s face it, wheat is delicious! If you soak it for 24 hours beforehand in the proper soaking medium as shown in the video, the gluten is so effectively broken down that even those with wheat allergies can usually enjoy this wonderful food again!
A couple of weeks after I posted those videos, Tiffany of The Coconut Mama, wrote a post about my cereal recipe and about how she made it with rice flour and quinoa flakes. Her gluten-free version also turned out terrific. Her husband said it reminded him of cinnamon toast crunch!
Homemade Buckwheat Cereal?
Never having used buckwheat before, I went to the store and located a bag of buckwheat groats. I took them home and ground them into buckwheat flour in my grinder. I then soaked the buckwheat in clabbered milk for 24 hours.
Remember – even though buckwheat is gluten-free, there are still anti-nutrients like phytic acid that need to be broken down, so soaking is still a required step.
After soaking, I began mixing the flour with the other remaining ingredients. I noticed that the batter had a rather strong buckwheat smell, but I figured this would go away after baking.
It didn’t. It got worse from there.
The buckwheat coffee cake that came out of the oven looked beautiful and had an amazing texture to it as I crumbled it onto cookie sheets for the last step – drying. However, the buckwheat smell had become rather overpowering and even one of my children commented that the “kitchen smelled bad”.
Undeterred, I put the crumbled buckwheat into the oven to dry out into cereal. I cut a few small squares of the coffee cake to try a bit. I didn’t like it much, but it wasn’t terrible. My husband liked it ok, but my oldest after taking a bite and hesitating for a moment said, “Mom, I think you might not want to make this again.”
I figured I might as well dry out the cake into cereal anyway – maybe it would taste ok with raisins and milk, I reasoned.
I went to bed shortly after putting the crumbled buckwheat in the warm oven. I’ve always loved drying out the cereal overnight as when I wake up in the morning, the lovely cinnamon/maple flavor fills the house like a bowl of potpourri.
That sure didn’t happen with the buckwheat cereal. As the cereal began to dry out, it gave off this strong buckwheat smell that was so overpowering that it engulfed the entire house all the way back into the bedroom area. About 2 am, I awoke nauseated and realized that it was the cereal smell that was making me sick!
I ran into the kitchen and turned off the oven and turned on the kitchen fan to disperse the horrible smell.
I wouldn’t even open the oven. I decided to wait until the next morning to throw the entire disaster into the trash bin.
In hindsight, I think the buckwheat cereal was a good idea, but making it with 6 cups of buckwheat flour was way too much. I had no idea buckwheat was such an overpowering flavor!
Bottom line? I should have checked the ingredients on the Arrowhead Mills cereal first and I would have seen than it was mixed with brown rice flour and wasn’t exclusively buckwheat flour!
A few of you have emailed me about trying the buckwheat cereal as I tweeted that I was going to try it before the entire disaster unfolded. So beware – make sure you only use 1 cup of buckwheat flour and 5 cups of some other flour else you may find a family mutiny on your hands!
I use buckwheat for lots of stuff. I soak them for pancakes, hot cereal. muffins etc. I hate the smell and taste of buckwheat…..that is unless it is hulled. Try getting hulled buckwheat. The smell and flavor distinct to buckwheat is in the hull.
I’ve been looking into buckwheat sprouts as its been so hit and miss for me! Other blogs suggest short soaking (30 mins all that’s needed to hydrate them, others say overnight is fine) BUT THEN rinse till the water is COMPLETELY clear. Then go ahead and ferment be grinding them with fresh water and salt. Once the pancake consistency has risen it makes great cakes, muffins and pancakes. No other flour needed. Just add some coconut oil or butter. Can banana and other flavourings.
IF SPROUTING I’ve learnt to rinse ever half hour for the first four hours then rinse as normal (every 5/6 hours) thereafter.
I now use buckwheat flour and buckwheat batter a lot. It was the rinsing mistake I made that caused several failures similar to your one above. The smell can be bad…. I even tried serving it to guests trying to convince myself that I’d done everything the same as last time and maybe my ingredient ratios were out!
I may have a buckwheat cereal disaster. Ground the buckwheat for the cereal added 3 cups of yoghurt (only had greek) and now I have this mound of well, maybe a blob of a mound. Not that lovely semi wet texture from the video.
Do I start over ? So far 12 hours……and nothing seems to be breaking down.
Love the recipes! Just a thought on the buckwheat as we use it a lot around here. There are sweet and bitter types and variations in between. The sweeter types are white on the inside and produce a whiter flour that also tastes better:)
I just made some coffee cake out of lentils and buckwheat, very tasty.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Karl, could I get that recipe? Sounds yummy!
I'm with Sarah with the sprouting. I loooove buckwheat. I use it in my multi-grain crackers. I sprout the groats then send them through the blender to make a paste. Or you can dry it slowly in the oven and you basically have kasha and can cook it up with broth to use as a side dish or filling for knishes.
Hahaha! Boy, that's going down in the "tell it again" family annals, isn't it? 😀
Long before NT I was making everything whole grains, including pancakes. I got some buckwheat one time and thought I'd make buckwheat pancakes. Glad my husband caught me! He cautioned me to use a small amount mixed with wheat flour – like a 1:4 ratio or more. They were still strong! Just goes to show we have a lot to learn about how things "used to be done".
Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist
Thanks for the tip on sprouting the groats first. I want to try it again, but I am still not over that terrible smell that engulfed my house that night! Yikes!
I use buckwheat groats often for granola. The key is to soak them for 5 hours or so then pour them into a strainer and rinse them well. Let them sit in the strainer, rinsing every 4-5 hours until they sprout tiny tails. I dehydrate them then use them. It really cuts down on the smell and taste : ) Thanks for experimenting for us! Here's a link to my post about it:
Tiffany @ The Coconut Mama
Sarah, I'm so sorry your cereal didn't turn out! We really enjoy your wheat cereal recipe.I tried the rice version because I have a close friend who has recently been diagnosed with celiac and she LOVES cereal.
Your sons reaction made me laugh out loud!