Sunday, January 15, 2012

Good Shepherd Cereal


I know what they say about American cereal being bad for you, and in many cases it's true.  But in my world, cereal has always been a health food by definition.  And in the beginning, it really was.  "Granula" was first invented in 1894 by a doctor in New York, the name later changed to granola by Kellogg's.  Store-bought granola is expensive and can also be sugary, so I've been making my own for years.  A small bowl of homemade granola with some fruit and yogurt is one of my all-time favorite snacks.

I came across this recipe on a tiny piece of paper folded inside Ruth's box.  I added a few trendy ingredients like chia seeds and flax seeds and substituted my beloved Massachusetts maple syrup for the honey.  I succeeded in eating a batch practically single handedly.  What appeals to me most is the crunch of the buckwheat and the absence of spices.  This actually allows the taste of each ingredient to shine through.


From a health perspective, I am attracted to foods like chia seeds and buckwheat groats that act like super heroes in my body.  Honestly, I get a bit lost in the science of all the amazing things they do for the capillaries or how they increase "microcirculation."  That's all terrific but I'm content just knowing that it's taking care of me.  I only have one body after all.


It's hard to keep up with nutrition fads and trends. The information changes too often to sway with it.  What's good for you one week isn't good for you the next.  When I find foods like this that are a nutritionist's dream, I quickly incorporate them into my meals without a second thought.  Then I help myself to another guilt-free handful.


Good Shepherd Cereal
Makes 10 cups

Feel free to adapt this recipe by using the nuts and dried fruits that you love. This stores well at room temperature for several weeks in an airtight container.  Great with milk or yogurt, or even as a topping for ice-cream.

3 cups organic whole rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup flax seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup currants or raisins

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then pour in the olive oil and maple syrup and stir to moisten all the ingredients evenly.  Spread this onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  Remove from oven and cool, then stir in currants or raisins if using. 


  1. I never follow food trends either. I have never heard of chia seeds, I will have to look for those.
    Your grandmother's recipe box hides some real treasures huh? :)

  2. i just had some granola and yoghurt this morning! I also always add a handful of flaxseeed and chia as well

  3. Food trends are what the name calls it and I usually end up shunning the trends unless I personally use the stuff or run into it and like it, like banana flowers ; I have seen those chia seeds but never tried them; if i see some in Beirut now I would since your recipe looks really appealing.

  4. Nicole: Ruth's box is a treasure box, glad it's in your caring hands. I am intrigued by buckwheat groats (I have not cooked with them yet. I must look for them soon, and definitively give your modern "granula" a try

  5. I'm not a fan of cereals because they are often overly sweet. I think I should try home making, yours look spectacular

  6. This looks delicious. Funny thing...I made granola for my next blog entry...mine is a recipe from my oldest daugther. It must be the time to eat healthier!

  7. I just made some too, but no chia seeds or buckwheat groats. Nice ideas I will definitely try. Thanks.

  8. Hi, I haven't been by in a while and am getting caught up (p.s. read your news on Nuts about food... congrats!). Anyway, this looks wonderful and will try it this week, but wanted to add that if you soak all the ingredients (the dry ones) in water, or even better water and a spoonful of (ideally) whey or lemon juice, for at least 24 hours, then rinse, and strain really well then proceed as per your recipe you get a whole lot more nutrients out of them. It's like a health boost!


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