A huge thank you to Michelle for telling me about this recipe idea!!
First of all, I have to ask – because I know you’re all dying to know the answer to this as well: Why is this cereal called “Grape Nuts” when there are neither grapes nor nuts included in the list of ingredients? Haven’t you always wondered about that? Who named this cereal? And why, if they were going to call it something random like this, did they not call it “Pickle Sprouts” or Olive Berries?” How about “Banana Seeds?” I mean, if we’re going for titles that don’t make sense…
Yeah, don’t waste much time pondering that paragraph.
At the Colorado Springs Meet & Greet, we talked about everything from kids and media time to cereal. When Michelle told us she made a cereal like this, we all got super excited!
Looks like the real deal, huh? This cereal is pretty tasty with berries!
Homemade Grape Nuts is super easy to make, and I personally think it tastes better than the boxed stuff. Can you guess my kids’ first question when I introduced them to this at breakfast? “Looks good, but why is it called Grape Nuts?” I don’t know, Son. I don’t know.
Homemade Grape Nuts Cereal
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
1 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 cups buttermilk (or milk mixed with 2 Tablespoons vinegar)
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix all ingredients together, beating well until smooth. Spread mixture onto a parchment paper lined (or well buttered) cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in a 375° oven. Remove cereal from the oven, and cool completely. Once cool, grind in a food processor until it becomes “crumb like.”
Return crumbs to cookie sheet or a large baking pan. Bake in a 250° oven for one hour or until crisp, stirring every 15 minutes.
I found it easiest to bake the crumbs in a dish with sides (my 10×15 pyrex) so that I could stir more easily.
Cool the cereal and store it in an air tight container in the pantry (for about two weeks) or freezer (for up to two months).
- 3½ cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
- 1 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
- 2 cups buttermilk (or milk mixed with 2 Tablespoons vinegar)
- ⅔ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Mix all ingredients together, beating well until smooth.
- Spread mixture onto a parchment paper lined (or well buttered) cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes in a 375° oven.
- Remove cereal from the oven, and cool completely.
- Once cool, grind in a food processor until it becomes "crumb like."
- Return crumbs to cookie sheet or a large baking pan.
- Bake in a 250° oven for one hour or until crisp, stirring every 15 minutes.(I found it easiest to bake the crumbs in a dish with sides (my 10x15 pyrex) so that I could stir more easily.)
- Cool the cereal and store it in an air tight container in the pantry (for about two weeks) or freezer (for up to two months).
The geek in me decided to do the math to see if this was not only a High Five Recipe, but a Real Food Dollar Menu recipe as well. Sure enough! It took about $2.00 to make a batch of this cereal – using all organic ingredients. This makes about twice as much cereal as you would find in a regular sized box of Grape Nuts. When’s the last time you were able to buy a box of whole grain, organic cereal for a buck?
Looking for more meals on our Real Food Dollar Menu? Here are the recipes I’ve shared so far:
- Hearty Chili
- Spanish Rice
- Pasta Alfredo
- Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken
- Crock Pot Beef Stew
- Easy Chicken Pot Pie
- Chili Mac
Tell me you’ve always wondered where Grape Nuts got its name. And by always, I obviously mean, “Yes, I’ve pondered that for a second or two once in my life.”
Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I love Grape Nuts. As for the name – I heard somewhere, a long time ago and I’m sure completely unverified, that they were named because they’re “as sweet as grapes and as crunchy as nuts” I’m still not sure I buy it. By that token, they could also be Sugar Gravel, right?
This is perfect! I just bought some buttermilk today that was marked down at the store, and I have been trying to figure out what to make with it. I’ll have to give this a try.
silly question, but how do you go about eating it after freezing? Can you eat it straight from the freezer or does it need to thawed, and if so, does it get soggy or stay crunchy?
You can eat it straight from the freezer. It will stay crunchy once thawed. :)
We found a very similar recipe in an Amish cookbook and have been making it for years…..SOOOOOO helpful to not buy cereal anymore but sometimes still have the convenience of cereal.
I bet we have the same cookbook :) That recipe calls for 1/2 cup of wheat germ subbed for 1/2 cup of flour. It adds a nice nutty flavor. Also, the “cake” that it makes before you crumble it up is absolutely delicious. I had to stop myself eating it all that way when I made a batch last night!
Margaret D says
Yes, when I started really reading labels, did wonder why there were no grapes and no nuts in Grape Nuts. I will have to give this a try. We buy buttermilk for one recipe and then try to figure out how to use the rest.
Here’s my theory. I think years ago the cake was taken and “grated” across a type of screen to get the crumbles. (at home we used to use a grater.) So I think years ago they were actually called grate nuts. Somewhere across the years it got changed to grape. And the nuts part, well they are hard and crunchy.
I bought a bag at a Mennonite country store and it is in fact labeled Natural Grate Nuts. So you are so right! There is no list of ingredients on the bag.
Thanks Laura and Michelle. I have actually missed haveing Grape Nuts for years. I have an allergy to yeast and the boxed version has yeast in it. I am so excited! I just wished I had enough time to make it this morning, but at least I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow.
Karen Dee says
Of course I’ve wondered where Grape Nuts Cereal got it’s name! Who knows…
I am excited to make this cereal! Going to today. Wonder if my almond milk with vinegar would work in it? Thanks for sharing the recipe, Laura.
I have an amish recipe for these that I have been meaning to try. But I’m the only one in the family who likes Grape Nuts, and I haven’t had the real thing in more than 20 yrs due to Celiac. But as a kid GN over yogurt was our go to breakfast growing up. May have to take the plunge and convert it.
If you do convert it, share the recipe! I love Grape Nuts, especially stirred into yogurt, but I haven’t been able to eat them since going GF last November.
Ever since becoming a “real foodie” I’ve given up on all cereal other than homemade granola “cereal.” Grape Nuts was my favorite cereal in my SAD days, and every so often I just have to have it, so I break down and buy a box and ignore that whole ingredient list.
This recipe is printing as we speak and I’m ALL ABOUT making this today. I know what’s for breakfast tomorrow! :)
Kim S. says
One of my favorite cereals. Unfortunately I’m gluten intolerance and can’t touch the stuff, :( But I was curious about the name too and found this on Wikipedia (which isn’t the most reliable, but it’s something):
Grape-Nuts is a breakfast cereal developed in 1897 by C. W. Post, a patient and later competitor of the 19th-century breakfast food innovator, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Despite its name, the cereal contains neither grapes nor nuts; it is actually made from wheat and barley. Post believed that sucrose (which he called “grape sugar”) formed during the baking process. This, combined with the nutty flavor of the cereal, is said to have inspired its name. Another explanation originates from employees at Post, who claim that the cereal got its name due to its resemblance to grape seeds, or grape “nuts.” The cereal originally prepared by C. W. Post when he was developing the product was a batter that came out of the oven as a rigid sheet. He then broke the sheet into pieces and ran them through a coffee grinder to produce the “nut” sized kernels.
Kristen | The Frugal Girl says
That’s always what I thought too-that they resemble grape seeds.
[email protected] DIY Mom says
I agree, I always thought it was because the pieces were so small they looked like grape seeds.
I’ve made this before and it was quite good. I didn’t have a food processor so I crumbled it by hand. It still turned out well. I don’t make it often, just because the main cereal eaters in this house love granola every day and it is just easier to make.
I kinda figured they were named because they resemble grape seeds. Remember back in the day when grapes had seeds, lol? Been making these for awhile with a different recipe (add ingredients to bowl, stir till crumbly, toast in oven) and they’re delish… and cheap!! :)
Michele M says
Can you share the recipe? That sounds like something I would like to try.
Christina in N. KY says
Well I HAD to find out…..this is from Post Cereal’s website….
How did Grape-Nuts get its name?
Grape-Nuts, the cereal that is neither a grape nor a nut, is made from natural wheat and barley. This unique, naturally sweet cereal was created in 1897. Some people believe that C.W. Post came up with the name because the cereal contained glucose, also known as “grape sugar,” and because of its distinctive nutty flavor. The cereal with the funny name is packed with power from healthy carbohydrates and protein.
Thanks for the recipe, I love GrapeNuts but wouldn’t spend the $3.50 for a little box. I can handle a buck!
Karen S says
I use Post grape nuts with my grandsons because it has no added sugar. Their website says
Maltose, from the barley flour, is the only sugar in Grape-Nuts which is 5g. It seems like this recipe would have more. And I see now that they have added Isolated Soy Protein so I won’t be buying it anymore.
Hy-Vee in the midwest has a cheaper knock-off Nutty Nuggets which only has 3g of sugar which I assume is from the barley and no soy. And Kashi’s 7 whole grain nuggets has only 3g of sugar and no soy. I get that when it is on sale.
I also don’t have a food processor for this recipe. The sugar content is what bothers me. My grandsons get enough sugar at their house so I don’t serve any at mine and they don’t complain. It would be nice to be able to make this cereal myself though.
Kim S. says
Can you be my kids Grandma? I try to feed my kids healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. My in-laws feed them constant junk, processed, high sugar, fake foods. I could handle it if it was once in awhile, but they help watch my boys every week and don’t listen when I ask them to cut back. Even if I send my own food with.
Amen Kim! We get, well, if you don’t eat your supper you can have your ice cream and cheesies and then try again. AAAhhhh so frustrating!
Kim S. says
That’s just frustrating!!
What gets to me more is that my kids love fruits and veggies. 9 times out of 10, if they’re offered a choice between a piece of fruit or a piece of candy/cake/cookie, they’ll choose the fruit. Getting fruit is a treat to them. My in-laws have even witnessed it, but still insist on feeding them junk all the time. I think my FIL uses it as an excuse for him to indulge, which may explain why his diabetes is getting worse. :( At least I do my best most of the rest of the time.
Kim, are you sure you aren’t my long lost SIL, whose children are my kids long lost cousins?!?!?!
Kim S. says
Haha, maybe so!
My mom made it when I was young, and I’ve made it a lot, too. My recipe calls for molasses, though, and the children won’t eat it–I’ll have to try your version! With the buttermilk in it, it’s an easy recipe to soak the wheat with before baking. I like to soak my grains before cooking–if it’s easy to do so!
I have a vivid memory of the first time my mom let me pick out a box of cereal from the grocery store. I was probably 5. I chose Grape Nuts because I liked grapes and I liked nuts. My mom tried and tried to explain it to me, but I insisted on THAT cereal. I even begged for a bowl for lunch. I was thinking it would be a fruit salad I’d had that involved grapes and pecans in a white dressing (milk, to my 5-year-old mind). You can imagine my disappointment when my mom gave me a bowl of brown crunchy pebbles! I’ve never eaten Grape Nuts since.
As I’m making this tonight, my oldest (7) says, “whatcha makin?” I tell her. She immediately runs to the frigde and says, “I didn’t know we had grapes here!”
I just saw this and had to share a conversation I had this afternoon.
Child: I’m as smart as a nut.
Me: Oh really. And what kind of a nut would that be?
:) The best part though…she’s never even had Grapenuts! ;)
We love this recipe! Happy you got to try it. It was great meeting you and your family.
Amber S says
My kids just tried Grape Nuts for the first time and accused me of feeding them chicken feed! Lol! I will have to try this recipe and hope it goes over better! If all else fails, mu mom has a recipe for Grape Nuts pie- supposed to taste just like pecan pie. There goes any hope of healthy, but it would use up leftovers!
Can I substitute 3/4C honey for the sucanat? Should I decrease the liquid by one tablespoon if using honey? Has anyone tried this?
I haven’t tried that but I think it should work without any other alterations. :)
Heather D says
I’m so happy to find this recipe! My husband noticed that Post recently started adding soy to Grape Nuts. Very misleading, since they changed the packing at the same time, and the new packaging says “Original” I’d be surprised if there was soy in the original Grape Nuts. Anyway, we used to eat them a lot, and I use them in the granola I make. But with the addition of soy, we’ve cut them out. Can’t wait to try making our own now!
I’ve been making bran muffins with Grape Nuts for years. I’d love to try the recipe with the homemade GN.
Cindy Lacy says
I am making the recipe, but the mixture is not getting crunchy. The recipe made quite a bit, and I’m wondering if I put too much in the pan at one time. Anybody else have this problem?
Yes, I had that issue too. I used the same size pan as Laura did.
I’m hoping they are okay??
I read recently in Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss that “grape” came from the type of sugar that was used in the cereal that the inventor called grape sugar and “nuts” for the flavor of the cereal. Just and FYI….I couldn’t help commenting after reading about it. :)
My recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of maple syrup as well, and I add a little pure maple flavoring to enhance that flavor. It is DELICIOUS! I wouldn’t even want to try it without the maple syrup. Just add another 1/2 cup or so of whole wheat flour to compensate for the extra liquid.
I love Grape Nuts and look forward to trying this. How much do you think it makes and what do you consider a serving size?
I’d say this makes 6-8 cups of cereal. I’d consider a serving size to be about a 1/2 cup. :)
Mrs K says
This recipe sounds good. I’d like a change of pace from hm granola. Wondering if it would be ok to sub different flowers for the wheat? Like part spelt or part buckweat?
Mrs K says
Flours… That was flours not flowers! Geesh!
[email protected] says
That should work just fine!
Ann Marie says
My family has had deep and lengthy conversations at the breakfast table over how GrapeNuts could have possibly gotten it’s name. Can’t wait to try this recipe as 1/2 of the family loves GN for any meal imaginable!
Stephanie L says
I”m gluten-intolerant too and would like to make it. Any suggestions on how to alter it for that?
[email protected] says
You could try a different kind of gluten free flour. It should work just fine.
My husband says these are better than the boxed Grape Nuts! And here I thought I’d burnt them a little. He says they’re perfect.
Hi…I’ve been buying a “home baked” version of GN’s from an Amish store near Kalona IA for a while…. love it! They are a bit more apt to melt in the milk, as they aren’t quite as dense…. but they sure are good. So I was pleased to find
your recipe;THANKS! I think I’ll try them using some Sucanot, & maple syrup; as listed above. It’s just me at home; so I may cut the recipe in half until I know how to make it. I usually have them with Almond milk; may be interesting to find out if I can make them with Almond milk too. Don’t want to stray too far from the actual recipe initially tho!
This recipe is so versatile. I use sourdough Kamut or Spelt flour and only 1/2 cup of sucanat or honey. It seems to work well no matter what I do to it. My whole family loves it. We eat the grape nuts as is or add them to homemade granola to give it an extra crunch.
looks delicious but unfortunately I cannot bake but i think i could give it a try. looks a little easy, hope it comes out great. Thanks.
I tried this recipe and it was great! But about half of my cake turned into dust when I put it in the food processor. Any suggestions? Should I bake it less before putting it in the food processor? What consistency should it be?
Yes, it does sound like it was overbaked prior to being put into the food processor. It should look like a barely done cake, then just blitz it a tiny bit in the food processor to turn it into crumbs.
I was so excited to find these healthy cereals!!! I have made other kinds but they take way too much time! I prayed for less time consuming recipes and this is an answer to prayer!! I have a question – I followed the directions but my Grape Nuts are not getting crunchy. Should I leave them in longer than an hour at 250 or cook them on 350 next time? Thanks for the help.
Yes, I’d say leave them in the oven until they get crunchy, and then turn up the heat slightly if needed.
This sounds interesting, but where’s the barley?
Michele M says
Grape-Nuts actually contains neither grapes nor nuts. It’s made from natural wheat and barley. So, why is it called Grape-Nuts? As with many great emblems in history, there are two versions of the story. One says that Mr. Post believed glucose, which he called “grape sugar,” formed during the baking process. This, combined with the nutty flavor of the cereal, is said to have inspired its name. Another explanation claims that the cereal got its name from its resemblance to grape seeds, or grape “nuts.”
From the Post foods website
BUSY MOM IN AL says
I have seen this recipe before on here. I should have tried it earlier. I misread one of the comments and used 1/2 cup maple syrup in place of the sucanat and threw in some vanilla extract. It was really good. We ate it for lunch! Of course, we had some blueberries on top and cut oranges on the side. ;) (as per Laura’s encouragement to add as many fruits and veggies!)
Thank you for the new recipe!
Trying this right now. The instructions say to beat until smooth, but this stuff is thick and very hard to beat. I’m doing it by hand (which is quite the workout) because I’m afraid it is so stiff, it would blow up the motor on my hand mixer. I did end up adding maybe another 1/2 cup buttermilk just to get all the flour to mix in. Now when I pour it onto the baking sheet, it doesn’t exactly pour. It’s really a huge blob that I can’t seem to get spread out easily . It’s quite sticky too, making it harder still to spread as it’s clinging very tightly to the parchment paper. Not sure how to fix this for next time. I did cut the sucanat in half this time. Do I just need to do less flour, even more buttermilk, any ideas/suggestions? Thanks! Hoping it turns out okay, but not holding my breath. :(
[email protected] says
I would try to mix all the dry ingredients first and then add the wet ingredients to that. See if it is easier to mix that way. I am not sure why it was so sticky. Hope it turned out well for you!
The name is easy, if you’ve ever made anything from heirloom Concord grapes you will see they have 3 to 5 seeds inside that are large. Hence the name grape nuts. They look alike and approximately the same size.
I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup, but it’s still too sweet for me. Maybe 1/2 cup next time? I’m half way through and have the crumble and bake again stages to go, so maybe they won’t seem so sweet after the second bake. I think that I’ll also throw in some flax or barley next time for a nutty taste and more nutrition.
I like Grape Nuts and definitely appreciate the recipe!
In calculating the cost, did you include the cost of oven time?
No, I didn’t get that technical. That would add in just a little bit more to the cost. :)
Laura, I love how easy and delicious this recipe is!!! Thank you! My husband loves Grape Nuts, but I don’t usually buy them. He says these are just as good! I love that it makes a big batch that we can enjoy all week long!
Tried this recipe tonight and my husband was super impressed. :) For that matter, so was I! I found that it took longer for my cereal to get crunchy (maybe because it was in a pan with a taller edge?), so after 1 hour I turned it up to 300 and it went for another 50 min (give or take). Totally worth it. Next time I may try 300 to start with. Other changes I might try: less sugar and subbing ingredients. Although I like the sweetness, it is much sweeter than the store-bought Grape Nuts I am used to. So I might go 3/4 c., and then try 1/2 c. if it’s still too sweet. I also like the idea of substituting barley flour or wheat germ to give it the nutty flavor. Definitely something is missing, but not so much that this won’t be gone by next week… ;) One other comment; I used hard red wheat, because that’s what I had, and with this recipe and it’s crumby texture, I am not noticing the wheaty texture that can sometimes turns people off from whole wheat. Altogether, something we will definitely be making regularly!
Is it important to have food processor to use to make this. Is it too hard to crunch up by hand? Asking because I do not have a food processor.
I think you can crunch it up by hand (or in a blender if you have one). It will be a little more work, but not much!
We have been making this cereal for a few years now, thanks Laura. Last week, I finally figured out what was missing, that subtle taste that boxed Grape Nuts has…barley malt syrup. I added two tablespoons of organic barley malt syrup to the recipe and it took it over the top. Now I’m getting ready to surprise hubby with some peanut butter crunch. Do you have any idea how much you are APPRECIATED, dear Laura?
Your sweetness overwhelms me. :)
Tracy Nicks says
Has anyone tried this with sprouted whole white wheat flour?