Today’s Recipe: Homemade Breakfast Cereal

Cereal is the go-to breakfast in American homes, and it’s easy to see why. Besides being ultra convenient, that perky cereal crunch can wake up the senses in a hurry. But before you reach for a box tomorrow morning, consider three facts that may change the way you start your day.

  1. Cereal commonly contains ingredients that have no place in the food pantry: high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and preservatives (learn the risks associated with food additives at Even familiar ingredients like non-organic corn and soy harbor hazards such as pesticides and GMOs.
  2. Cereal consumption results in a whopping amount of waste. Tally up the number of cereal boxes and plastic inner bags you go through in a month, and picture all of that packaging piled up on your kitchen floor. Wow, right? Multiply your trash by the millions of families that eat cereal each morning, and that’s one big footprint on the face of the planet.
  3. Cereal is crazy expensive. In 2009, the U.S. spent $1.025 billion on cereal, and sales are on the rise. When you consider the minimal cost of the components-namely grains and sugar-it’s hard to believe that a box of cereal can sell for $5 (that’s about 6 bucks per pound). Ouch!

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you prepare pancakes and casseroles before work every day. I’m out to convince you to devote one hour every two weeks to making your own cereal. Seriously. Not only are you guaranteed scrumptious, healthy meals, you can also buy bulk ingredients for pennies per pound from sources like

Now for the recipe that’ll have you hooked…

MaryJane’s Farm Kitchen Flakes

Makes about 15 servings

2 cups oat bran
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups almond flour
1/4 cup honey
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water

Store-bought almond flour tends to be rancid. I use a food processor and make my own. Voila!

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend milk, honey, and water. Blend dry and wet ingredients together.

2. Scoop about 1/4 of the dough onto a silicone mat that has been generously dusted with oat bran. Using damp hands, flatten dough by hand and sprinkle with oat bran.

3. Cover with a piece of wax paper and roll until the dough is paper thin.

4. Take a peek at your dough before removing the wax paper to see if it needs more rolling.

5. Remove the wax paper carefully so the dough doesn’t tear.

6. Lift the silicone mat up by holding opposite ends and place in the baking pan.

7. Bake for 10 minutes, checking frequently. The result should resemble a large cracker, golden brown and crunchy along the edges. Bake remaining batches, and allow each to cool completely.

8. Reduce oven to 275°F. Break cereal into small flakes and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batches, allowing flakes to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Ready for more recipes? Try these:

  • Calico Crunch Granola from Farmgirl Jen Bové (visit and search “granola”)
  • Homemade Corn Flakes from Leda’s Urban Homestead (visit and search “corn flakes”)

  1. Amy says:

    Ooh! I can’t wait to try this! It looks delicious!

  2. Rebecca says:

    This looks great! Love the photos too.

  3. Tracy says:

    I have been raising my grandaughter since the day she turned 6 months old. She will be 3 years old in November. She doesn’t like to eat and is super picky about what she will eat. The only cereal she will eat is Cheerios and Corn Flakes. She has just reached 25 lbs. She is underweight and only wants warm milk in her sippy cup! I would give anything for her to eat your homemade cereal. Not going to happen. She will not touch a vegetable,macaroni & cheese, spaghetti,hotdogs, nothing most kids like to eat. She will eat fried chicken, french fries, pancakes, toast, bacon, sometimes an egg, and only Sponge Bob and Dora Chicken noodle soup with crackers. Thats it! Does anyone have any suggestions as to getting vegetables into her diet. I have tried putting vegetables on her plate and she will sit there crying and pushing her plate practically off the table. I am exhausted with this whole thing and don’t know what to do.

    • Heather says:

      Sounds crazy but start a small veggie garden. Have her help you. Cherry tomatoes are great as you can get a lot and use them in different things. Also bell peppers. I know it is really late in the year, but maybe some lettuce – tell her it is sponge bob seaweed. Just an idea. I know that my daughter really got into eating veggies after we started gardening. Good Luck!

      • Debbie Kirk says:

        Will she eat meat loaf? You can grind carrots and squash and mix into the meat. Or how about making square ground chicken patties with ground vegetables in them and telling her they are sponge bob cakes. Maybe find sponge bob paper plates at the party store to serve them on.

      • Maria says:

        Have you tried smoothies? If she’ll drink a smoothie you can hide some veggies in there, especially if it’s already got fruit in it. The last issue of Mary Jane’s Farm had some good recipes. You could even sneak some pasteurized egg product in for some extra protein.

        I want to give you some words of encouragement. I was EXACTLY the same way as a child and I turned out tall and strong and healthy. Honest! My mom made me milkshakes (smoothies hadn’t been invented yet) and that helped to get the calories in. I know it’s hard not to worry, but the less you make mealtime into a battlefield, the better.

    • Debbie Kirk says:

      Will she eat meat loaf? You can grind carrots and squash and mix into the meat. Or how about making square ground chicken patties with ground vegetables in them and telling her they are sponge bob cakes. Maybe find sponge bob paper plates at the party store to serve them on

    • Katrina says:

      We have a rule that you don’t have to eat all of something but you do have to try it. So our girls may not want to eat an entire serving of broccoli, but they will take their required one bite 🙂 Sometimes one bite is all it takes to get them going and they will clean up what they didn’t think they wanted. My girls are 4 and 2. The four year old eats better because she has had to follow the rules longer, but our two year old is coming around. Be patient, persistent and positive and pretty soon it won’t be such a big deal!

    • susan says:

      There are a couple cookbooks by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry’s wife) – One is called Deceptively Delicious
      and the other Double Delicious. I have Double Delicious- It tell you how to make purees out of fresh vegies and freeze them to incorporate into recipes when you need them. The recipes are excellent
      and the kids don’t even know there are vegies in them.

    • kell says:

      i was going to suggest the smoothie thing too…..u can slip an egg in there for protein. cooked zucchini and other squash are things u can add without changing the flavor of the smoothie. you can also add tomato which i do sometimes. too bad about the spaghetti because i usually put zucchini, carrot and other veggies in there. add fruit to the pancakes or do a fruit compote instead of syrup. also, would she eat veggies such as asparagus and sweet potatoes if u fried them tempura style? veggie “fries”? i mean it sounds like she likes fried foods (uh oh) so maybe u could fry up some veggies. could u do veggies in a scramble since she will eat eggs? if u havent already done so u had probably better get some childrens multi vitamins since she isnt getting much nutrition. tell her they are candy. i wish u luck.

  4. Laurie says:

    This looks tasty, I’m definitely going to try it. My son has been dealing with some wheat allergy issues (behavioral) and we have switched to Rice Chex for his cereal choices. Obviously, he won’t be eating this, but I might.

    Don’t underestimate how much it costs to make those boxes of cereal – the price of “grains” (corn, specifically) have SOARED in the last few years, and the amount of processing it takes to get that ear of corn into cereal form is fairly significant. Not to mention the marketing budget, the gas it takes to get them to your store, etc… food production is ridiculously expensive and highly competitive.

  5. Alisa says:

    Tracy, You are the mom in this situation. She is 3 years old and doesn’t do the shopping. Nor does she even do the meal prep. You do. You control what she has access to. Notice I didn’t say that you have control over what she eats. She can choose to eat or not to eat and for some kids that is a power they have in a seemingly powerless world.

    Here is what I would suggest: Make her homemade chicken alphabet soup. Make the broth with lots of veggies but only give her the broth and pasta. (Once she is accepting that, you can introduce one vegetable at a time or blend the veggies into the soup.) Give her 3 minutes to start eating, if she refuses, take the bowl away and put her down from the table. If she tries to throw her food, take it away immediately and put her down. No drama. When she is calm again, try again. If that doesn’t work, wait until her next meal time. Do not give her milk between meals. She might be filling up on milk throughout the day and not hungry at dinner time and therefore can afford to be picky. Substitute sweet potato fries for the store bought french fries. Switch her saltines to whole grain crackers. Put fruit in her pancakes, and start adding whole grains. My point is to make your home made food look more like her processed food and start introducing fruits and vegetables contained within her favorites. If she is hungry, she will eat. Maybe not the first new meal you try on her, but eventually she will. Replace her warm milk with warm water. She will drink it if she is thirsty.

  6. Julie says:

    Any suggestions for what to substitue for almond flour? I just don’t do any kind of nuts….

  7. Joyce Roberts says:

    I love the positive comments and help that the Farm girl sisters give! Alisa has such great ideas to help with trying to get Tracy’s Grand daughter back to eating healthy. My youngest daughter, now 22 years old was a very basic eater when young and we always had to convince her to try new food opportunities. She is now a Professional Chef with two Chef degrees…..she is the one to now get us to try all kinds of healthy dishes! Keep trying!

  8. My sister has made this and just loves it for her and her family! Thanks for sharing it!!!

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