“ Brand: Post Cereals / Type: Cereal „
I remember eating Grape Nuts from a very young age; there was nearly always a pack in the cereal cupboard and I regarded them as a staple breakfast cereal along with cornflakes and weetabix. It wasn't until I was older that I realised that they weren't all that easy to come by and that in fact most people have never even heard about this tasty food! So, I just have to write a review about the vereal on here, in the hope that it will convert a few more into Grape Nuts 'nuts'.
Okay, firstly - yes it is a small box. If you're looking for it in your local supermarket, then you may have to look twice, three times - and then maybe even once more. It's not the same size as most standard cereals and it never seems to be displayed prominently on the shelves. It's also around £2.20 - £2.50 per box, which when you consider the size seems to be a little expensive. Maybe this puts a lot of people off form even trying it; I can't blame them as they may be thinking that they will get more for their hard-earned cash with a larger box of sugar-filled produce that costs half the price on special offer. But here's the thing, it's a small box but there are plenty of servings inside it! The magic of grape nuts is that when you add water, they seem to increase in size and are more filling that you might expect. Now they don't suddenly swell to gigantic proportions or anything, but they are deceptively satisfying and you may need to carefully weigh out or measure your portions so that you don't fill the bowl too much and end up with left-overs that you are just too full to finish off. On the other hand, you may just find (like me!) that as they are so scrumptious, you are tempted to have a second bowl!
It is difficult to describe the taste of grape nuts; they have a slightly sweet taste to them but the cereal has NO ADDED SUGAR - which is a rarity in this genre. I do remember someone describing the look of grape nuts as cat litter which, though unfortunate, is probably quite accurate though they taste nothing like cat litter (I've never tried cat litter but assume it to be very chalky/grainy/gritty/disgusting). The flavour is fairly unique in my opinion - there is nothing else on the shelf like it, but it is not overpowering nor does it become boring or sickly with each mouthful. I usually eat mine with soya milk and add banana/raisins/blueberries, although it is also wonderful mixed with some oats, fruit and yoghurt. Grape nuts are very hard when you take them out of the box, but they do soften a little in milk whilst remaining crunchy. The crunch somehow adds to the whole experience and enhances the taste - I don't know how, it just does!
Okay, let's clear something up - they aren't actually 'grape nuts'. Who knows where the name came from, but the cereal itself contains very few ingrediants and doesn't contain a long list of items that you would need a spell checker for (always a worry in my mind). The ingrediants are Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Isolated Soy Protein, Salt, Whole Grain Barley Flour, Malt Extract, Dried Yeast. And that's it. No sugar which is usually the second or third item on the list of most breakfast cereals (ingrediants are listed with the items used most at the start and the items used least at the end). This really is one of the healthiest cereals out there which doesn't taste like cardboard or compromise on taste in any way. It also helps to contribute towards your recommended daily dose of the following vitamins and minerals - Reduced Iron, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide (Source Of Zinc), Vitamin B6, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D. As if that wasn't enough, you can also use Grape Nuts in cooking and baking! Yes, there are recipes on the Post website for cookies, cakes and even frozen yoghurt which uses this unusual ingrediant.
I told a friend of mine about this cereal last year and bought her a box to try; she admits she was very sceptical but just one bowl made her into a convert and now she buys Grape Nuts regularly. Give them a try - you'll be hooked!
Grape nuts are a type of breakfast cereal. Confusingly, they contain neither grape nor nut, in fact I'm surprised someone hasn't complained about them under the Trades Description Act yet. They are in fact 'crunch wheat and malted barley' and according to the box 'high in fibre, low in fat'. The taste is difficult to describe, wheaty but definitley also malty, very different from Shredded Wheat for example. The taste also changes when you put them in milk, they become more creamy perhaps. I always have them with cold milk though I know some who prefer it with warm. They are very heavy and filling, and would defiitely keep you full up to lunch time unlike some I could mention *cough, Rice Krispies*. As, they are so filling I advise just fillng your bowl half or two-thirds of the level you normally would. With a servng of cold milk they really are enjoyable especially as they are so crunch and importantly, especially considering the time it takes to get through a bowlful, they do not go soggy. They contain no added sugar and are amonst the healthier options in the cereal isle like the porridge. The white box is small - 450g - as the servings are small - so you may have to look carefully. That said, it is hard to come across, even the big Tesco and Sainsburys near me don't have it. I was given this as a child and had come to the conclusion that it was discontinued, then where should I see it but Poundland. What a surprise, and what a bargain. Needless to say I have stocked up and already finished four boxes hee hee.....
Now, I recently commented on the failings of Weetabix against supermarket brands (see my review on Weetabix for more!), however, all is not lost in the competitive world of processed cereals.
These are my favourite, favourite, favourite breakfast nibbles. Apparently, though rarely available in the UK they have a weird cult following whereby devotees manage to somehow track down this product amidst the variety of classic cereals on offer in stores nationwide. I am wholly devoted to Grape Nuts and to be honest, I have no idea why!
A bit of history
It is a breakfast cereal that was developed in Battle Creek, Michigan by C.W. Post in 1897. Post was a patient and later competitor of the 19th Century food innovator, that rather more well known man, Dr John Harvey Kellogg. It was marketed as a natural cereal that enhances bodily health and vitality whilst being compact, lightweight and of high nutritional value, even being labelled as "brain food". It is quite resistant to spoilage and thus was a choice for many expedition groups in the 1920s and 1930s. It was included as a component in the Jungle ration used by some US and Allied Forces in wartime operations before the World War II. Lucky souls!
It was the first product to ever be marketed using coupons to increase sales: Post offered a penny-off coupon to try and get people to try Grape Nuts during the late 1890s. He apparently had the bright idea of baking a wheat and barley load in a gas-fired oven and then used a coffee grinder to create the first few granules of joy.
What are they?
Grape-nuts, despite the name, have no grapes or nuts in the ingredients at all. They were called this name because of two reasons: 'grape' because of the type of sweetener used- grape sugar (maltose based as opposed to sucrose- the main form of most other sugars used in cereal) and 'nuts' because of their nutty flavour. Interestingly, they have now ditched the grape sugar altogether, though the name still remains. Ingredients are today:
Whole grain wheat flour, wheat flour, malted barley flour, salt, dried yeast, soy lecithin. (also iron, niacin amide, zinc oxide (source of zinc), vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid, B12 and Vitamin D.
So, as you can probably tell it's a pretty high fibre product that aims to keep up with current thinking as regards to a diet high in whole-grains being useful for weight maintenance. Overall, as part of an active and healthy lifestyle, it is definitely a good product when considering the relatively high-sugar and low-fibre content of many mainstream cereals, e.g. cornflakes. I am pretty sure that a lot of behavioural problems in children would be dealt with much more effectively if their diet was lower in the refined sugars that cause hyperactivity. Additionally, with 3g of fibre and 33g of whole-grain per serving (58g suggested), hopefully children (and adults!) will benefit from feeling fuller for longer and less inclined to snack on sugary or fatty foods. Some consider them a chore to eat- a horrible dry and favoured fare by the masochistic and the stoic! Ha! How wrong could they be! They are sold in little packets weighing just 16oz (the smallest box of cereal you are likely to find that isn't a single serving!) although I think in the US (or somewhere that I haven't found!) they come in larger packs such as 32 or 64oz. They are quite versatile: you can eat them cold (that's how I like them best), hot with warm milk or in various recipes like chocolate cornflake cupcakes, grape-nut muffins, ice cream sundae toppings or homemade cereal bars. I like them cold too much and they are in too short supply for me to have used them for such purposes yet, but I am sure they are delicious in any form. Check out www.postcereals.com/gn for more recipes and information!
Well, like I said, I am one of the devoted! A self confessed addict to grape-nuts. The little kibbles are curiously yummy, despite their simple ingredients and I love the way they stay really crunchy in milk. Be careful not to fill too big a bowl though- as they are really really filling (some might say too filling and heavy!) and sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach. That said, I often try to balance my bowl of grape nuts with some yummy chunks of banana or some raisins (or whatever I have to hand). Drenched in milk, they are the perfect start to your day, or the perfect end....or the perfect lunch. Or all three! I have been known....
Interestingly I came across a recipe recently that suggested how to make a similar cereal at home, thus when crisis ensues due to a failure to find any packets in the shops, this may be the route to follow.
A recipe for a Grape Nut type cereal:
3 ½ cups sifted whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups of milk
2 tbsp vinegar
¾ tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients. Separately mix the vinegar with the milk and add to the flour mixture. Beat until smooth. Spread the dough ¼ inch thick on a greased tray and bake at 375 degrees F. When cooled, grind in a food processor, though taking care not to get too carried away or you will pulverise into a flour!
Now that is just a recipe I have found on the internet, and I intend to firstly try it and then probably make a few adjustments. I really want to be able to create grape nuts at home as a little project and therefore I think I will try and stick to the ingridients in the original product as best as possible so as not to lose flavour. Soya lecithin, for example, is in Grape-nuts and can be bought readily from health food shops. Also, I think the yeast could be easily inserted back into a homemade recipe. I think I would also try and eliminate most of the sugar and potentially replace it with a fruit sugar or perhaps a tsp or two of malt extract. I think its that slight maltiness that give Grape-Nuts their characteristic taste. I shall commence this project then, as soon as I have finished my last packet (which will inevitably not be very long!).
Price and Availability
Like I said, they are in pretty short supply in Britain. I have seen them, however, for sale in Morisson's and I think Tesco's a couple of times. Here they retail at perhaps around £1.70 (which is quite a lot for such a wee packet!). But, never fear! I was delighted to find them in plentiful supply in Pound land (the original pound land as opposed to the other variations of which there are multiple!). So at £1 for a pack, I think that's quite a bargain.
It is difficult to explain my curious love for this product, but I urge you to try it as a healthy way to start your day, or as an alternative to the usual breakfast foods that you normally eat.