The big muffinPosted: 19 November 2009
Every morning I make this “cereal” which ends up looking like a giant muffin. I’ve got the procedure down pat so that it doesn’t take long to make it but I’m always amazed at how involved it is.
I make it in a big 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup. It has straight sides. Most of the following ingredients are measured by weight; I have a digital scale which I love. I set it on grams because that’s more accurate than ounces.
First I put in the fruit flavorings; 70 grams of frozen fruit juice. I’m borderline diabetic so I only use the ones that don’t have any added sweetener, for example, pineapple juice or apple juice. Next is 1 teaspoon of some liquid fruit flavoring or extract; I cycle through lemon extract, orange extract, and rasberry flavoring. All are natural; my formative years were during the late 60s and early 70s when we learned to shun anything artificial. Next is 30-40 grams of reconstituted lime juice.
Stir that a bit.
Next are the spices. All are 1/4 teaspoon. Ground allspice. Ginger. Nutmeg. Cardamom. Ground cloves. I was surprised to discover that cinnamon alters the overall flavor in a vague and unpleasant way so I’ve stopped using it.
Next are the “white” grains. It used to be all oatmeal but my local health food store had some ground barley; it looks like cream of rice. 20+ grams of each. After the barley is gone it will be 40 grams of oatmeal because it looks like they’re not going to keep carrying the ground barley.
Next are the “jars;” I have these Mason jars of ingredients that I keep in the freezer. Unsweetened coconut; 2 tablespoons. Rice bran; 2 tablespoons. Dulse seaweed; 1/4 teaspoon. You have to be careful with seaweed; too much and it gives an unpleasant metallic flavor. Ground flax seed; 1 tablespoon. Currants; 2 tablespoons. They’re like tiny raisins.
At this point out comes the electric hand mixer and it gets a good mixing.
Next is the wheat bran. Lots of it; that’s why the ingredients above are so numerous; wheat bran tastes like ground cardboard. I put in 4 tablespoons at a time, mixing with the mixer after each batch, until I’ve put in 80 grams of wheat bran. Probably about 10 heaping tablespoons. Since it’s semi dry it requires careful mixing.
Next is the milk, but not real dairy milk, I use unsweetened soy milk; 240 grams. Soy milk isn’t very tasty so this is the only place I use it. Mix again thoroughly with the mixer. I then take a spatula and scrape the sides down and smooth the top and make it a nice dome shape.
Then it goes into the microwave, covered. I put a paper towel over it and then a little plate. Without the paper towel the condensation on the plate drips back down.
The microwave settings are quite weird; 3:33 minutes at high (level 10), then 5:55 minutes at level 5, then 5:55 minutes at level 4, then 5:55 minutes at level 3, then 7:77 minutes at level 2. I can only do 5 steps with my microwave or I’d do another one at level 1.
When I eat it I pour Blue Diamond almond milk on it. Again, unsweetened but I cheat and put Splenda in it; 1 packet per cup of milk, or, in my case, 8 per big carton. The regular sweetened almond milk is exceptionally tasty; the unsweetened isn’t as good, but adding artificial sweetener to it makes it just as good.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are two types of fiber; fiber that gives bulk and holds water, in this case wheat bran, and soluble fiber, in this case oatmeal (and I’m assuming the barley as well). The bulk fiber is good for your gastrointestinal tract, while the soluble fiber encourages the excretion of bad cholesterol. And the oatmeal really improves the flavor and smooths the rough edges of the wheat bran; without it it’s rather harsh.
I also did some searching and from what I found oat bran really isn’t the bran of the oat seed. It’s also not any higher any fiber than oatmeal.