How to Make Corn Flakes at Home: A Simple and Healthy Breakfast Option
Corn flakes are one of the most popular breakfast cereals in the world. They are crunchy, tasty, and easy to prepare. But did you know that you can make your own corn flakes at home with just a few ingredients and some simple steps? Homemade corn flakes are healthier, cheaper, and more satisfying than store-bought ones. In this article, we will show you how to make corn flakes at home, what are the benefits of homemade corn flakes, and some tips and tricks to make them even better.
What are Corn Flakes and How are They Made?
Corn flakes are breakfast cereal made from corn, usually eaten with milk or yogurt. They were invented in the late 19th century by John Harvey Kellogg, a doctor and health reformer who wanted to create wholesome and vegetarian food for his patients. He accidentally discovered that cooked corn could be flaked by rolling it between two metal rollers. He then toasted the flakes in an oven and marketed them as ready-to-eat cereal.
Today, corn flakes are produced by a process called extrusion, which involves heating and pressurizing the corn mixture until it liquefies and then shaping it into flakes. This process destroys most of the nutrients and enzymes in the corn, and also adds artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Moreover, most commercial corn flakes are coated with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, which makes them high in calories and low in fiber.
How to Make Corn Flakes at Home: The Simple Guide
Making your own corn flakes at home is surprisingly easy and fun. You only need a few ingredients: yellow cornmeal, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and water. You will also need a baking sheet, parchment paper or foil, cooking oil or spray, a bowl, a whisk, a saucepan, and an oven.
Here are the steps to make homemade corn flakes:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Grease it lightly with oil or spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together one cup of cornmeal, one tablespoon of sugar, and half a teaspoon of salt.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine three-quarters of a cup of water and two tablespoons of oil. Bring it to a simmer and cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the hot water-oil mixture to the cornmeal-sugar mixture, stirring until you have a smooth and thin batter. If it is too dry, add more water. You want something that has the consistency of pancake batter.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly. It won’t reach the edges of the sheet, but that’s okay. You want a thin layer that is about a quarter to a third of an inch thick.
- In a small bowl, mix together half a cup of cornmeal and one teaspoon of water until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add more water if needed. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the batter. This will give your corn flakes some extra crunch.
- Bake your corn flakes in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are dry and cracked. You want them to look like a cracked desert landscape.
- Remove your cornflakes from the oven and let them cool slightly. Then use your hands to break them into small flakes.
- Reduce your oven temperature to 250 degrees F (121 degrees C) and return your corn flakes to the oven for another 45 minutes, or until they are toasted, crisp, and golden.
- Let your corn flakes cool completely before serving them with milk or yogurt, or storing them in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
What are the Benefits of Homemade Corn Flakes?
Homemade corn flakes have several advantages over the store-bought ones. Here are some of them:
- They are healthier: Homemade corn flakes have no artificial ingredients or additives. They are also lower in sugar and higher in fiber than the commercial ones. They provide you with complex carbohydrates that give you energy throughout the day.
- They are cheaper: Homemade corn flakes are more economical than buying them from the store. You can make a large batch of them with just a few dollars worth of ingredients.
- They are customizable: Homemade corn flakes allow you to adjust the flavor and texture according to your preferences. You can add more or less sugar, salt, vanilla extract, or other spices to suit your taste buds. You can also make them thicker or thinner by changing the amount of water you use.
- They are satisfying: Homemade corn flakes are more filling and satisfying than store-bought ones. They have a rich and toasted corn flavor that is delicious and satisfying. They also make your kitchen smell amazing while they bake.
How to Make Your Homemade Corn Flakes Even Better
If you want to take your homemade corn flakes to the next level, here are some tips and tricks to make them even better:
- Add some nuts or seeds: You can add some chopped nuts or seeds to your corn flakes batter before baking them. This will give them some extra protein, healthy fats, and crunch. You can use almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any other nuts or seeds you like.
- Add some dried fruits: You can also add some chopped dried fruits to your corn flakes batter before baking them. This will give them some natural sweetness, vitamins, and antioxidants. You can use raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, or any other dried fruits you like.
- Add some chocolate chips: If you want to indulge yourself a little bit, you can add some chocolate chips to your corn flakes batter before baking them. This will give them some decadence, richness, and happiness. You can use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or any other chocolate you like.
- Add some cinnamon or nutmeg: If you want to spice up your corn flakes a little bit, you can add some cinnamon or nutmeg to your corn flakes batter before baking them. This will give them some warmth, aroma, and flavor. You can use ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, or both.
How to Serve Your Homemade Corn Flakes
There are many ways to enjoy your homemade corn flakes. Here are some of them:
- With milk or yogurt: The classic way to eat corn flakes is with milk or yogurt. You can use cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or any other milk you like. You can also use plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, coconut yogurt, or any other yogurt you like. You can add some honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or any other sweetener you like to make it sweeter.
- With fresh fruits: Another way to eat corn flakes is with fresh fruits. You can use bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears, grapes, or any other fruits you like. You can slice them, dice them, mash them, or leave them whole. You can also add some lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, or any other juice you like to make it more refreshing.
- With granola or muesli: Another way to eat corn flakes is with granola or muesli. You can use homemade granola or muesli, or buy them from the store. You can choose any flavor you like. You can mix them with your corn flakes and eat them with milk or yogurt.
- As a snack: Another way to eat corn flakes is as a snack. You can eat them plain or with some nuts or dried fruits. You can also dip them in some peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, jam, or any other spread you like. You can also make some bars or clusters with them by mixing them with melted chocolate, honey, peanut butter, or any other binder you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do homemade corn flakes last?
Homemade corn flakes can last for up to two weeks if stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.
Can I use white cornmeal instead of yellow cornmeal?
Yes, you can use white cornmeal instead of yellow cornmeal to make homemade corn flakes. The color and flavor will be slightly different but still delicious.
Can I use a food processor or a blender to make the batter?
Yes, you can use a food processor or a blender to make the batter for homemade corn flakes. Just make sure not to overmix it and keep it thin and smooth.
Can I freeze homemade corn flakes?
Yes, you can freeze homemade corn flakes for up to three months. Just make sure to store them in a freezer-safe container or bag and thaw them before serving.
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