Dehydrating Grains for Breakfast Cereal

Variety of cereal grains in bowls
To dehydrate grains for breakfast cereal, soak whole grains in warm water. Place the grains in salted, boiling water and simmer gently for 10–30 minutes. Drain and spread the grains on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 145°F for 6–12 hours until crisp.

What is the Best Way to Dehydrate Grains?

If you don’t have a food mill or grain mill at home, you can cook whole wheat berries and consume them like hot cereal. Before dehydrating whole grains, it’s important to prepare them properly to ensure a desirable texture.

The best way to dehydrate grains for breakfast cereal is by using a food dehydrator. A food dehydrator features an electric component for heat and a fan for air circulation, which helps dehydrate foods quickly and thoroughly.

How to Dehydrate Cereal Grains in a Food Dehydrator

  1. Soak your grains in water for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Place your grain cereals in a colander and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  3. Transfer the grains to a pot of lightly salted, boiling water. Stir and reduce the heat to simmer gently for 10 to 30 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and drain off excess water.
  5. Let the cooked grains cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare your dehydrator by covering the trays with parchment paper.
  6. Spread the cooked grains on the dehydrator trays in a thin, even layer, no more than 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Dehydrate grains at 145°F for 6–12 hours or until dry and brittle.
  8. Cool the grains completely at room temperature.
  9. Place the dehydrated grains in Mason jars or resealable airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark place.

Can You Dehydrate Cereal?

Yes, you can make dehydrated cereal to preserve it for food storage by dehydrating it in a food dehydrator or oven. To dehydrate cereal in an oven, begin by placing the cooked cereal on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Next, set your oven to the lowest temperature and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Let the cereal dry in the oven for 3-7 hours until it is crispy.

Dehydrated cereal grains and fruit pieces with a wooden spoon
Dehydrated cereal grains and fruit

How Long Does It Take to Dehydrate Grains?

Dehydrate grains at 145°F for 6 to 12 hours or until they are completely dry, hard, and brittle. Drying times vary depending on the humidity and type of grain.

While some online resources recommend dehydrating grains at lower temperatures, it is important to dehydrate rice and most grains at 145°F to reduce the risk of a type of bacteria called B. cereus, which can cause food poisoning.

What are the Benefits of Dehydrating Cereal for Breakfast?

Preparing a nutritious and gluten-free breakfast from dehydrated whole grains is a great way to start your day. Here are a few benefits of dehydrating grains for breakfast cereal:

  • Dehydrated cereals are an excellent source of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B, and selenium.
  • Dehydrated whole grains contain antioxidants not present in dried fruits.
  • Dehydrating grains will reduce their weight while maintaining their nutritional value.
  • There are a number of gluten-free grains that can be made into cereal, including quinoa, oats, brown rice, and buckwheat.

What is the Difference Between Dehydrating Cereal and Grains?

Dehydrating grains is the process of removing moisture from whole grains such as whole wheat, millet, or quinoa to make them shelf-stable. This can be done by using a food dehydrator or oven set at a low temperature to dry them out slowly and prevent case hardening.

Dehydrating breakfast cereal, such as cornflakes, means removing moisture from a processed product rather than a whole grain product.

Hand holding whole cereal grains
Whole cereal grains

How Long Do You Have to Soak Grains Before They Can Be Dehydrated?

Soak grains in water for 8 to 24 hours at room temperature before dehydrating them. Grains contain phytic acid, or phytate, and other anti-nutrients, so it’s important to soak them before dehydrating or eating them.

  1. Put the grains into a container and cover them with fresh water.
  2. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or vitamin C solution (optional).
  3. Stir to ensure the grains are completely submerged.
  4. Let the grains soak overnight.
  5. Cook according to the grain type, and dehydrate for 6-12 hours.

What Types of Grains Can Be Dehydrated for Cereal?

There are a wide variety of whole grains that can be dehydrated for breakfast cereal, including brown rice, wheat, millet, barley, buckwheat, kafir corn, oats, rye, spelt, sorghum, and even wild rice. The type and variety to choose depend on the flavor and texture you wish to achieve.

Whole grains can also be turned into granola and topped with dehydrated fruit, such as raspberries, or made healthier by adding extra fiber, such as flax seeds, before dehydrating.

Homemade granola and dried fruit in a Mason jar
Homemade granola in a Mason jar

Can You Refresh Stale Cereal in a Food Dehydrator or Oven?

Yes, you can refresh stale cereal in a food dehydrator or oven:

  1. Set your oven to a temperature between 300–350°F.
  2. Spread your stale cereal on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Let it cool, and enjoy the crispy breakfast cereal immediately.

How to Store Dehydrated Grains for Breakfast Cereal

Store dehydrated cereal grains in vacuum-sealed Mason jars or other airtight containers. The enemy of dried foods is moisture, so it’s extremely important to prevent moisture from getting in.

Keep the storage containers in a cool, dry place, away from heat or direct sunlight. When properly stored, dehydrated grains for breakfast cereal can last for 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator and up to 12 months in the freezer.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic it is to dehydrate and preserve food by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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