I need coconut in my cereal to make it taste creamy, and the pecans help with that too. Oats keep the cereal crunchy when it's soaking in milk, and the spices add just a little more flavor. Cinnamon would be an obvious addition - I left it out because it gives the little guy a rash.
This recipe makes more than a gallon of cereal (it stays fresh and tasty for a long time in a closed container!), but it could easily be halved.
Homemade Cereal: Coconut, Pecans, & Oats
(a.k.a., maple bunches o' oats, pecans, & coconut - yeah, catchy!)
3 c. old fashioned oats
3 c. whole grain spelt flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
3 c. warm water
2 T apple cider vinegar (Bragg's organic raw)
3/4 c. coconut oil
1 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. molasses
2 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes (I used Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 c. chopped raw pecans (soaked and dehydrated)*
The night before, combine flour and oats in a large bowl. Add water and vinegar; stir and cover, and leave in a warm spot overnight.**
The next day, melt the coconut oil and add it and the rest of the ingredients. Stir well. Pour into two greased (I use coconut oil) 9x13s, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Let the 'cakes' cool completely and then turn them out onto 2 rimmed cookie sheets covered in parchment paper. Crumble the cakes into bite size pieces (think of how big of a piece you and/or your kids would want to have on a spoon). Put into a 200 degree oven for 6-12 hours, stirring everything couple of hours.
The cereal will be done when it's crispy all the way through and not chewy. Try not to eat it all before putting it away... Oh wait, that was me.
Note: In my opinion, this cereal is amazing with fresh, whole milk, but it would be good as a 'granola' with yogurt, too.
*Soaking nuts: why do I do it?
**Soaking flour and oats: why do I do it?