Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grains are for Drinking?

In my food storage, I have barley.  I don't use it just in soups. In my mission, we drank a coffee substitute simply called Cebada.  Cebeda is actually the the Spanish word for barley.  What I drank was toasted ground barley sweetened with sugar.  Every once in a while I'll get a hankering  for something warm to drink besides herbal tea or cocoa.  Here is a labor intensive recipe for a 'new' hot drink. I guess this would be similar to a Postum type drink, although I've never tasted Postum.

Postum-like Beverage

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
* 4 cups wheat bran
* 2 cups cracked wheat
* 1 cup black strap molasses (regular dark molasses does not give it that wonderful flavor)

The cracked wheat should be ground in a coffee grinder to corn meal consistency. Grind before mixing with molasses so it doesn't gum up the grinder.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.  Make sure the grain and bran are well combined and that the molasses is thoroughly mixed into the grain/bran mix. This will take about 5-10 minutes to make sure there are no pockets of molasses and that it looks like dark, very damp sawdust.

Spread this mixture on two baking sheets with rims and put it in the oven. Stir mixture every 20 minutes for about 5 hours, or until the mixture is a very deep dark mahogany. Don't try to toast this in a hotter oven because it will burn. This is a recipe that requires patience in order to caramelize the molasses, and not burn it. When you open the oven to stir it you will notice a very slight smokiness during the last hour and a half. This is normal.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool on wire racks stirring occasionally to release heat faster. (I use high roasting pans as it makes a mess turning it without the high lip)

To prepare: This is not instant and needs to be brewed the same as coffee, or steeped as you would tea. The ratio is 2 Tablespoons mix per cup of water.

COOK's NOTE'S: The woman who uses this recipes uses 7 Tablespoons for a 12 cup coffeemaker, and the strongest setting. I have actually toasted the grain in a frying pan with a drop or two of oil.  I grind them in a small coffee grinder I got at an estate sale and use a tea ball to infuse boiling water.  I add regular sugar to taste.
How about making this while watching General Conference this weekend?

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