Cooking Cerials:Cerials as a Food


Cereals as a food
Cereals and cereal products play a very important part in the foodproblem, for the prosperity of a country depends on its grain crops and the people of all classes are dependent on them for food. This is evident when it is known that they form a greater proportion of the food consumed than any other single food material. In their widespread consumption, they have many and varied uses. In truth, a meal is seldom served without some cereal food, for if no other is used, bread of some description is almost always included. Besides bread, a cooked or a dry cereal is usually served for breakfast, and for some persons this constitutes the main breakfast dish, providing a nourishing and easily digested food when served with milk or cream. This food is especially desirable for children, and for this reason is always among the first solid foods fed to them.
While to most persons the word cereal suggests the idea of a breakfast food, because cereals are used most often for that purpose, they find their place in other meals than breakfast. Although they are used less often on the dinner table than elsewhere, they frequently have an important place there, for a number of them are commonly used as dinner dishes and others might be used more frequently, and to advantage, too. In this connection, they are used in soups, and in certain forms, usually the whole or slightly crushed grain, they take the place of a vegetable. Some of them, particularly rice, are often used with meat or cheese in making an entree or in combination with eggs, milk, fruit, or various flavorings as a dessert to be served with a heavy or a light meal. Cold cooked cereal is often sliced and sauted and then served with meat or some other heavy protein dish. Cereals are also used for lunch or supper, perhaps more often than for dinner, and because of their easy digestion they are to be recommended for the evening meal for all members of the family, but especially for children. When used in this way, they may be served with cream, as for breakfast, or prepared in any other suitable way. Whenever cereals are served, whether alone or in combination with other foods, the result is an economical dish and usually an easily digested one, unless, of course, the food with which they are combined is expensive or indigestible. But, to whatever use cereals are put, unless they are thoroughly cooked they are not easily digested and they lose much of their value. In fact, the ready-to-eat cereals, which have been thoroughly cooked, are preferable to those which are poorly cooked in the home.

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