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What Is Wheat Cereal?

Wheat ears along with a small pile of wheat kernels (also known as wheat berries).
Granola cereal can made from rolled wheat.
Wheat cereals are made primarily from wheat grains, with the more high-fiber cereals retaining elements such as the germ.
A field of wheat.
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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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Wheat cereal is a type of breakfast food made primarily from wheat grains. The different varieties of cereal available may be eaten as a cold breakfast food, soaked in milk, or hot, boiled in water over a stove top. This type of food can be purchased in local grocery stores or through Internet ordering. This grain may be shredded, puffed, or rolled into individual serving pieces. Additional flavors may be added to improve the cereal's natural savory taste, such as honey, frosting, and dried fruit.

Shredded wheat is typically manufactured to resemble small squares in appearance. Each square contains individual shredded fibers which have been baked together in a woven appearance. This type of wheat cereal has an earthy, organic flavoring, and may be frosted or sweetened to improve its taste. Some varieties also offer dried fruit mixed in with the shredded wheat, which can increase its overall soluble fiber content and vitamin profile.

Puffed wheat cereal is produced by baking each individual grain until it is large and oval in shape. It may resemble puffed rice cereal, though the individual grains tend to be much larger. When this process has been applied to a processed grain, the individual puffed piece will not contain any markers of the original grain. Puffed whole grains tend to maintain the uneven outline and central dividing line that is characteristic of the grain prior to the baking process. These grains are lightweight and may crackle when soaked in milk.

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Rolled wheat is made from wheat berries that have been steamed, dried, and then flattened to produce a large, thin flake. This type of wheat is usually made into a hot cereal similar to rolled oats. The flakes may be boiled in water or milk on a hot stove top for several minutes and mixed with butter and brown sugar for flavor. They may be used as a substituted for oats in cooking recipes, like oatmeal cookies, and as a base for baked granola.

Wheat cereal typically contains more fiber than most other types of cereal. This key nutritional ingredient can help an individual feel full between meals on a lower amount of calories. The type of cereal chosen may be manufactured from whole grains or processed grains. Consumers can determine this fact by reading on the manufacturer's product labeling or nutrition panel whether the grains used in the cereal are whole or processed. Whole grains leave the body of a grain intact, including bran, endosperm, and germ, each of which contains fiber, protein, and vitamins that are necessary for maintaining health.

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