Welcome back, Wildcats! ICYMI: For the past few weeks, I’ve been cooking recipes featured in the Villanova University Digital Library while teleworking from home during the pandemic. With the fall semester back in session, I wanted to feature a simple recipe that could be easily made in residence halls and apartments; which bring me to the exciting reveal of this week’s recipe…Grape-Nuts Fruit Pudding!
And don’t be fooled by the title, the recipe is made with Jell-O, not pudding.
I was familiar with the wheat and barley cereal prior to the discovery of this recipe. My grandmother would put Grape-Nuts in her yogurt, and I sometimes ate Grape-Nuts with milk and multiple spoonfuls of sugar (which defeated the purpose of Grape-Nuts as a healthy alternative to sugary cereal). For those of you unfamiliar with the whole-grain cereal, it was “developed by C.W. Post in 1897 and has remained a fixture in American culture.”
Advertisements for Grape-Nuts were frequently featured during “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s. During the 1970s the company paired with “wild-food-expert-turned-spokesperson, Euell Gibbons as part of the return to nature movement sweeping parts of the country.” Gibbons’ most famous quote, “Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible,” was featured in a 1974 Grape-Nuts commercial.
Below is an advertisement for Grape-Nuts on the back cover of The People’s Home Journal, v. XXXVIII, no. 7, July, 1923. The entire magazine is available for reading in the Villanova University Digital Library.
The recipe I used for this blog is featured in the image above. Here are the original instructions:
- One package of lemon Jell-O dissolved in one pint of boiling water.
- One cup (half-pint) Grape-Nuts. One half-pound of raisins or dates.
- As many walnuts as desired.
- Mix thoroughly and pour into a dish or mould to cool and harden.
- Serve with whipped cream.
I altered the recipe slightly:
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
- Add boiling water and Jell-O mix in a dish (stirring until mixture is dissolved.) Then add 1 cup cold water.
- Mix in 1 cup of Grape-Nuts and 1 cup of raisins or dates.
- Refrigerate for four hours.
- Garnish with chopped walnuts and whipped cream.
Check out the finished product below.
While this semester will be unlike any other, the staff at Falvey Memorial Library is diligently working to provide access to resources to help you succeed. For more recipes visit the Digital Library. Questions about the Digital Library, University Archives or Special Collections? Contact the Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement staff.