Upgrade Your Breakfast Porridge

Who’d have thought….porridge.

  • Cheat on your oats, try quinoa, brown rice, or wheat berries
  • Blend a combination of grains
  • Soak, when necessary
  • Boost your toppings



Photo: epicurious.com

Oats are a wonder grain. Whether they’re steel-cut, rolled, or smashed into quick-cooking smithereens, they retain their healthy status as a whole grain. And when you cook those oats in water or milk with a pinch of salt thrown in and a topping of maple syrup, you create one of the most comforting breakfast foods on the planet.

But simmering a handful of oats isn’t the only way to create a warming bowl of porridge. Our collective love affair with oats can make us lose sight of the diverse world of equally delicious and virtuous porridge grains, says Maria Speck, author of the IACP Award-winning book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals and the forthcoming Simply Ancient Grains. Ready to upgrade your breakfast porridge game?

Cheat on your oats.
From millet and quinoa to brown rice and wheat berries, there are plenty of grains worthy of your breakfast table. “One of my personal favorites is a bowl of super-fast bulgur, especially during the cold winter months,” Speck says. “I love bulgur’s rich, nutty flavor and its pleasing chewiness. In my new book, I cook bulgur in tangy-sweet pomegranate juice, which gives it a deep burgundy hue, and then blend in fresh blueberries and orange blossom water. So good!”

Blend a combination of grains.
Try mixing several different types of grains together into your breakfast porridge (like this hearty mix of brown rice, wheat bran, quinoa, amaranth, and millet, or this barley, bulgur, and grits combo). “Combining grains with similar cooking times adds different textures and colors to your bowl,” Speck says. “If I have leftover cooked grains in the fridge, I always toss them into whatever I’m cooking. Grains are easy that way, immensely versatile, and always delicious.”

Soak, when necessary.
According to Speck, “quick-cooking grains such as millet, buckwheat, quinoa, and bulgur need no overnight soaking.” But if you like chewier grains like whole spelt or wheat berries, she suggests soaking them in water overnight before cooking. “It helps them cook a bit faster and makes them more supple.”

Read the full article here.

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