How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? A million times since you were a kid, right?
I’ve never been much of a breakfast person. I can’t really eat first thing in the morning. My stomach just will not accept food when I first get up. It amazes me to know that some people roll out of bed, shuffle into their kitchens, and start eating. My routine is, I go to work, have a cup of coffee, and right around 10:30 or so, I’m ready to eat a little something. I know that’s not a great way to start my day, but it’s the best I can do.
What I do try to do, however, is to make it a good, energy-inducing breakfast: oatmeal with walnuts or pecans; yogurt with fruit and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and flax); whole grain bread with some kind of nut butter. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of green smoothies. The point is not only to curb hunger but to give your body and brain the proper fuel to do what it needs to do throughout the day. It appalls me to see people eating doughnuts, crullers, sugary muffins, and soda for breakfast. (I think muffins are good if they have nutritional components to them, like high-protein flours, nuts, and natural sugar alternatives.)
Breakfast porridges are a great choice and can be made with any grain you like, such as steel-cut oats, quinoa, millet, and barley. Below is my recipe for multi-grain porridge. I had the original recipe for this porridge in my collection for a while but never gave it a try. Not because it didn’t appeal to me (otherwise, I wouldn’t have clipped it), but because I so rarely make homemade porridge for breakfast. During the week, I never eat breakfast at home—I prepare whatever it is I’m going to have the night before and take it to work. On the weekends, I still don’t have time and usually just grab leftovers from the fridge. But whenever I can, I’ll make some kind of porridge.
I made some modifications to the recipe, based on what I had on hand and my personal preferences. The good thing is that this stays well in the fridge for a few days, so I can make a big batch and just reheat it.
Clockwise from upper right: Wheat berries, grits, amaranth, oats.
Mulitgrain Morning Porridge
Adapted from “Multigrain Breakfast Porridge” by
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, Cooking Light, Oct. 2007
½ cup wheat berries, rinsed
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup steel-cut oats
3 tablespoons regular grits
¼ cup amaranth
¾ cup coconut or almond milk
¼ maple syrup
¼ cup dried blueberries or other dried fruit
½ cup chopped walnuts or other nuts
Add the oats, grits, and amaranth and stir. Continue simmering until all grains are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk, maple syrup, and fruit and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in nuts. Serve hot.
This porridge will keep for several days in the refrigerator. To reheat, stir in a little more coconut milk or water until it reaches the desired consistency. Heat over medium-low heat or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.