Saturday, September 13, 2014

Multigrain Porridge

First of all, porridge is a really weird word that makes me oddly uncomfortable. Nobody says "hot cereal," though, so porridge it is. It was in the upper 60s here in Kentucky today, which means we are all in full fall mode - hot breakfasts are so nice on cooler mornings.

I'm trying to get back in the habit of eating a good breakfast, and I need something quick, especially for the days when I have to leave the house at 4:30 am. I made a huge batch of this porridge, and froze it in individual portions. It was time consuming; I had never cooked a lot of these grains before, so I opted to cook separately due to their different cooking times and liquid requirements. I undercooked most of them just a tad, banking on the fact that when I reheat from frozen, they will be perfectly done and not complete mush. I also presweetened the mix - the last thing I want to be doing at 4 am is rummaging around the cabinets looking for the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and what have you.

The mix of grains I used is solely based on the fact that I made a Jungle Jim's trip this week determined to leave with more than just candy and fleur de sel. Use whatever grains you like! The bonus of using this many types is the huge variety of vitamins and nutrients, plus a good amount of protein and fiber. Here's what I used!

2 c steel cut oats
     - toasted in 1 T butter
     - cooked in 6 c water
     - simmer for about 25 minutes, drain some of the liquid if desired

1 c kasha
     - toasted in a dry pan
     - cooked in 2 c water
     - cover and simmer for about 10 min, drain

1 c barley flakes
     - cooked in 2 c water
     - cover and simmer for 15 min, drain

2/3 c millet
     - toasted in a dry pan
     - cooked in 1 1/3 c water
     - cover and simmer for 18 minutes, turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes, drain if necessary

1 c quinoa
     - rinsed for 2 minutes, toasted in a dry pan
     - cooked in 2 c water
     - cover and simmer for 15 min, turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes, drain if necessary

1 c bulghur (#3 - this means it's fairly coarse. #1 or #2 will cook faster)
     - cooked in 2 1/4 c water
     - cover and simmer 15 minutes, drain

about 1 c leftover cooked brown rice

1/2 c toasted flax seeds

1/4 c chia seeds

I added a pinch of salt to the bowl after each cooked grain got tossed in. I also added 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, maybe 2 T vanilla sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, a few drops of almond extract, a lot of cinnamon, a bit of ground ginger, and two pinches of cardamom.

I froze these in 3/4 c portions - a serving of oatmeal is usually a cup, but I like to add dried fruit and/or nuts, so keeping the portion smaller allows for a good sprinkle of add-ins without making it a million calories.

Despite taking the better part of an evening to prepare, I'm happy with the results. In hindsight, I probably would've made about half this amount - I ended up with 24 portions, and my freezer is really tiny. On the plus side, I pretty much have no excuse to not eat breakfast for the next month or so!

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