Monday, May 21, 2012

Hot Breakfast Cereal Options

We eat a lot of oatmeal around here - partially because we have ample Steel Cut Oats from our Lonesome Whistle CSA and partially because we just like oatmeal. If there is one grain you should eat, it's oatmeal.

Oatmeal is good for your nervous system, supporting, healing, and strengthening the mylin sheath that protects your nerves. (This link will take you to excellent information on the whole plant.) When I hear someone say their "nerves just feel frayed", I tell them to eat oatmeal. Of course it won't work for some folks who need to avoid grains of all sorts, but the rest of us can really benefit from a good bowl of oatmeal (or an oatmeal cookie!).

We like to bulk up our oatmeal - a lot. We add all kinds of nuts and dried fruits. The dried fruits mean we can add less (or no) sweetener later. I almost always add flax seeds for a little extra nutrition. Along the same lines, I often add a handful of coconut. The result is a bowl of goodness that sets us up for a busy day. Some of our favorite combinations (in addition to the flax and coconut);

*Dried blueberries, cashews, & pumpkin seeds.
*Raisins, dried cherries, almonds, & pecans.
*Dates, sunflower seeds, & any tree nut.
*Dried cranberries, crystalized ginger, & pecans.
*Sliced fresh apple, raisins, pecans or almonds, & pumpkin seeds.

I know I have barely begun to tap the myriad possiblities, but those are some of the best. Add a drizzle of honey, a little butter if you like, and a splash of milk.

So that's good, but sometimes we have grains leftover from our previous dinner and I want to use them. Cooked rice or barley are the most usual suspects here, though wheat, kamut, or spelt could work as well.

Make a breakfast pudding!

I recently did this with a blend of brown rice and the purple barley from Lonesome Whistle. There's not really a recipe... but here's the general concept.

Combine the leftover cooked grain in a pan with enough milk (cow, coconut, or almond milk are my favorites) to just cover. Add raisins, almonds, flax seeds, coconut (or any other above). On medium heat bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook on low, stirring frequently until thickened. If the puddin is too thin you can pull some liquid and temper an egg or two into your pudding (which adds some extra protien - always good!), add the egg back in and allow to thicken. If eggs aren't your thing, stir in a couple tablespoons of almond meal. Add honey to taste, a dash of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. The resulting pudding is rich and flavorful.

Combining this, lots of different fruit and nut combinations, oatmeal, and plenty of extra nutritional add-ins...and suddenly those hot breakfast cereals offer a lot of diverse options for a most basic breakfast.


And if you like coconut milk, did you know it's easy to make your own? I've been using these instuructions with a fair amout of success. The resulting milk is thinner than what I use for cooking usually, but really tasty. The kids drink it up so fast there usually isn't much left for cooking anyway. 


  1. Mah Favorite OatMeal:
    Sprout 1c steel cut oats with 2tbsp liquid whey and 1c warm filtered water in a warm dark place for 7 to 24 hrs*
    Bring 1c filtered water, clabbered milk or whole raw milk almost to a boil, add 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp chopped dried fruit, 1 shredded unpeeled apple, a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg, and soaked oats with liquid. Stir constantly to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tbsp sprouted almond meal, 1 tbsp coconut oil,
    1 tbsp raw pasture butter, 1 tbsp cold milled chia seeds, and sweeten with Stevia powder to taste.
    Note: this cools to a polenta-like consistency and is EXCELLENT fried gently in butter or coconut oil as a leftover breakfast the next day.
    * Germination creates vitamin C, increases content of Vitamin B and carotene, and neutralizes phytic acid which inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc; sprouting also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors that protect seeds, which can neutalize our own enzymes in the digestive tract--one reason why folks can be gassy is that they eat unsprouted grains. The enzymes produced during sprouting also help our own digestive processes. (Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon, p.112)

  2. Actually, not heating milk would be best to add that at the end, once the steamy goodness is in the bowl :-)

  3. That sounds excellent. I'm trying it as soon as I have some whey! Sounds so good.