Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cold Morning Hot Cereal

One of the hot cereals I make for us in the morning is this one that I adapted from Helen Nearing's book, "Simple Food for the Good Life." (I think it's kind of funny that she wanted to title the book, "Simple Food for Simple People" but the publisher nixed that idea.)

The cereal is really quite tasty and gives us good fuel via the grains to start a cold winter's day.


1/3 cup millet
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup raisins

After I mix the grains in the saucepan, I mix in one tablespoon of either kefir or yogurt. This neutralizes the negative effects of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in whole grains. Phytates bind up minerals naturally found in grains so that the minerals can't be assimilated when we eat the grains. Neutralizing phytates and enzyme inhibitors, in effect, pre-digests grains so that all their nutrients are more available.

Soak the millet, oats, buckwheat groats and raisins over night in ample water to cover.

(This is what the soaked cereal looked like in the morning. Seems the grains drank up quite a bit of the water so . . .

. . . I added some more before starting to cook.)

In the morning, bring to a boil, adding more water if necessary. (Yup, we did that.)

If you keep the cereal cooking just at the boiling point, the grains will stay separate and not glop up. I think I cooked ours about 25 minutes this morning stirring now and then to make sure they weren't sticking on the bottom.

To serve, you can sprinkle with sunflower seeds, add a pat of butter and milk. If you desire more sweetening than the raisins, add honey or maple syrup. The cereal has a very nutty taste and is a nice change from plain old oatmeal.

The amounts in the recipe are ample for two hungry breakfast eaters.


Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

Yum! I will have to look around and see where I can find some of those grains. Our little town doesn't have spit!

Leigh said...

We love hot cereal on cold mornings. I hadn't thought to put together this combination though. Looks yummy and I actually have all the ingredients! Guess what's on the menu this morning. :)

Jane said...

I prefer the Nearings 'horse chow'. Raw oats and I add a few nuts and raisins. I think Helen would prefer you eat in in a wooden bowl too;)

Anonymous said...

That sounds very healthy! I love a warm breakfast on a cold morning! Mine is usually oatmeal with some type of fruit in it, but I get bored, it's good to see others' ideas!

Jane said...

Lot's of times I skip breakfast,but your grains look very good.And a healthy choice. Blessings jane

Susan said...

Boy, does that look good. I don't know that I could take that much time making it, though. That's about as much time as I have to make AND eat it. But it would definitely fit into my weekend dining experience...

Claire said...

Um, I hate to sound ignorant, here, but what are groats????

growmyown said...

The finished product looks wonderful. Thanks also for the yogurt information. I always eat bran and yogurt together and now I feel even better about doing so.

Chicken Mama said...

Claire, if I may be so bold as to jump in regarding the definition of 'groats'.

Groats (gr OH'utz) were first propagated and harvested by the Israelites and then (much later) hybridized into the variety you now see on grocery shelves. The chewiness exhibited by this grain is an evolutionary throw-back to the days when humans ate more meat and their jaws were necessarily stronger, tearing into and savagely severing it with their incisors.

While groats have been known to produce severe bloat and flatulence amongst certain Indo-Chinese minorities, the northern section of the United States' Midwest seems to engender the development of a population of people (and, therefor, digestive tracts) tolerant enough to withstand the arguably negative aspects of the groat grain . . . in favor of its high nutritional value.

Fiona said...

I love a good wholesome breakfast -- especially when it's this &*^ing cold out! I found the yogurt info interesting, albeit totally incomprehensible. The fact that my dad is a retired microbiologist obviously has no bearing on my understanding of basic chemistry!!

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - No co-op type grocery that sells organic foods and whole grains? In your nearest big city??

Leigh - Let me know how you two liked it, okay?

Jane - Growing up our daughter always asked for raw oats when we had cooked oatmeal. Nuthin' wrong with that!

Rain - Yup, this has a taste different enough from oatmeal to make it worth having every now and then.

Jane2 - Now, now, young lady. You know it's not healthy to try to start your day with no fuel in the tank! ;o)

Susan - Yes, it does require a bit of time in the kitchen to prepare. Maybe some weekend it will sound good to you.

Mama Pea said...

Claire - I don't know where crazy Chicken Mama got her definition of "groats" but to my knowledge it has always referred to the whole grain. For instance, an oat groat would be the whole oat grain (such as a farmer would plant to grow oats) before it got smooshed into an oat flake. A wheat groat is the whole wheat grain before it was ground into wheat flour. (I LOVE cooked oat groats for breakfast . . . soft but chewy and very nutty in flavor.) So as far as I know, a "groat" refers to the whole grain. Buckwheat groats would be the individual grains before they were ground into flour for (for instance) buckwheat pancakes.

growmyown - You were improving your nutritional without even knowint it. Smart girl!

Fiona - Ya know, the more I learn about nutrition and the human body, the more confusing it becomes. So many things we eat would be more digestible (and therefore more beneficial to our bodies) if they were fermented first. (That's basically the idea of adding the yogurt or kefir.) But that's a whole other way of preparing food. I've done some of it with success but have also had some unpalatable failures. (Think old fashioned sauerkraut and pickles. They were fermented the "good" way.)