Multigrain PorridgePosted: April 18, 2012
There are things that we eat a lot of around these parts. Oatmeal and granola are definitely at the top of our breakfast list. Both are such great ways to slip a ton of nutritional value into a quick and delicious breakfast, particularly for Maxine. Importantly, both also lend themselves to one chunk of time in the kitchen that generates meals for the week. As working parents–heck, as parents in general–this holds a whole lot of weight for us.
The thing about oatmeal and granola, though, is that eventually you want something different for breakfast. On our days off, John will often whip up a batch of biscuits and fry some eggs. It’s awesome. But, it’s not something either of us has the time to do on regular mornings, which means it doesn’t solve the breakfast conundrum for nearly every day of the week. Enter Multigrain Porridge.
My folks gifted us with a slow cooker at Christmas. Though it’s only been in my kitchen for a few months, I’m quickly forgetting how I ever cooked without one. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest you make the investment. You can get a small slow cooker for pretty cheap and, if you’re not looking to prepare vast quantities of food, it will totally make your kitchen life easier. I even saw one last week when I was running errands that is small enough to sit on your desktop at work! It seems a little silly, but I also found myself daydreaming about eating fresh soup or some such during my lunch break. But I digress.
Along with the slow cooker, my mom included a cookbook called Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea. While it hasn’t blown my mind by any stretch (sorry, Ma!), I did find myself lazily thumbing through it the other night while Max smeared her dinner all over her face and the table (she calls it washing…don’t even get me started on how many deep breaths I take some nights while she “cleans up”). With my own breakfast boredom on the brain, I stopped in my tracks when I saw O’Dea’s recipe for Multigrain Porridge. I checked the ingredient list, and we had everything on hand. Into the kitchen I went (with the kid, promise).
The next morning, we ate well. Really well. Stick-to-your-ribs-until-the-middle-of-the-afternoon well. I froze half of the porridge (O’Dea promises it freezes well…I’ll let you know if it doesn’t) and we’ve been eating the rest every morning since. This stuff is sooo good. If you don’t have a slow cooker, it’s worth taking the time to make on the stove top. It won’t require more than periodic stirring once everything’s in the pot. Also, I’m thinking that once you get the basic recipe down, it will lend itself well to variations. I’ve been really into adding orange extract to things lately, and once we finally eat through our porridge stockpile, I think I’ll try an orangy variation on this porridge theme.
2 T. butter
3/4 c. brown rice
1/4 c. quinoa
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. steel cut oats
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced (we didn’t have those on hand…the red apples I used worked just fine)
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4-1/3 c. brown sugar (to taste)
10 c. water
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Butter the inside of your stoneware insert. Rinse the brown rice and quinoa thoroughly in cool running water, and dump into the buttered crock. Add both kinds of oats, the diced apples, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pour in all ten cups of water. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, on high for about 4 hours, or until the brown rice is completely tender. Take the lid off your cooker and stir very well. Unplug, and let the porridge sit in the cooling slow cooker for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Add additional brown sugar, if desired, to taste at the table.
*I mixed my porridge in a big bowl and then added everything to the slow cooker. I dunno. I like tossing things around with my hands. It makes me feel fancy.
**Also, sorry there’s no finished product picture. I was too busy waking up and eating and letting Maxine do my hair between bites.