Winter Porridge

Power Porridge

I’ve always been amazed by people who go sockless in cold weather.  When my feet are cold, everything is cold.   So it’s remarkable that, since the beginning of fall, I’ve only worn socks about five times.  To say we’ve had an extremely mild fall and early winter is an understatement.  I must admit though, I was loving it!

Mother Nature, however, seems to be figuring things out.  Though seasonably late and short-lived, snowflakes fell the other day.  Yesterday, my car thermometer read 19 degrees at noon. Weather like this is my cue to make hot cereal.

I’ve long enjoyed oatmeal in all its comforting variations.  My grandmother often made cream of wheat for me when I was little.  With a hint of natural sweetness, Millet Breakfast Porridge is surprisingly filling and delicious.  These days, so many grain options are within easy reach, and combining several of them into one hearty bowl offers a warming meal that’s as satisfying as it is healthy.  Make it ahead and the morning routine just got really easy!

Amaranth, quinoa, and polenta create the winning trifecta in this power bowl, and they can all be stored conveniently in your pantry.  The basic recipe is rather simple, although there are plenty of appealing variations.  Chopped apples, pumpkin puree plus pumpkin pie spice, a spoonful of flax meal or your favorite nut butter can all be added while cooking.  Likewise, feel free to experiment with toppings such as apple or pumpkin butter or a dollop of your favorite jam.

So what about you?  Are you a hot cereal person?  And can you stand to go sockless in winter?  : )

Winter Porridge
The formula for the basic porridge is easy, and you can prepare it in advance for speedy breakfasts throughout the week. I like to add the cinnamon and ginger and then top with a swirl of maple syrup, but a variety of other options are included below.

Yields 4 servings (or 3 hearty servings)
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  1. 2 cups milk of choice (I really like Silk’s almond/coconut milk blend)
  2. 1 1/2 cups water
  3. 1/3 cup (69 grams) dry amaranth seeds
  4. 1/3 cup (60 grams) dry quinoa, rinsed and drained*
  5. 1/3 cup (56 grams) dry polenta (or coarse grits)
  6. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. Optional spices: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. Options for serving: additional milk, maple syrup (or sweetener of choice), chopped banana, raisins, berries, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, etc.
  1. Place the milk and water in a medium pot or saucepan, and then stir in the amaranth, rinsed quinoa, polenta, salt, and optional spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15-18 minutes, or until the grains are tender and the mixture has reached the consistency of cream of wheat—creamy but not too soupy. Stir occasionally while cooking, scraping the bottom of the pot to avoid sticking. Stir more frequently towards the end as the mixture thickens.
  2. Remove from the heat, and either serve immediately or portion into individual servings, and then cool, cover, and refrigerate for future breakfasts. To serve, drizzle with maple syrup and/or any other toppings of choice. When reheating, loosen with extra milk, stirring as the porridge warms to incorporate the milk and make creamy again.
  1. *Even when a package of quinoa indicates that it has been pre-rinsed, I recommend rinsing again to eliminate any chance of a bitter taste.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Power Porridge

For a speedy morning routine, I cook a batch of this multi-grain porridge in advance and portion it into individual bowls.  When ready to eat, I add some extra milk and warm in the microwave, adding more milk until I reach my preferred level of creaminess.  You can add an assortment of toppings, although I usually keep it simple with a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar and a side of fruit.  (The porridge in the photo is two days old, and I kept it a little thicker than I usually do so you could see the texture and toppings better.)

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  1. Mary Lou Keller

    Good morning Ann! This is funny, I made steel cut oats last night. I finally found a perfect method for cooking them where it does not boil over. I brought some to work with me and I have maple syrup to put in it.

    When I read the first part of your post I thought it had millet in the recipe but it does not. I happen to have a bag of Bob’s Red Mill millet I bought thinking I needed it for a recipe but did not. any ideas or recipes how I can use the millet?
    I am going to get some amaranth to keep on hand. I love the name of it, so exotic sounding!

    and NO I cannot go sockless in winter! I know people that are in shorts year round, no matter the temperature. December here was so mild, with a couple of days approaching 70!
    I guess I got really used to that, since NY I have been freezing! I am a socks and fuzzy house slippers kind of gal!

    Take care and I will Pin this recipe, it looks quite good!

    1. Ann

      The slippers came out this week and I am officially wearing socks this morning! You could try using millet in place of the amaranth in this porridge, and the following recipes would be a great ways to enjoy your bag of millet:

      I also have a millet 101, so to speak, if you search “millet” in the search bar. And now that you’ve perfected your steel cut oats, I’ll throw out some slow cooker ways I like to prepare them. The first is a basic recipe, the second is for a gingerbread version that I especially enjoy. Thanks for your wonderful comment, Mary Lou…great start to my day!

  2. k k Patel

    Mombasa-Kenya is very hot these days but I think I will keep your winter porridge recipe for use when its bit cold here. This is a very good recipe. Thank you.

  3. Mary Lou Keller

    Thank you Ann for the recipe links! I will have to check them out to try! It is funny, but when I think of millet I immediately think of bird seed. Particularly the strips of millet we used to feel a parakeet I had when I was little!

    Thank you Ann and have a wonderful day and stay warm. 🙂