The formula for the basic porridge is easy, and you can prepare it in advance for speedy breakfasts throughout the week.
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℉ at noon.
Weather like this is my cue to make hot cereal.
I’ve long enjoyed oatmeal in all its comforting variations. And when I was little, my grandmother often made cream of wheat for me. With its creaminess and hint of natural sweetness, the following winter porridge is reminiscent of that, and 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? : )
For more hot cereal inspiration, you may wish to try:
- Prep-Ahead Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Millet Breakfast Porridge
- Slow Cooker Gingerbread Steel Cut Oats (with easy day before method)
- Prep-Ahead Seeded Oatmeal “Packets”
- Toasty Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal
- Nuts & Seeds Overnight N’Oats (enjoy hot or cold)
Yield: 4 servings (or 3 hearty servings)
- 2 cups milk of choice (I really like Silk’s almond/coconut milk blend)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup (69 grams) dry amaranth seeds
- 1/3 cup (60 grams) dry quinoa, rinsed and drained*
- 1/3 cup (56 grams) dry polenta (or coarse grits)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Optional spices: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Options for serving: additional milk, maple syrup (or sweetener of choice), chopped banana, raisins, berries, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, etc.
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.
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.
*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.
Advance prep option: 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.)