Going With The Grain

Fall – or some sort of more recent global warming type of version of it – has arrived here in France. It’s a wet and chilly 8c during my morning run, then it’ll shoot to 24c around lunch, then plummet down to 13c and begin gusting and raining for the afternoon…lovely, really, if you enjoy schizophrenic climate change. Me, not so much.

It’s actually rained, for at least 20 minutes or (much) longer, every day since September 1. Happily the one day sans pluie was Guppy’s first day of school, and that bright, welcoming sunshine did help everyone remain cheery. But that was only ONE day.

With this bizarre and dreadfully dreary weather comes the gradual change from my morning bright and bouncy green smoothies chock full of market fresh fruits and spinach, to more comforting, grounded breakfasts full of warming energy and sustenance.

One of my whole grain breakfast standards is just a multi-grain porridge. It’s like the food equivalent to soft and fuzzy flannel pajama pants – not terribly sexy, but comfortable, cosy and familiar. I soak a 1/4 cup each (or if your me, about two handfuls) of brown rice, steel cut oats, barley and wheat berries over night, then in the morning when I come in from my run I rinse it all well, cover it up with water, and bring it to a boil. Then I let it simmer for about 30 minutes while I stretch and shower, and voila : a hearty, warm breakfast. Sometimes I use amaranth. Or quinoa. Depends on what I have on hand and my mood I suppose.  Often topped with a dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon, some maple syrup, maybe some dried fruits and some almond or soy milk, this whole grain stew feels like something from my childhood, a sort of inexplicable genetic memory sort of home and hearth feeling. This does make a huge amount (if you’re the only one who eats it, which is my case) and while I know one shouldn’t dine on left-overs too terribly long, I love that this gets me three to five days of breakfasts which also helps cut down on the morning planning and stress, which is always welcome, whatever the weather.

My little multi-grain porridge isn’t very original, but it is my contribution to this month’s Weekend Breakfast Blogging hosted by the lovely Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen who choose the fabulous theme this month “Grains In My Breakfast”. Merci, Aparna! I realized I don’t have an actual picture of my porridge…I am just in love with the beauty of grains, and think they look so beautiful in their natural state – and so flannel pajamaesque when cooked…you know what it looks like anyway!

14 thoughts on “Going With The Grain

  1. This sounds pretty good to me, full of fibre and satisfying. But then I do like whole grain, though my husband and daughter really don’t.🙂
    Thanks for sending this in to WBB. And I’m sorry I took so long to acknowledge your mail.

  2. When I went vegan it was difficult for me to get into the world of strange grains. Now, I can’t imagine avoiding them. This is the time of year for whole grains and root veggies!

  3. what a wonderfully tasty breakfast idea, Shelly! it sounds warm, comforting, and awesome! i might just have to try this myself! lately i’ve been having oatmeal with some peanut butter and local jam on top, but this grain goodness sounds amazing! thanks for the recipe!

  4. I’ve eaten similar breakfasts the last cuople of weeks. I usually soak the grains, but I don’t cook them, I puree them in my mini food processor. But now it has gotten quite cold in the mornings, I should consider cooking them again.

  5. Our weather is almost exactly the same. . . bizarre! (but at least Guppy had a good day at school . . .). My porridge is very similar–I love mixing the different grains together and could eat the stuff all day.

  6. Shelly, thank you for this post! I need to expand my wholegrain horizons beyond rice, wheat, oats, and the occasional quinoa, spelt, and barley. I should just hit the bulk bins at my co-op, bring home about a cup of everything there, and get cooking!

    Our weather is weird, too, by the way. Cold and rainy one minute, hot and humid the next! I can’t figure out what to wear in the mornings these days!

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