Cream of Wheat-The Nourishing Way

As our journey of Joel being in school continues, with a child who is eating more everyday, while trying to increase protein consumption in our diet, and with prices rising, I find myself getting creative in finding frugal ways to eat nourishing food. I wanted to start sharing some of my thoughts, tips, and recipes with you all on Fridays regarding eating nourishing food frugally. I am excited about talking more about this topic, because I live that topic in my kitchen every day, and face it every time I buy food.

Today I thought I would share my new favorite hot cereal recipe. Don’t waste your money on those nutritionally inferior, overpriced, over packaged cereals, if you can help it!

As I mentioned earlier, I have an emotional attachment *smile* to Cream of Wheat because not only was it a favorite childhood breakfast, but because Joel and I made it a few times on our honeymoon for a quick and easy meal (served with cream, a dab of butter and maple syrup).

Since we indulged recently and I realized (again) how much I liked it, I knew I needed to find a nourishing substitute. I had tried a “whole wheat” version before and it was really yucky. I didn’t like it at all. But I was encouraged by a few of your comments to try again.

I decided to grind my own berries to start with, using soft white wheat berries. I realized that soft wheat berries would give a less grainy taste compared to hard wheat berries. White wheat berries, which have the same nutritional profile as regular wheat berries, but have a lighter texture and color, are not my favorite because they are a recently developed grain (I prefer heirloom or spelt berries). But it does make very nice quick breads, muffins, scones, etc, and I can get it a bit cheaper than other varieties. It worked very well in this recipe.

I decided to also grind an equal amount of millet for my hot cereal because millet has a very delicious and mild flavor, as well as being very nutritious.

I soaked it overnight, cooked it up in a couple of minutes on the stove (it cooks faster when soaked), drizzled delicious grade B maple syrup over it, poured in a bit of raw milk, and added a dab of butter and it was delicious! Definitely something I am going to add to our weekly menu. It was so satisfying and filling! I recommend adding the milk, butter and syrup, because it’s pretty plain without it. If you are on a dairy free diet, nut milk, and a sweetener would be delicious as well. I am not complaining that this was also a very frugal breakfast as well!


It’s a perfect Fall breakfast, by the way. (I am so looking forward to everyone sharing their Fall recipes with us next Tuesday! Read about the Nourishing Fall Recipes Carnival here. If you are a new reader, I would love to see your recipes as well!)

For those who don’t have their own grinders, you can still make this! You could try grinding in a coffee grinder, just don’t get it to fine, you want it fairly coarse (if you get it too fine, it will be pasty). Or, even easier, you can grind smaller amounts in your blender with the soaking water, the night before, once again, making sure not to get it too well ground.

Serve with your favorite hot cereal toppings and enjoy!

Cream of Wheat-The Nourishing Way (serves two)

This gets very thick as it cooks, so feel free to add a little more water as needed, and keep whisking occasionally so it doesn’t get stuck on the bottom of your pot. To get more of a real cream of wheat texture, you can add 1/2-3/4 cup of more water, cooking just a bit longer, and letting it sit to thicken for a few minutes afterwards.

Several cups of soft wheat berries (I used white wheat berries)
Several cups of millet
salt
2 tablespoons Buttermilk, yogurt, Kefir, whey, lemon juice
Toppings

Grind equal amounts of soft wheat berries and millet berries, about medium grind. Combine well (I store my hot cereal mixes in glass jars).

The night before combine one cup of water, and one cup of your hot cereal mix in a bowl. Now add the two tablespoons of buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, whey, or lemon juice (this will make it a bit sour, so I will sometimes not use this, though it is the best to use it, to better reduce the phytic acid).

Cover and leave on the counter top overnight.

In the morning, combine one and a half more cups of water with the mixture, a dash or two of sea salt, and bring to a simmer in a small pot, whisking occasionally to make sure it doesn’t start sticking on the bottom.

Simmer for 3-5 more minutes (still whisking to make sure that it doesn’t stick), until it is finished cooking and remove from heat. You can add more water if it gets too thick.

Serve with your choice of toppings.

*Update: After a little more experimentation, I found that having a total of 2 1/2 cups of water, instead of just two, works the best-not too watery, not thick- so I have changed my directions to reflect that.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. Julie says

    Hello, Kimi. I’m sorry to say I can’t recall how I found your site, but am so glad I did. Reading through it will be so refreshing and educational!

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I’m in transition to becoming 100% vegetarian (eventually, vegan and GF, too). Oatmeal was our usual breakfast as kids, and Cream of Wheat was reserved for “extra special days”! We LOVED it. I’ve printed your recipe version, and can hardly wait to try it. Thanks so much!

  2. Michelle says

    Ooh ooh try amaranth! I like adding it to my breakfast grains because it has a really interesting texture. Plus I’m pretty sure it’s a complete protein.

  3. Anonymous says

    My hubby says I can get a grinder for Christmas… what are you using/what do you recommend?

    Thank you!

    AnonymousAmy

  4. Kimi Harris says

    julie,

    Welcome to my blog. :-) I am so glad that you found me. I hope your hot cereal turns out wonderfully! :-)

    Michelle,
    Thanks for the suggestion! I like amaranth a lot. I seem to remember that I did used to use it in a multigrain hot cereal, some to think of it. Have you ever made amaranth/millet waffles before? They are so wonderful!

    Cat and Anonymous Amy,
    I use a jupitar grain mill (the one that is recommended in NT). I like it a lot, it’s quiet, it doesn’t cause excess heat when grinding (which protects the grain), and grinds it the right way. But I do find that for yeasted or sourdough breads, I have to grind it twice to get it fine enough. It does grind a bit coarser. I am not sure if that’s because I am not putting it together right, or if that’s just how it works.

  5. Megan says

    Yum! This looks delicious! My kids adore cream of wheat, they would eat it every day if I let them. I’ve made something similar to this using toasted buckwheat as well as brown rice. (I’m GF.) I love hot cereal, it’s so satisfying in the morning!

  6. Kimi Harris says

    Michelle,
    I haven’t made them for a while, but they were a mainstay while I was gluten free. They really are very tasty. I think that you could use any recipe for waffles that had plenty of eggs and use amaranth and millet grain in it. I followed a recipe from The Body Ecology Diet, but I want to work on it just a tad. :-)

  7. Michele @ Frugal Granola says

    Oh, wow, healthy cream of wheat! Yum. I wish I could eat it. :)

    By the way, I just remembered another brand of coconut milk that we really like: "Natural Value." I have bought it in cases from Azure, and individually from Fred Meyer. I don't think it has any additives; just coconut & water.

    Blessings,
    Michele

  8. Mary (Mary's Nest) says

    Thank you so much for this recipe and all the wonderful Nourishing Tradition style recipes. You are such a purist. I strive to be like you! Keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Mary

  9. Jon and Erin says

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now but have never left a post…I’ve added some of your recepies to our diet but just don’t seem to have many ingredients you call for. I guess I’ll be trying them one at a time as I get things such a grains!
    I even sent your link to my sister-in-law who loves overseas and makes many things from scratch. I’m sure she’s loving it all. Thanks for all your hard work…we’re enjoying the fruits of your labor!!

  10. motherbear says

    I try to keep our dairy intake at a minimum so add a can of organic coconut milk to a quart of almond milk and use this for the liquid to make our hot cereals. At the end I stir in a beaten egg and 2T of coconut oil for extra nutrition.

  11. Kimi Harris says

    Mary,
    LOL, not always a purist! But I do try. ;-)

    Jon and Erin,
    Thanks for the comment! I am so glad that you like my blog. I realize that it is true that I do call for unusual ingredients in many of my recipes. But you can always play around with a recipe using the things you have on hand as well. :-) Sometimes that’s the way the best recipes are formed! So feel free to change things around if you want!

    Lori,
    Great! I hope you like it. :-)

  12. Kimi Harris says

    Motherbear,
    Sounds like a wonderful idea! I may try that. I find that coconut milk by itself is too strong to use by itself on hot cereal. Thanks for the comment. :-)

  13. Kimi Harris says

    The7Gerbers,

    What a great idea!

    Michele,
    Thanks for the brand update, I appreciate it! Have you ever tried millet hot cereal by itself? That may be good as well. :-)

  14. Anonymous says

    Kimi – Why don’t you drain your water off in the morning after soaking grains/cereal? Where does the phytic acid go? I always drain and rinse my grains b/c I’ve been assuming that the water holds the phytic acid somehow. I think I’ve missed something somewhere, so your help is appreciated! Perhaps I’m doing more work than I need to!

    Thanks!
    Angela

  15. Kimi Harris says

    Great Question, Angela. I can see how that could be confusing. :-) I will often rinse my grains, just to remove any sourness. But as far as for the phytic acid, the water isn’t drawing it out (like an impurity), but rather it is neutralizing the phytic acid. So, you don’t have to worry about rinsing it off.

  16. Dr. Allison Low says

    Kimi, I am devouring your blog which means going back and reading older posts like this one. I love cream of wheat, too, and have recently started making it with sprouted cream of spelt. I purchase my sprouted flours from Shelley Summers. While we are not strictly GF, I do try to limit all grains unless they are sprouted.
    Here is Shelley’s website (only downside is the cost and having to order):
    http://www.creatingheaven.net

    Dr. Allison

    • says

      diet hot chocolate? What is that? Artificial sweeteners maybe? Doesn’t sound too healthy. If you wanted to have the chocolate flavor with real nutrition, you can use raw cacao powder (a true super food!) and stevia if you want to avoid the calories, or real sugar like sucanat, or maple syrup, or raw honey. Adding in raw cream with a teeny bit of coconut oil makes it a real treat! (oh, and a dash of cinnamon!!)

  17. Inna Lye says

    I just made some but without the soaking (I couldn’t wait that long to try a homemade cream of wheat =) ). I really like the combo of wheat and millet. It tasts great. I cooked it in milk. Thank you!

  18. Jacquie Snell says

    Hi, I am new to nourishing my family with “whole” foods. I actually just ordered hard winter white berries to start making my own bread. Would this berry work for your cream of wheat?

  19. Erika says

    I can’t thank you enough for this !!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been trying so hard to find a good Cream of Wheat (NT) replacement !! I grew up with it, and love it !!! I’m glad that you were able to find a recipe that works ! :) I can’t wait to try it. It looks delicious !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Soccy says

    Hi Kimi

    My kids and I love Cream of Wheat. I just recently tried to make my own and this is what I came up with. I ground Spelt berries in my Nutrimill on Coarse grind, but it still looks an awful lot like flour. I heated up 1 cup milk, 1 cup water and 2 tblsp. Sucanat in a saucepan. I whisked in 1/2 cup ground Spelt and 1 tsp cinnamon. I continuously stirred for about 10 minutes. Ladled into bowls and let cool and thicken up. We all loved it. Although I do wish it had more of that grainy mouthfeel I’m used to from the little packets. I’m excited to try your soaked version with the addition of the Millet and possibly Amarynth. Do you think grinding in my coffee mill would get a coarser texture that closer to the store bought Farina? Also, do you still recommend soaking with kefir? You mention that you store your other homemade cereal mixes in jars. I’d love to know your hot cereal mix recipes. Plain ole’ oatmeal is getting really boring for my kids who previously ate only store bought cereal. I’d really like to mix it up and so far, all your recipes that we’ve tried have been a success. Thanks!!

  21. Soccy says

    Hi Kimi

    My kids and I love Cream of Wheat. I just recently tried to make my own and this is what I came up with. I ground Spelt berries (all I had on hand) in my Nutrimill on Coarse grind, but it still looks an awful lot like flour. I heated up 1 cup milk, 1 cup water and 2 tblsp. Sucanat in a saucepan. I whisked in 1/2 cup ground Spelt and 1 tsp cinnamon. I continuously stirred for about 10 minutes. Ladled into bowls and let cool and thicken up. We all loved it. Although I do wish it had more of that grainy mouthfeel I’m used to from the little packets. I’m excited to try your soaked version with the addition of the Millet and possibly Amarynth. Do you think grinding in my coffee mill would get a coarser texture that’s closer to the store bought Farina? Also, do you still recommend soaking with kefir? You mention that you store your other homemade cereal mixes in jars. I’d love to know your hot cereal mix recipes. Plain ole’ oatmeal is getting really boring for my kids who previously ate only store bought cereal and my eldest won’t eat it at all. She chooses to skip breakfast altogether. I’d really like to mix it up and so far, all your recipes that we’ve tried have been a success. Thanks!!

  22. JanB says

    Hi all – great discussions!
    I was wondering if anyone had a “cream of millet” alone recipe for a breakfast cereal. It is purported to be good for morning sickness (my daughter is pregnant) and for the kidneys (my sis is in end-stage renal failure). Both would love to know of a recipe that might help them out. Thanks!

    JanB

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