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
2 tablespoons Buttermilk, yogurt, Kefir, whey, lemon juice
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.