I am not always the best at planning breakfast. I don’t give much time in my schedule for preparing much on most days. I am usually too busy having my devotional time, packing Joel’s lunch, and straighting up our downstairs to fix anything too elaborate. So when I saw this post for a whole, mixed grain breakfast idea, I had a sudden inspiration.
I decided to play around with the grains used and convert it into a soaked, crockpot meal. I soak it during the day, dump the grain and some water into the crockpot at night, and wake up to a steaming hot breakfast. I have found this so convenient. The first day I tried it out, my husband was able to help himself, in the morning, to a delicious bowl of hot cereal. After he left, Elena and I enjoyed some when she woke up, and an hour or two later, my sister stopped by, and was able to have a hot breakfast too.
The only thing I find a little tricky is the timing. My crockpot is very simple. It has hot, low, and a keep warm setting. I find that this will cook in about 8 hours on low. So I turn it on right before I head to bed. The first one up, puts it on the warm setting. This helps it from getting too well done. If left too long, it can dry out a bit on the top, but it’s still delicious.
I bet there are so many variations you could do with this. Some of the ideas I have thought of include adding some cubed apples, maple syrup and cinnamon to cook with it overnight. Or adding a can of coconut milk and serving it with tropical fruit in the morning. Or you could use milk or cream for part of the liquid for a richer texture.
As it cooks it will start mushing together, to form a texture more like a “hot cereal”. Interspersed are grains that are still firm, and that element adds a very nice contrast. But if you want all of the grains to be distinct, you can also cook on the stove for about 35-45 minutes.
Crockpot Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal
Serve with your favorite toppings: Honey, maple syrup, rapadura, milk, butter, raisins or a fruit compote. You can also make a larger amount of this, just use three cups of water per cup of grain.
1 cup of hulled barley
1 cup of brown rice
1 cup of millet
1 cup of Wild Rice Mix (I used one with red, brown, sweet and wild rice)
1 cup of oat groats
1 cup of wheat berries (I use soft)
1-Combine together, and place in a container to store
2-The morning before you want to serve this, take out 2 cups worth, and place in a bowl. Cover with water and add two tablespoons yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar, whey, or lemon juice. Let set on your counter, until that evening.
3-Right before you go to bed, rinse off the grains in a fine sieve, and place in your crockpot. Add 6 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Turn on low, and cook for 8 hours. Enjoy!
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Mmmmm…. can you use any combo of whole grains? I’ve got a huge bag of spelt that I want to get on to using.
This sounds absolutely wonderful. There are times when a hearty breakfast is needed on a morning we have to be out the door fast. I’m really hoping this will do the trick. Thanks for sharing and I’m already thinking dehydrated apples and cinnamon sound yummy in this!!
I forgot to say this in my post, but I am sure that you can use any combination of grains that you want. 🙂
That does look good! But I dont eat any grains as I am fully paleo! Like the idea to add the kefir to help break it down though.
Good idea with the crock pot. I don’t have one, but I’ve done this with my rice cooker–soak overnight, turn on first thing in the morning and by the time I’m out of the shower it’s all done. But I bet the crock pot works better…
@sarena, can you do quinoa or amaranth (I think they are not technically grains)? If so, they would work in this recipe!
I have done it with part quinoa, in works. I did include 1/4 quinoa, 1/4 oats, 1/4 wheat berries, 1/4 brown rice. It total about 2 cups fully cooked.
Erin in AK
What size crockpot did you use for the recipe?
This looks so great. I had never really thought about using the crockpot for breakfast. 🙂
My Year Without
My husband and I just got a Zojirushi rice cooker with a timer. We throw in brown rice/quinoa and water the night before and set it to begin at 6am so when we get up around 7am, we not only have coffee waiting for us, but now we have delicious, perfectly cooked rice! We have only had it for a week, but breakfast has never been so convenient and filling! I will have to try using other types of grains…and I like the apple/syrup idea!
I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found this site!!!!!!!!!! and I am super fired up about this recipe… thank you.
6 c of water seems like a lot for 2 c of grains. I’ll trust ya though!
I am not sure of the exact size of my crockpot, but that’s a great question because I am sure that can change how quickly it cooks. I use my smaller one to cook this recipe (it fills it up about a third or half way)
Surprisingly it does take that amount of water. In fact, I have more of a problem with this recipe drying out if I leave it too long. Any crockpot experts out there know how to fix this? I do have a larger crockpot with a timer, which I may try. That way it can switch to the keep warm setting, instead of continuing to cook (I should say, overcook) it if I sleep in.
All to say, I have found it needs a higher amount of water!
I wouldn’t use a bigger crock for this if it’s drying out, it’ll be more spread out and therefore more likely to burn. a 3 to 1 ratio is what’s recommended for whole grains 99% of the time, so 6 c. water is perfect, though I could see adding another 1/2 c. due to loss of heat.
It really depends a great deal on the shape of your crock and how the lid fits, so people will just have to experiment. My 4 year old, 6 qt oval crock runs HOT and the lid doesn’t fit very well. My 4 qt. round (was my mother-in-law’s for 30 years) is perfect, but it just really depends!
I don’t remember where I got this from, but this method of cooking steel-cut oats really works:
1-1/2 cups STEEL-CUT (Irish) oats
6 cups water
Combine oats and water in a medium-size pot. Bring mixture to a full-boil. Stir. Remove from heat and place lid on pot. Let sit overnight (or about 5 hours).
Next morning (or 5 hours later), place oatmeal on medium heat and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and IT’S COOKED. Add sugar to taste, if desired. Add couple tablespoons of half and half for a creamy texture. You can let the oatmeal sit for a few minutes, covered. The longer it sits, the thicker it the oatmeal becomes.
I tried this cooking method twice already and it works!
I usually portion the oatmeal to six 7-ounce portions and refrigerate. Next morning, slice one-half fresh banana in a bowl or can place some frozen berries in a bowl. Add one portion of the oatmeal. Slightly cover with a paper towel or napkin. Microwave for 2 minutes. Serve with soymlk or regular milk. Try sprinkling in unsweetened cococnut or toasted nuts. DELICIOUS!
Kathy in WA
Hi! I made this and it worked perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing. I mixed up a combination of millet, quinoa, oat groats, and brown rice (just what I had in the cabinet). Before I found your recipe, I just tried cooking it all night in the crock pot. The quinoa gave the whole batch a very bitter taste. My kids ate it but they added a good bit of brown sugar. Ha!
I tried it again, after soaking it per your instructions. Delicious with no bitter aftertaste. Thanks for sharing!!
Kimi, Thanks so much for this recipe! It’s my new favorite hot cereal, and I LOVE that it’s a crockpot meal! I made it with soft wheat, barley, and rice b/c that’s what i had and it turned out perfectly. I added lots of cinnamon, and a bit of sea salt and butter before I turned the crockpot on, and then I served it with maple syrup, walnuts, and coconut milk. Oh, and I actually cooked it in my bedroom so I could turn it off when I got up without walking down the creaky stairs and waking my children up. 🙂
Thanks for another nourishing recipe!
I am so glad that you liked it! It’s so nice having a breakfast that is cooked when you get up! 🙂
After reading your posts on sprouting I was wondering if it would be better to sprout the grains before cooking them in the crockpot (instead of just soaking them for 12 hours)?
Soaking them (especially if you use acidic water in a warm place in the house) will effectively start the sprouting process (and eliminate anti-nutrients). Sprouting the grains more make them cook even faster, so they would probably overcook in a crockpot if sprouted all the way. 🙂
Great – i’ll stick with this recipe as is! Thanks!
I have been making this for a couple weeks now and love it! So easy to just scoop out a bowl as the kids wake up…there’s always plenty for my husband, who likes to eat breakfast late. And then I have some for mid-morning snack. The leftovers are great the next day. Thanks!
Kimi, I made this recently and I think I added too much water because it was really soupy. I thought it was great that way, but was also thinking it might make a great , hearty base for a blended soup (especially if you cooked it with a stock). I would have thrown some cheese and seasonings in it and tried a cheese soup, but I am off dairy right now. Bummer!
I would really like to try this recipe and I am wondering how many this serves. I have 5 children and 3 of them are pre-teen and teen so I am wondering if I should double it. Thank you.
1 cup of grain to 3 cups of water will make approx 2 1/2 cups finished. My 2 full teens easily eat 1 cup ea. plus a piece of fruit and maybe a slice of toast. For my family of 4 I double this and might have some left over.
How did I never notice this recipe until you did the recap today? This is exactly how I started making my oatmeal after my daughter was born and I got busy in the morning 🙂 Ours kept getting overdone so we got a timer that people use for their lights when they’re on vacation and set it up to go off in the middle of the night. It took some experimenting but for the past two years we wake up to perfect porridge most mornings.
We also use a lamp timer and set it to turn on at about 2 am. We set the crock pot to low and it is done perfectly by 6am. To avoid any drying, or crunchy bits along the edges, we use a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup in the crock pot with about 2-3 ” of water in the crockpot (as a waterbath). The ratio we use is 1 cup grains to 2.5 cups water. We use some combination of oat, barley, rye and wheat groats and the grains end up soft
We have been enjoying this recipe and also using just plain oat groats. Thanks for sharing! I was wondering if you had any info about lead free crock pots. Mine is about 15 years old and I’m pretty sure not safe. Since we are eating this about 3-4 times a week for breakfast I’d like to upgrade to one that is certified as lead free. Any recommendations? Thanks!
I’ve soaked my breakfast cereal in the past and my family’s response has not been favorable because it definitely tastes “sour” due to the acid. Have you experienced it or is your family used to that taste?
Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with us! 🙂
I’m new to walking grains. I’m excited to try this recipe! I have a bag of oat bran, can I add this to it? Or is there no need to soak oat bran? Thanks 🙂
By walking I mean soaking 😉
Thank you for the recipe. I am adding it to my must try this list. I also linked it in my site for my readers.
Thanks so much for sharing this! I have a recipe that calls for soaking 3 gluten-free grains (rice, millet, & quinoa), then blending them in water to grind and cooking them on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. However, I wanted to try the grains unground in the crockpot, and this gives me exactly the proportions and timing I need. Thanks! In case you’re wondering, I use Forbidden rice in place of brown rice in my mix, and it makes for a purplish cereal, and it’s really tasty. I chose the black rice because it is softer than the brown rice, and blends more evenly with the smaller grain.
Cud cook grains for any-time-use with this method. They take awhile to cook, esp barley and oats, so its a great to have a no-brainer method to having them done! I wud add, u could make them savory also…use broth for the cooking liquid. AND savory dishes are yummy for brkfst too…break the sweet brkfst habit 🙂 I put a broken up hard boiled egg and dulse in with the grains in their bowls, and top with milk…yes, milk sounds icky, but the kids WANT the milk lol. I eat it without milk 🙂
When you say to take out two cups worth – do you mean cover the two cups worth with acidic liquid and later add them back to the rest of the mixture? Or do you mean keep the two cups separate and add the acid to the remaining mixture? The instructions were unclear in this regard. Thanks!