Wheat-Free Breakfast Porridge

Steamy Breakfast Porridge

“Cooking cereals slowly, preferably overnight, is advantageous for several reasons. . . Phytates bind  minerals.  They are found in all grains and to a lesser extent in the non-grain alternatives.  The binding causes a high percentage of the minerals to be unavailable to the body.  When we say a cereal provides us with so much iron and calcium, that’s rather hypothetical.  The food may contain that much, but the amount our bodies can actually utilize is general much, much less.   Long, slow cooking breaks down the phytates without destroying the other nutrients.   And we have a much better chance of absorbing and utilizing those nutrients–especially if our digestive system is compromised.”

“Slow cooking makes the flavor more mellow, with a little more natural sweetness coming through.  And since you’re avoiding sweeteners, that improved flavor can be very important.” (The Yeast Connection Cookbook by William G. Crook, M.D. and Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N.)

Basic Method:
Start with cool, room-temperature water to keep the cereal from lumping in boiling water.  Combine ingredients in slow cooker the night before.  Cook all night.  In the morning beat until creamy; divide into 2 hearty servings.  Enjoy “as is” or top with fresh fruit, dried fruit, frozen berries, and/or nut milk.  The one-quart slow cooker is ideal for cooking porridge for one to three people.  Or double the recipe and use the low setting for larger slow-cookers.
3/4 cup amaranth, 3 1/2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Whole seeds are best for porridge.
3/4 cup amaranth flour, 3 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Whisk flour into the water and cook to a smooth gruel for small children or invalids.
1/2 cup buckwheat, 3 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Grind unroasted groats to coarse meal in a blender OR use Cream of Buckwheat cereal.
1/2 cup millet, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Use whole grains of millet.
Oats, rolled
1/3 cup regular rolled oats, 1/3 cup oat bran, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Combine rolled oats and the oat bran, stir in water.  Oat bran lowers cholesterol plus produces creamier porridge.
1/2 cup whole quinoa, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Rinse whole quinoa well 3 or 4 times for best flavor.
1/3 cup whole quinoa, 2 tablespoons quinoa flour,  2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Rinse whole quinoa well 3 or 4 times for best flavor.  Flour version is extra creamy.
1/3 cup cereal, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Tested with Rice & Shine from health food store [Maybe cracked rice?].   Be sure to read labels.  Supermarket Cream of Rice is white and refined.
1/2 cup cereal, 1 3/4 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Tested with Cream of Rye from health store (rolled flakes).  Flavor is pleasant and mild.
Author: Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N.
Source: The Yeast Connection Cookbook
Cooking time and temperature may need to be adjusted.  My one-quart slow cooker over-cooked the cereal in 8 hours.  My two-quart slow cooker took the whole night and then some to cook steel-cut oats.  The first time you make this I recommend you try cooking it during the day so you can note start and stop times and setting for your specific cooker.

Steel-cut Irish Oats

4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 teaspoon salt, or taste
Optional additions:
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2  cup  raisins, dried cranberries or dried blueberries
2 to 4 teaspoons cinnamon, optional
Mix water, oats and salt in a two-quart slower cooker.  Cook on Low overnight (test this during the daytime to determine the size and settings for your slow cooker.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup steel-cut oats and stir well. When the mixture starts to thicken slightly, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in optional additions.
Bring the water to a boil, add the oats and salt, stir and turn off the heat. Cover and let rest overnight.  In the morning, bring the heat up on the pot and cook over low heat, uncovered for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Add optional ingredients if desired.  To add a bit of sweetness to the oats, add a few currents to the water before boiling.
Serves 4

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