Winter Morning Porridge

Winter Morning Porridge | A Sweet Spoonful

I intended on baking holiday cookies to share with you today, but when I sat down to brainstorm all I could think about, truly, was the morning porridge I’ve been making and how that’s really what I wanted to send you away with. The holiday season always seems to zoom on by at its own clip with little regard for how most of us wish it would just slow down, and this year feels like no exception. We got our tree last week and I’ve been making a point to sit in the living room and admire the twinkle as much as possible. I have lofty goals of snowflakes and gingerbread men and stringing cranberries and popcorn, but I’m also trying to get comfortable with the fact that everything may not get done, and that sitting amongst the twinkle is really the most important. That and a warm breakfast before the day spins into gear. This multi-grain porridge has proved to be a saving grace on busy weekday mornings, and it reheats beautifully so I’ve been making a big pot and bringing it to work with some extra chopped almonds and fresh pomegranate seeds. While cookies are certainly on the horizon, I think I’ll have this recipe to thank for getting us through the busy days ahead. 

Winter Morning | A Sweet Spoonful

We had a bit of a fluke snowstorm in Seattle a few weeks ago, and it took everything I had not to race in at 6 a.m. to wake Sam up to tell him (I always get up far before he does). Instead, I puttered about taking photographs of our backyard and sending exclamatory texts to family members, and experimenting with this porridge recipe. By the time Sam woke up, we had something good on our hands.

If you have my book Whole Grain Mornings or you’ve made the oatmeal recipe that many have posted about, you know that I have some tricks up my sleeve when it comes to dressing up a humble bowl of oatmeal. The first (and perhaps most important) is toasting the oats in a bit of butter before you get anything else started. This draws out their natural nutty flavor, and has the added bonus of making the house smell pretty dreamy. In addition to oats, this porridge relies on two other grains: quinoa, and buckwheat groats — and I toast the whole blend in a bit of butter before cooking it down in almond milk and citrus zest and topping it with chopped toasted almonds and juicy pomegranate seeds. There is ground flax seed for an extra boost of nutrition and a drizzle of honey to bring the whole thing together. It’s vibrant and nourishing and — in my humble opinion — feels much more special than the effort it warrants to pull it together.

If you’re not familiar with buckwheat groats, they’re a naturally gluten-free grain (sometimes called kasha) with a charming triangular shape and a mild, earthy flavor. Sam introduced me to them (he ate a lot of them when he lived in Poland); I use the flour a lot when baking, but I’ve come to love the whole grains for porridges and whole grain salads. Bob’s Red Mill stocks buckwheat, as do many natural foods stores in their bulk bins.

Winter Morning Porridge | A Sweet Spoonful

In addition to porridge, I wanted to leave you with a few links today in case you’re in the throws of gift-searching. I’ve come across some inspired gift guides and edible gift recipes that I’m excited about this year, and if you’re on Pinterest, I created a festive board where I’ve been pinning seasonal inspiration if you want to come and follow along:

Have you come across Tim’s epic gift guide’s yet? They make me chuckle out loud, and his finds are always top-notch.

Turntable Kitchen has come out with a really wonderful Cookbook Gift Guide. I’m delighted to see Whole Grain Mornings representing.

I’d like one of everything in Heidi’s shop (the honey’s alone are worth a peek!)

My friend Olaiya’s chestnut jam would make a fine, fine homemade gift this year (she gave me some this weekend and it’s been taking everything I have not to eat it, simply, by the spoonful).

Ashley’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is taking the world by storm. Truly.

Salted Pistachio Brittle 

If I may, Marge Granola has a pretty handsome Holiday Gift Box this year with our popular Original flavor as well as our seasonal exclusive flavor, Cherry Vanilla Almond. They’ve been hard for us to keep in stock, but I know we’d love to send one your way …

Speaking of granola, did you all see this Gingerbread Granola recipe? Perfect for edible, homemade gifting ….

Pinhole Press does some really sweet personalized gift boxes this year. Their photo calendars also look great (and you can use your favorite Instagram photos).

Alphabet Cookie Cutters

Winter Morning Porridge

Winter Morning Porridge

  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 35 mins

If you measure out everything the night before and have it on the counter, this can be a pretty doable weekday recipe if you find yourself with 25 minutes or so to spare in the morning. And it reheats beautifully, so feel free to double the recipe if you’d like — I always add a little extra almond milk (or liquid) when reheating to loosen it up, and I love to top it with fresh fruit and freshly toasted nuts if possible.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup rinsed quinoa
1/3 cup buckwheat groats
1 1/2 cup almond milk, plus more to serve
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cinnamon
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds, to top
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, to top
Honey, to top

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the grains and toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they begin to smell fragrant and nutty, 5-7 minutes.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, bring the almond milk, water, salt, and cinnamon to a slow boil over medium heat. Add the toasted grains and gently stir to incorporate them into the liquid. Simmer the porridge uncovered, stirring every now and then to avoid sticking, until just tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the ground flax seeds and orange zest.

To serve, warm a bit of extra almond milk on the stovetop (or in the microwave). Portion out the porridge into serving bowls; top with almonds, pomegranate seeds, a drizzle of honey and hot almond milk.

Comments

  1. Susan

    I will definitely try this because I use your porridge mixture over and over and over...the only grain mixture that 'holds'me for more than 2 hours! Love your book and have made lots of things from it.
    Thank you again!!

  2. Stephanie

    Oh, lovely! With all the cookies and chocolates going around -- and my own three-layer peppermint bark cooling in the fridge as I type -- I find myself craving simple, whole-grain breakfasts. Thank you for a new idea!

  3. Francesca

    This is the only stuff that gets me out of bed in winter - when the sun doesn't rise until nearly 9 am! I was scratching my head about what to do with all the quinoa in our cupboards. Ding ding!

  4. Kate

    Winter Porridge is what I want to eat every morning. Merry Christmas to you and all your family!

  5. Roisin

    Eating this delightful porridge during the coldest week of winter in Dublin, Ireland....pure heaven! Thanks so much for sharing recipe!

  6. Maggie

    It's barely winter here in the Carolinas, but this was still perfect! Thank you!

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I intended on baking holiday cookies to share with you today, but when I sat down to brainstorm all I could think about, truly, was the morning porridge I've been making and how that's really what I wanted to send you away with. The holiday season always seems to zoom on by at its own clip with little regard for how most of us wish it would just slow down, and this year feels like no exception. We got our tree last week and I've been making a point to sit in the living room and admire the twinkle as much as possible. I have lofty goals of snowflakes and gingerbread men and stringing cranberries and popcorn, but I'm also trying to get comfortable with the fact that everything may not get done, and that sitting amongst the twinkle is really the most important. That and a warm breakfast before the day spins into gear. This multi-grain porridge has proved to be a saving grace on busy weekday mornings, and it reheats beautifully so I've been making a big pot and bringing it to work with some extra chopped almonds and fresh pomegranate seeds. While cookies are certainly on the horizon, I think I'll have this recipe to thank for getting us through the busy days ahead. 

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