Whole Grain Weekends – Join Me!

Hello everyone!  I’m really excited to start a new tradition here, and I hope you may be inspired to join us.  Whole Grain Weekends will be happening in this space the first and third weekends of the month.  I’m going to post a recipe and photos, and have a space below where I will link to all of your recipes, too!  The basic rule to play is: post a recipe on your blog using whole grains.  Whole grain flour doesn’t count, those beautiful grains have to be in their whole form.  Soup with grains, sprouted grain bread, salad with whole grains added, etc . . . If you want to join us but don’t have a blog, you can email me your recipe (wheatberryma (a) gmail.com), and I will post it for you at the end of the weekend.  Hooray!


And now, before today’s recipe, a confession.  When we created the Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA in 2008, we knew that we wanted to bake with locally grown flour, and we knew that we wanted a variety of grains, for nutritional health and for the health of the land (rotation of crops is important).  When we first got our share last winter, it was clear to us that this gorgeous grains deserved to be eaten as they were, not just cracked or ground into flour. 

But we had no idea how to do that.

The closest thing to whole grains I grew up eating was oatmeal (like many of us, I’m sure).   It seemed like a very big hurdle, to suddenly learn how to cook all these different grains and incorporate them into our family’s diet.  This is often what other families express to me, also, that they want to eat whole grains, but they’re intimidated.

So that’s why Whole Grain Weekends is here.  I’m going to be beside you in the kitchen, sharing some of the delights we have discovered.  What we found is that cooking whole grains is actually incredibly simple.  It’s delicious, and very filling in a way that flour products or even rolled or flaked grains are not.  A bowl of oat groats will satisfy you much longer than a bowl of rolled oats.  And, because they are so dense and packed with goodness, you also eat less.  Whole grains are an incredibly economic way to eat – you need to eat less of them, so you can buy less, and you can usually find them in bulk, saving on the packaging and processing costs.

Are you ready?  We begin with the super super simple.  I’m so glad to share this journey with you.

Ready and Waiting Warm Cereal

(aka Awesome Porridge)

1 cup whole grains (oat groats, spelt berries, wheat berries, barley, etc .  .. or a mixture!)

3 cups water

1 tsp salt

After dinner, while you’re cleaning up, rinse your grains, then throw the above ingredients into a crock pot and turn it on low.  In the morning, a warm and nourishing breakfast is waiting for you and your family.  Yes, it’s that easy.

Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of local honey or maple syrup, or some warmed fruit (we had ours with warmed blueberries from the freezer this morning).  Serve with yogurt if desired.

Variations below:

*  Need a simple breakfast for Christmas morning that will hold everyone until the big dinner?  Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, substitute 1 cup cider or orange juice for some of the water, and you’ve got a hit.

* For a creamy treat, use 1 cup water and 1 cup half-and-half or soymilk, and add 1 tsp vanilla extract.

*  For a classic warm breakfast, add 1/2 cup of raisins or other dried fruit.  You can also add nuts, or fresh fruit such as diced apples or pears.

Bon Appetit everyone!  Can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up.  Blessings on your weekend.

14 Responses to “Whole Grain Weekends – Join Me!”

  1. 1

    Thank you; this is a great idea! I’m trying your recipe tonight with some local barley or wheat berries I bought but haven’t used. :-)

  2. 2

    Oh, I am so excited!!!! Seriously, if I thought awhile ago I would be this excited over whole grains (you mean there are more whole grains than just oatmeal?!) I would have given you a very serious “are you crazy” look! I have been wanting to incorporate whole grains into our diet, but have just not known where to start. So….very very excited. Great idea. Thanks Adrie.

  3. 3

    Oh what a fabulous idea!! We grind our own grains as well and I can’t wait to see what everyone shares as I’m always on the lookout for new recipes :) I’ll have to go find one to link up with you today!

  4. 4

    This is very cool. I hope to be able to participate sometimes!

  5. 5

    I love this method, but I didn’t like cleaning the dried-up ring of oatmeal around where the top of the liquid was. So here’s a trick:

    Put everything into a jar (1 quart widemouth, or an old honey jar – anything will do) and set that jar into the crockpot. Add enough water to the crockpot so that it comes up to the top of the liquid in the jar. Now, the crock requires no cleaning, and the jar is very easy to clean!!!

  6. 6

    One more thing! Add some cut up apples – you get nice soft yummy apples in the morning. Almost like applesauce.

  7. 7

    Wonderful – let me know how it turns out!

  8. 8

    Haha, there are so many things I wouldn’t have thought I would get excited over! So glad to have you join the fun :)

  9. 9

    Wonderful, can’t wait to hear some of your ideas!

  10. 10

    Marvelous, I’m so excited to see what everyone shares.

  11. 11

    Thanks for sharing! I love it.

  12. 12
    Karen Miller

    I love my CSA grains! I take pictures of them and show my friends! I like making up all kinds of hot cereal recipes. A very simple and quick thing is to make “cream of–” any grain– wheat– (rice– basmati works great)–yesterday I did rye. It cooks in 15 min or less, 3 to one water/liquid, with all the usual nice additions– I did raisins and cinnamon. And of course, cracked or whole is also wonderful. Lemon zest is another nice addition. best, karenhinoki

  13. 13

    what a great idea! and i love the jar in the crock for easy clean up. i’ve been grinding my grains very coarse and cooking them for porridge, but am excited to try this!

  14. 14

    I am currently learning more about grains I had heard of, but never cooked or baked with before. We had more than just oatmeal growing up, but the grains I know well are primarily gluten grains, so I am learning new as I can no longer tolerate gluten. So much to learn, but so much ground already covered before me!
    ps, I hope you are feeling much better Adrie!

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