Are you looking to add more whole grains and vitamin filled foods to your diet? Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to increase your intake of whole grains and wonderfully healthy and delicious foods. The biggest dilemma with incorporating whole foods into your breakfast menu is planning. If you are used to pouring yourself a bowl of processed cereal eating and going it is going to take some effort on your part to change but it is so worth it! You will feel fuller and get so many more vitamins and minerals from preparing your own food. Plus you can control how much sugar and other items go into your food.
Using whole grains for breakfast can stretch your budget while adding vital nutrients to your meal. There are lots of choices: barley, cream of brown rice, buckwheat, cornmeal in the form of Polenta, cracked Kamut, cream of millet, oatmeal, steel cut oats, quinoa, cream of rye, whole spelt, or whole wheat. This is a great way to expand your grains. The grains can be cooked whole, cracked, rolled, as flakes or as a flour. They contain lots of B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin E, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium and more! Talk about taking a multivitamin and these are a lot easier to swallow too!
In order to get the most nutrition from your cereal both Sue Gregg and Sally Fallon recommend soaking, fermenting or sprouting your grain before eating them.
Here is what Sue Gregg has to say about it:
Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.
The first stage of preparation in making whole grain porridges or baked recipes, is to soak the whole grains or whole grain flour in an acid medium such as buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk, or in water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar added. As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results.
The easiest way to do this is to start the night before. If you want to have oatmeal for breakfast after dinner measure out the oats, water and salt then add a tablespoon of whey* put a lid on it and leave it for the morning. In the morning add raisins and cinnamon if desired and cook the oats until finished. The oats cook up quicker and you can attain the most nutrition from your breakfast. (Don’t forget to serve them with a pat of butter, raw milk or some yogurt for the protein and fat to keep you fuller longer and add the yum factor.)
Sue Gregg’s Breakfasts cookbook contains several recipes for cooking the whole grains for breakfast and the two stage process for the hot cereal, pancakes, waffles and muffins. Read her Talking Pages report on the Two Stage Process that you can find at: http://www.suegregg.com/about/c.htm for more information.
I hope you will add whole grain breakfasts to your meal rotation!
*You can get whey from yogurt or raw milk by letting the yogurt or milk separate and then pour it into a strainer lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl. Tie the cheesecloth to a wooden spoon placed over the bowl. The whey (the clear liquid) will run into the bowl. Let it stand until it quits dripping.
Use the whey as a starter culture for lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables, soaking grains and legumes. The solid is cream cheese. We like to mix it with flavors like pineapple juice, cinnamon or honey or spices and serve it on crackers or celery sticks.
Baked Oatmeal is mostly prepared the night before and tastes delicious with the lemon curd recipe that follows.
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil — (I use Virgin Coconut Oil)
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
cinnamon — to taste
dried fruit — to taste
nuts — to taste
Mix ingredients except baking powder and cinnamon together and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Refrigerate overnight. Add the cinnamon & baking powder just before cooking
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Serving Ideas: Serve with milk, cream, applesauce, lemon curd or other fruit topping.
We make this delicious topping with lemons grown in our own backyard.
5 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar (I use Succant)
1 cup lemon juice (juice of 4 lemons)
Finely grated zest of the 4 lemons (I use a microplaner to help do this job)
¼ pound (1 stick) butter cut into pats
Combine all ingredients except the butter in the top of a heavy double boiler and place over a pot of boiling water. (Make sure the top pan doesn’t touch the water.) Whisk ingredients constantly or use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom until thickening begins to occur. (About 15 minutes)
Remove from heat and whisk the butter in one pat at a time. The curd should coat the spoon at this point.
Strain the curd into a cool bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. (It will thicken as it chills.)
This keeps well for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Serving Ideas: Eat on biscuits, toast, make tarts, or serve on baked oatmeal.