Spicy exploding wheatberries & accoutrements: a 5MBM
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This is my easiest 5-minute breakfast yet, Gentle Reader. This could almost be a 3-minute breakfast, but if you tried to make it in that short of time, you might raise your blood pressure, and we don’t want that. We want peace and quietude and gentle smiles in the morning (not to mention the night before, when you are stirring this together), not a harried sense of “she said I could make this in 3 minutes, so by gum I’m gonna do it–“ishness. Right?
Of course, right.
My daughter Amalia and I are working like crazy on an ebook that we’ll share with you soon, full of recipes that might have been made by Hobbits, or Halflings. So I’m not going to get all chatty and philosophical on you this morning. I’ve got to get to work on it. I’m just going to write down this excellent recipe, pull up a couple of photos, and boom: get along down that road.
Let’s chat just for a moment, first, about wheat. I’m going to throw my hat in the nutritional ring here, Gentle Readers, although I know I’m going to stir things up a bit. Wheat has gotten a bad rap over the past few years, what with the carb-free craze, and now the gluten-free trends. Some folks do have troubles with wheat, but for those who don’t, it’s a fabulously nutritious grain, and actually the most widely consumed grain in America.
There are many varieties of wheat–the most commonly used around here are red, soft white (used for pastry flour), and hard white (the kind I buy and grind for most of my breads). Wheat berries are high in carbohydrates and dietary fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. Wheat berries are rich in vitamins B1 and B3; and the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium.
Wheat berries, like most whole grains, are an excellent source of dietary fiber–which promotes digestive health; helps lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels; helps you manage your weight and keeps you (cough) regular. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that whole grains, such as wheat berries, contain plant estrogens or phytoestrogens that may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers–particularly with the minerals found in whole wheat–such as magnesium, selenium, copper, and manganese.
So. Did you know that wheat was so packed full of goodness?
You can buy bags of wheat at your grocery store, or at the health food store, or online. I was surprised to see how many types of wheatberries are available online. This one looks particularly good to me.
So back to our 5-minute breakfast. All you need to do is mix up a few ingredients in your crock pot at bedtime, and set it on “low.” If you really want to make things easy on yourself in the morning, also lay out your accoutrements–whatever you want to sprinkle on your hot wheatberries in the morning–and you’re set.
When the wheatberries cook on a low heat for awhile, they swell and burst . . . and become chewy and squeaky in your teeth. I love that!
In the morning when you rise, you’ll smell the delicious smell coming from your kitchen–it’s your breakfast, in your crock-pot, all ready for you. You can stumble out there, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and as it’s brewing, dish up your hot breakfast with your eyes half-closed, say a prayer of thanks for simplicity and your own cleverness, and eat.
You know that the day will be a good one, too, with such an auspicious beginning. I just know it.
So here’s the recipe.
- 2 cups of wheatberries, any type, rinsed
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp freshly-ground nutmeg
- 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and split in half
- 2 Tb butter, unsalted
- 2 Tb coconut oil
- 4 Tb raw honey, reserved until morning
- milk or half-and-half
- accoutrements: candied ginger, pecans, raisins or other dried fruit, additional cinnamon, coconut, berries, or whatever makes you and your family happy. Sliced apples are good, too.
- Mix together in your crockpot the first 9 ingredients (down to the honey–it will be added in the morning), and stir well. You can add or subtract spices as you like. Ginger and cloves are dandy additions, especially if you don’t have allspice, say. Cover, and set the crockpot on “low” for 6 to 8 hours.
- In the morning, stir in the honey, add a bit of hot water if it’s a little dry, and your hot cereal is ready to eat. Dish it up, add any of the accoutrements that sound good to you, pour on a bit of milk, and eat!
Once again I’ll be sharing this recipe with the nice folks over at The Prairie Homestead’s Barn Hop. I know that they’ll love it. I hope you do, too!
And Hey, if you like the sounds of this 5-minute breakfast, you can read more about my 5-minute-breakfast mission here, and check out lots more 5-Minute Breakfast Missions here.
Happy Breakfasting! 🙂 Not to mention . . .
More from my site
- Sketchbook as Memory-Keeper: Sketchbook Thursdays
- “Put Down the Brown-n-Serve Rolls, Ma’am, and Nobody Will Get Hurt.”
I love wheat berries, and this breakfast sounds great. I really like them in a cold salad. Something different and interesting. I wonder if you added some steel cut oats to it for some creamyness. Is that a word? 🙂
That’s an excellent notion, Jill. Oats would add a nice creaminess to this cereal!
This exploding wheat berries recipe is almost exactly like one I use for making oatmeal using old fashioned steel cut oat meal (flakes). I am definitely going to buy some wheat berries next time I’m at Open Harvest and give it a try. It hadn’t occurred to me to add the coconut oil, but I will. I’m surprised that your kids like the ginger; I’m a ginger freak, but my grandkids and great grandkids say that it is too “hot” for them. They do, however, love the plumped up dried cranberries I began adding a few years ago.
I too find the current aversion to wheat somewhat mystifying. Our entire western civilization is based on the cultivation of wheat (plus smaller amounts of rye and barley) and if it were truly bad for (most of) us, we would have died out about 5000 years ago. There’s gotta be something else at play here. Maybe some man-made environmental contaminant that reacts badly with wheat or gluten or whatever it is that is causing the problems??? I don’t doubt that wheat seems to make some folks sick, but I’ll bet you a loaf of real home baked whole wheat bread that the culprit is a combination of gluten and some unknown substance. Hundreds of millions of (mostly) white folks in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Western Asia have received most of their calories from wheat for millenia. Ya know – “Give us this day our daily bread . . .” is not a throw-away line.
See, Gene, I’m glad I’m not the only one who puzzles over this . . . how have we made wheat bread an important part of our daily diet for hundreds of years without problems and now—so many people can’t eat it because of gluten sensitivities. What has changed?? Probably Monsanto is to blame (wink). And “Give us this day our daily gluten-free loaf” doesn’t have the same ring . . . And you know what the gluten does in the bread–it allows the dough to stretch, as the yeast grows, and get that nice light and chewy texture that we love.
And about the ginger–I do remove the ginger root from the cereal (I leave it in the big pieces because of that) before the kids dig in. I love ginger root–the hotter the better–but the kids aren’t as crazy about it as I am!!
Well, Amy & Jill, I bought some wheat berries and tried Amy’s recipe. Great! I also bought a can of those Irish steel cut oats, which are chunks of oat grains (berries?), not flakes (like most American oats.) This morning I did 2/3 wheat berries and 1/3 oat chunks and otherwise followed Amy’s recipe. It came out exactly as you predicted – creamier and just as good tasting and just as easy. I’ve got a California son and 2 grandsons coming for three weeks at Christmas and since I am the breakfast cook around here, I am delighted to find something else for the rotation. If one of them claims gluten intolerance, I’m gonna give them smoked fish on rice crackers for breakfast.
Now I’m going to have to go buy one of those cans of Irish steel cut oats. My folks buy them and I’ve always been curious about them. That sounds like a perfect company breakfast, Gene. Thank you for the tip! Little Mack is not that fond of the hot cooked wheatberries, but he loves oatmeal. I’ll bet the creaminess of the oats would woo him over. 🙂
Three weeks, Gene, you might wanna check out my other 5-minute Breakfast missions!
You can start here: http://vomitingchicken.com/crispy-fried-eggs-toast-demystified/
This one is easy, but so good: http://vomitingchicken.com/charcuterie-tray-classy-take-5-minute-breakfast/
Pancakes with pecans are so impressive: http://vomitingchicken.com/better-village-inns-pecan-pancakes-5-minute-breakfast/
And there are more: just type “5 Minute Breakfasts” in the search bar on my blog’s home page. Maybe someday I’ll get them all linked together?