Renovate your breakfast with grains, cereals and porridges
Dietitian Sue Radd’s The Breakfast Book highlights the vital role breakfast plays in our health and wellbeing, and offers deliciously original porridge and muesli recipes from around the world made with unprocessed or minimally processed grains – Baked brown rice porridge with fruits, Buckwheat porridge (a traditional Slovenian recipe), Cinnamon spiced quinoa with dried fruits, African mielimeel porridge, Fig and almond couscous porridge, Warm barley and cherry pudding, Millet with macadamia and currants and Fragrant wheat with figs, prunes and peaches.
‘Natural unprocessed or minimally processed grains are under-utilised as a breakfast food,’ says Sue, ‘because few people know how to cook them. In fact you can buy most grains – rye, triticale, barley, wheat, rye and amaranth – rolled, just like traditional rolled oats. I simply use a variety of rolled grains to make a base for my toasted muesli and then add nuts and seeds and dried fruit.
Another grain I love to use is polenta. I grew up eating polenta for breakfast, not Weet-Bix or corn flakes. Polenta is very common in certain parts of Europe. The smooth, porridge like consistency makes it suitable for the entire family. The bright yellow colour is due to carotenoids present in corn. I find the easiest way to enjoy polenta is with milk, but of course you can also serve it on a dinner plate with garlic-scented sauerkraut, natural yoghurt and cottage cheese!
I also like to make the most of whole wheat kernels, though you probably have to go to a health food shop to buy them. Your entire kitchen will become fragrant with warm earthy aromas when you cook wheat. My favourite dish is a porridge based on the traditional Croatian recipe for ‘zito’, commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack during the day. You can use other whole grains such as spelt or triticale for this, too. I like this dish kept simple, but if you prefer, add a dollop of yoghurt to serve. This is real comfort food as well as being highly portable – just pop it into a plastic container with a lid to go. You can also make it the night before – it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. It is super-rich in dietary fibre. Tip, the wheat only takes about 20 minutes to cook if you use a pressure cooker.’
Sue’s fragrant wheat with figs, prunes and peaches
1 cup whole wheat
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely ground
5 dried figs softened in water for 10 mins, chopped
¼ cup pitted prunes, chopped
½ cup dried peaches, chopped
1 tbsp honey
Place the wheat in a saucepan with 5 cups water and cook, covered for about 1 hour or until tender. Drain the wheat through a sieve and place in a large mixing bowl with the other ingredients. Mix well until combined. Serve while the wheat is still warm or enjoy later when cooled. Makes 5 serves.
Energy: 1022 kJ/ 243 cals; Protein 8 g; Fat 7 g; Carbohydrate 46g; Fibre 9g
You can buy Sue's Breakfast Book HERE