Sunday, August 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Multigrain Cereal

Adapted from The Healthy Slow Cooker
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Making a warm multigrain cereal in a slow cooker is very convenient to prepare breakfast, especially for a busy workweek. Measure the ingredients and place them in the slow cooker before bedtime and when you awake, you’ll have a warm, healthful belly-filling breakfast to get your day off to a great start. Brown rice, wheat berries and millet can be found in the bulk section at Lost River Market & Deli.
You will need a large slow cooker to make this recipe. It needs to be big enough to put a 4-cup glass-measuring cup or glass loaf pan inside.  

In a 4-cup glass-measuring cup, stir together 2 cups of water, 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of whole grains (I use ¼ cup millet, 1/8 cup brown basmati rice and 1/8 cup of whole wheat berries) and a pinch of salt.  You can also add a shredded apple, ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and ¼ teaspoon of real vanilla.    *You can use ½ cup steel cut oats in place of the grains.

Place the cup inside a large slow cooker.
Pour enough water BETWEEN the glass measuring cup and the inside lining of the slow cooker (see photo) to come to about halfway up the outside of the measuring cup. 

(When I make this, it takes about 4 cups of water for it to come halfway up.)  Doing this will keep the cereal from scorching and will make cleanup a lot easier.
Put the lid on the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to LOW. Go to bed and get a good night's sleep. When I did this, it was 10 p.m. and I woke up at 7 a.m. (From others who have made this, overnight is pretty flexible because the water bath slows everything down. I'd say "overnight" is not less than 6 hours and not more than 9 hours.)  When you wake up refreshed and ready to go, the multigrain cereal will be perfectly cooked. The glass cup will be quite warm, so be sure to use oven mitts to lift it out of the slow cooker.  Put some of your perfectly cooked oats in a bowl and add your favorite embellishments.

Try adding a bit of almond butter, a touch of local honey or real maple syrup, a banana, some pecans, almonds or walnuts and a few dried cranberries or raisins.
My husband adds pumpkin seeds, walnuts, lots of cinnamon, prunes, dried apricots, ground flax seed, plain Greek yogurt, skim milk and to top it all off, he adds berries.
Sprinkling your morning cereal with just 1 Tablespoon of wheat germ will significantly boost your nutrient intake. It contains fiber and vitamin E, along with a wide range of minerals.  It also contains healthy omega-3 fats.

If you have cooked multigrain cereal left over, you can put it in an airtight container and chill it in the fridge, and then you can just zap them in the microwave the next day.

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