Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Hot Cereal on Busy Mornings

Apple Breakfast OatmealFor me, I know fall has truly arrived not by the crispness in the morning air, the abundance of apples or the arrival of winter squash, but when I start to crave something warm and hearty to start my day and when my children ask, “Mom, will you please make us some porridge?” In our house “porridge” is the name that has been given to a conglomeration of various kinds of grains, combined and cooked together to produce a wonderful, nourishing dish.

Not just for the three bears, the modern porridge in our kitchen is made with whole grains, supplying us with key nutrients for good health. Whole grains are more nutrient dense and fiber-rich than foods made with refined, white flour and other processed grains, plus they are delicious and versatile.

Whether you are a parent, a student or just ready for something to warm you in cooler weather, this is an easy way to give breakfast a nutritional boost. Try one of my favorites, buckwheat, or amaranth, the nutritious seed of a plant native to the Americas. If these are new to you, combine them with an old favorite, such as rolled oats. HSH

Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and contains no gluten. Good in more than pancakes, buckwheat contains all of the essential amino acids and good amounts of calcium, iron and B vitamins. Amaranth is also gluten-free and has a nutty, mildly spicy flavor. Rich in fiber and iron and a good source of calcium, amaranth is an ancient grain worthy of rediscovering. I love to combine all three as in the recipe here:

Buckwheat Amaranth Oatmeal

  • 3/4 cup whole buckwheat*

  • 1/2 cup amaranth*

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats*

  • 1 cinnamon stick*

  • *These items can be found in the bulk department

  • 2 cups apple juice (or water)

  • 2 cups water

To prepare:

Toast buckwheat by stirring often over medium heat until warm. Add amaranth and continue stirring until it smells toasty, and you hear tiny pops. (That’s the amaranth.) Add the oats and stir again. Add cinnamon sticks, water, and juice to the grains. (If a smoother, softer consistency is desired, increase the amount of liquid by a cup.) Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are soft. Avoiding gluten? Skip the oats and increase the buckwheat and amaranth by 1/4 cup each. Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Another way I save time in our busy morning rush is to double or even triple this recipe on the weekends. Then during the week, I add hot water to the already cooked grains, and gently reheat on low, stirring as needed, and we have warm, cooked whole grain breakfast cereal in less than five minutes. I love this because it is quick, very affordable and healthy — unprocessed whole foods with no extracted oils or refined sugars.

My family loves it because each of us turns our bowl of grains into a breakfast sundae! We mix and match our favorite hot cereal toppings to create our own individualized healthy dish. My daughters prefer fresh fruit and a splash of almond milk; my son, cinnamon, and dried fruit; me, all of the above plus ground flax seed and ginger. My husband goes in a savory direction with cooked greens, almonds, hot sauce and beans. The possibilities are endless. Be creative and adventurous!

Millet Breakfast CerealLooking for more hot breakfast ideas? Millet Breakfast Cereal features millet, another gluten-free ancient grain that we adore in the morning. If you’re feeling less adventurous, try the equally delicious Apple-Scented Breakfast Oatmeal and Buckwheat. For a quick breakfast, we also like the Overnight Oatmeal, made even healthier with hemp milk and dried fruit instead of the agave for sweetness.

What’s your favorite hot cereal breakfast?

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.



Carma C says …

I love to combine my morning tea and porridge. I cook up some steel cut oats till they're chewy and at the same time brew up some chai tea. I add some tea, some agave syrup, and some almond milk. I top it off with some cinnamon and have some chai latte porridge. I'm going to have to try it out with buckwheat and amaranth now, that sounds good!

Kelcey says …

My favorite hot cereal breakfast recipe is to use the crockpot the night before. I use 1 cup whole grains (any combination of groats, barley, wheat berries, etc., or Kashi pilaf is good which is a blend of 7 whole grains), 3 cups of water and 1 cup almond milk. Combine in the crock pot, cover and cook on low overnight or at least 8 hours. Serve with fresh/dried fruit, a few chopped walnuts or almonds, and kefir or almond milk sweetened with stevia or a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Refrigerate left-overs to heat up for the next day, or add to a bread recipe.

Jmaes Earle says …

This article leaves out the possibility of measuring out the cereal the night before then adding the measured liquid after bringing it to a boil. Then cover It will only need a short cook in the morning. Especially a good system when using steel cut oats.

Kate says …

I like to make oatmeal using turkey stock in place of the water. Then when it's done I sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese.

Joe @ Eden Kitchen says …

My favorite hot cereal is this honey coconut quinoa with pomegranate and almonds: http://edenkitchen.com/honey-coconut-quinoa-with-pomegranate/

Brent says …

This sounds like a delicious recipe, I love oatmeal for breakfast, especially on cold days. I like to eat it with a touch of brown sugar and I am good until lunch.

Solveig says …

One of the neat things I've discovered about amaranth is that if you saute it, it will pop into teensy little popthings like popcorn, but doll-sized.

claudia says …

Two words...Breakfast Quinoa! Cook it according to package directions, except instead of water or broth, use milk, or a milk substitute of your choice (my fave is almond milk). Add pumpkin seeds, 365 organic wild blueberries(thaw in fridge overnite), walnuts, dash of cinnamon, stir and your ready to face the sometimes harsh reality of a chilly morning. Add anything you like, be creative! Think of what you'd put in your oatmeal or cold cereal, then translate to Quinoa. I like to make it ahead of time, store it in the fridge and reheat whenever, where ever.

smilinggreenmom says …

What a great recipe! We love our whole grains in our family and our kids favorite breakfast is actually pancakes made from Kamut Wheat! We also make the best homemade granola bars using oats, honey and soynut butter! I would love to try buckwheat and may just have to get some it this week! Thanks :)

tossi aaron says …

And I thought millet was only bird seed? Short cut here is to put the pan of water and grain in a lidded pot overnight. Cooks very fast in the morning. Grew up on buckwheat (kasha?) mixed with bowtie pasta. Not fine grind(cooked with milk for little kids) always whole chewy grains.MIx with egg, toast dry, add boiling water, cover for 35 minutes stir often.

Chelsea says …

I love oatmeal with dried fruit and maple syrup. I also like rice with a little butter and sugar and dried fruit.

Ben Roberts says …

I eat Oatmeal nearly every day. Whole Old-Fashioned oats with a tablespoon of flax meal and wheat bran. A splash of cinnamon, half a sliced banana, and I'm good to go!

Teresa Daniels says …

My current favorite is rolled spelt and rolled barley, cooked in half soymilk and half water; I start the liquids simmering with raisins or currants, then when it's bubbling I add the grains, along with oat bran. I cook it on low heat until all the liquid is absorbed. My sons and I add whatever sweetener we like after the grains are done...brown rice syrup, agave nectar, honey, or pure maple syrup. Sometimes I will break from tradition and add dried tropical fruits instead of raisins or currants.

Evan says …

My favorite hot cereal is oatmeal with pumpkin and maple syrup cooked in. It's delicious! But since I have a gluten-intolerance I always use Bob's Red Mill's gluten-free oats.

Brooks says …

I look forward to hot cereal breakfasts I am going with Eden brand Kamut Flakes/Soy Milk, Stevia sweetener, Almond Butter, and Cinnamon & Nutmeg. I am currently in love with this simple healthy recipe.

Ayurlady says …

I love Quinoa has become my all time favorite, alone or combined with other grains, it makes a great warm cereal in the morning. If I eat just quinoa, I save the leftover and turn it into a beautiful salad for dinner by adding onions, grapes, cilantro, olive or some nut oil tossed lightly. Many ways to turn this into 2 meals!!