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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thermos Cereal / Crockpot Cereal

I have been using a wonderful method of cooking whole grain cereal from Sue Gregg's cookbook "Breakfasts". It is quick, easy, tasty and ideal for Shabbat mornings. (any morning really- but especially Shabbat mornings because it is pre-made) I will also add this to my bag of tricks for camping...because it is often a pain to light a morning fire for breakfast...you just make this at night when you have the fire going and when you get up breakfast is ready and you can start your day with fishing or hiking before it gets too hot.

REAL CEREAL is cooking REAL whole grains. The box stuff is a counterfeit - don't be fooled. Doing it the whole food way is easy and delicious. It is also the most nutritiously dense (greater food value) and the most economical (in bulk "organic" becomes affordable cheaper than buy the box stuff! And you can use it for bread and savory dishes for other meal times!) I can't say that say that my children's lips have never touched the box stuff...but with diligence hence forth...maybe they will forget they have. :-) Its just a matter of changing a couple habits and you will make a big difference in the quality of food your family is eating. (And in the mean time, they develop a taste for REAL food which will be habits they carry into their families.)

You'll need a wide mouth thermos (for convenience). I use a 1/2 gallon or gallon thermos similar to the one pictured above. Depending on how soon ahead I start it, or weather I preheat the thermos well or not determins whether my scereal is cool,warm or hot. The cool cereal is actually quite nice for summer time and its doesn't heat up the house. Either way it is always cooked. I do this for whole, cracked or ground grains. We like barley and spelt, and intend to try other grains as well.

OK Lets get started:

Thermos Cereal Method
1. Pour hot water in the thermos/cooler and put the lid on to heat up the interior for at least 5 minutes.

2. To insure complete cooking and increased health benefits soak harder grains AHEAD (such as wheat, rye or millet) for 8-12 hours. (I always use filtered water!) Do this in the amount of water you intend to cook it in; drain into the cooking pot. (amounts in list below)

3. Bring soaking water to a boil.

4. Add soaked grain and salt into the pot and return to a boil.

5. Boil for about 5 minutes (not necessary for softer grains such as buckwheat, kasha, oats, quinoa or barley)

6. Pour the "preheating water" out of the thermos and immediately pour your cereal/water mixture into the hot thermos and cap tightly.

Let sit over night and enjoy tasty cereal in the morning. We serve it with milk and "dress" it with goodies like dried fruit, honey or syrup, cinn, extract, etc.. I tried "dressing it" once when I was putting it into the cooler the night before and it turned out drab and bland the next morning. The goodies lost their distinctness as did the cereal. This is why I suggest doing it when you serve it.

Here is a list of water/salt amounts for different grains for making cereal also from Sue Gregg. (She says this can be used with any cooking method be it stove, crock, steamer, or thermos. However, you may find their is slight varience in some cases. She has a crock pot oatmeal recipe which is wonderful...but the measurements are not these below. Hmmm?? I will put that recipe below for you too so you have tried and true recipe. However, don't be afraid to experiment - it is the mother of all invention!):

Barley 1/2C to 2C water and 1/4tsp salt

Brown Rice 2/3C to 1 1/3C water to 1/2 tsp salt

Buckwheat or raw Kasha 1/2C to 2 1/4C water to 1/2 tsp salt

Bulger Wheat 1C to 2C water to 1/4 tsp salt

Cornmeal 1/2C to 2C water to 1/2 tsp salt

Kamut (cracked) 2/3C to 1 2/3C to 1/4tsp salt

Millet 1/2C to 2C water 1/2 tsp salt

Oats 1C to 2 1/2C water 3/4 tsp salt

Quinoa 2/3C to 1 1/3C water to 1 1/3C to 1/2 tsp salt

Rye 1C to 3C water to 1/2 tsp salt

Spelt 2/3C to 1 1/3C water to 1/4 tsp salt

Teff 2/3C to 1 2/3C water to 1/4 tsp

Triticale 2/3C to 1 2/3C to 5/8tsp salt

Wheat 2/3C to 2 1/3C 5/8tsp salt

Crock Pot Cereal Method:
Cereals tend to come out much creamier in the crock. I especially like to do this in the winter. It is easy comfort food. I also recommend "dressing" your cereal at the time of serving, not mixed into the ingredients at the time of cooking (so they don't come out a nondescript gloppy glue).
  • Butter the sides and bottom of your crock. (Coconut oil works well too)

  • Put all ingredients into crock.

  • Cover and turn on low and cook overnight (8-9 hours)

Crock Pot Oatmeal
  1. Butter crock

  2. Add to pot: 4C water (room temp), 2C rolled oats, 1tsp salt

  3. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours

Dress with goodies as you like. (This is another make- ahead family favorite.)


P.S. These cereals are so easy to make! Show your kids how and then put your kids in charge of cereal after dinner/before bed; they will love to come up with their own combinations/creations! (or do it with together your littln's, its something can help with!)


YahKheena said...

Oh yummy! I'll have to try these recipe, my df loves oatmeal so that most likely will be the first one I try...thanks and keep em coming!

Andi said...

We are getting ready for a camping trip and I was wondering what to do about Shabbat Mornings...thank you thank you!

Carmen said...

I've been looking forward to trying this Pamela, I think I will this week
thank you!

Julie Filter said...

This looks awesome! We are new to Shabbat and I'm still learning the ropes, but I was in the hunt for a simple slow cooked breakfast option on Shabbat morning. This fits the bill. I have a question, though. How many servings do these ingredients serve? It looks like maybe 4 per batch, which means we may need to double/triple, etc for larger families? Thanks in advance!

MommySetFree said...

Hi Julie,
Please forgive my tardy response.

Different grains differ slightly in portions sizes, based on how much they swell and how hardy of a grain they are. Likewise, a portion for my 8 year old boy, my 16 year old daughter, my 14 year old son and myself, (for example) vary greatly because of needs. :-) Having said that, I know that it is not crazy to ask for a standard. :-) So I would suggest starting with a half cup of dry grain per portion, and adjust it from there - to help create the plum line for your family's needs.

I hope that helps. Blessings, pamela