The key here is flexibility - don't worry if you can't find these exact grains. The technique will work with rolled oats, store-bought five-grain cereals, or experiment with other rolled grains you come across in the bin section of your store or local natural foods shop. This recipe instructs you to soak the cereal overnight, but you can certainly do everything the morning of, the grains will just take a bit longer to cook. A
Four grain cereal blend:
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100g rolled oats
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100g rolled rye
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100g rolled barley
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100g rolled spelt
Make a jar of four grain cereal blend, to keep on hand, by combining the rolled oats, rye, barley, and spelt. Store in an airtight container. You now have enough to make four batches.
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 2/3 cup / 560 ml water, plus more to your preference
- bourbon blueberries*
- buttermilk maple butter**
- lots of toasted nuts & seeds
- tiny drizzle of half & half or cream
- chopped apples sauteed in a bit of butter and cinnamon
- in summer, brown sugar-mashed berries
The night before you want to enjoy your cereal, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add 1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g of the four grain cereal mixture, and stir well to coat. Add the salt and continue to cook, stirring often, until the grains have really toasted and are quite fragrant - roughly 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, add the water, and leave overnight.
The next morning, heat the cereal over medium-high until it comes to a simmer. Leave it for about 10 minutes, or until the cereal is cooked through. Here's the thing - the cereal will thicken more the longer it simmers, so timing is truly a judgement call here. If you prefer a thinner cereal, feel free to adjust with more water. When the consistency seems right, taste, and add more salt if needed. Also, at this point, the cereal is unsweetened, and it's really up to you to doll it up to your liking. Many days, I keep it simple and add a small drizzle of maple syrup, a tiny splash of cream, and whatever toasted nuts are nearby, but I kept track of some favorite recent toppings up above, and noted them in the ingredient list - bourbon blueberries for the weekend, buttermilk maple butter mid-week :)...Enjoy.
*Bourbon Blueberries: Place dried blueberries in a jar and cover with bourbon. Refrigerate until ready to use. These are super-boozy. I typically drain, then season them with brown sugar before using. Or serve in a puddle of the bourbon that has been blended with maple syrup.
**Buttermilk Maple Butter: In a saucepan, over gentle heat, combine equal parts maple syrup, buttermilk, and unsalted butter. Heat just until butter is melted stirring regularly. I typically do 1/2 cup / 120 ml of each. Serve warm.
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