I’ve accidentally found a treasure. I love oatmeal for breakfast, and I’ve found a way to increase its nutritional value manyfold. On a recent cold rainy day, I hauled out the instapot. I cooked barley, quinoa and steel-cut oats separately and then mixed them together for an absolutely delicious whole-grain breakfast cereal. You could use just about any grain – farro, kamut, wheat berries, rice. Just cook them separately. For extra flavor, cook them in broth instead of water.
The best part is that I made enough to freeze in individual portions to use whenever I want a boost of whole grains. Whole grains take a bit of time to cook, so often they’re not the first things we grab for a meal. But the instapot makes short work of them, and since I cooked them when I wasn’t in the middle of meal prep, it wasn’t a chore and I could do other things while waiting for them to finish.
My favorite way to have hot breakfast cereal is savory – with plenty of black pepper and grated cheese. Adding spinach, avocado, carrots or any other vegetables I have in the crisper makes it even more nutritious. It’s easy to make them sweet with maple syrup, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and even a few cubes of candied ginger.
These grains are chock full of fiber and vitamins, so adding them to almost any dish gives you a double shot of health. Mix them in with sauteed mushrooms and broccoli, add to pasta alfredo, or sprinkle them on a fresh salad.
Here are the grain-to-water ratios and the cooking times in the instapot. No need to soak anything. Set the pressure to high and after the grains finish pressure cooking, allow a natural release so they steam a bit longer. If they are still too chewy for your taste, repeat the process and only pressure cook for a few minutes.
- Quinoa 1 cup grain to 1 ¼ cups water 3 minutes
- Pearled barley 1cup grain to 2 cups water 20 minutes
- Steel cut oats 1cup grain to 3 cups water 4 minutes
- Farro 1 cup grain to 2 cups water 10 minutes
- Kamut 1cup grain to 2 cups water 30 minutes
- Wheat berries 1cup grain to 4 cups water 30 minutes
- Millet 1cup grain to 1 ½ cups water 9 minutes
- White rice 1cup grain to 1 cup water (rinse well first) 4 minutes
- Teff 1 cup grain to 2 cups water 2-3 minutes
- Amaranth 1 cup grain to 2 cups water 5 minutes
- Brown rice 1 cup grain to 1 cup water 20 minutes
- Buckwheat 1 cup grain to 1 ¾ cups water 6 minutes