Last weekend’s snow-induced lock-in allowed for some quality home cooking time. I’ve set a personal year-end goal to eat down our larder. My sights are set not only on a freezer-door full of nuts, but also on a few larger bags of grains and flours that have been neglected. God bless King Arthur Flour for their mail-order ease, and I know bulk buying is more economical, but we’re short on cabinet space, wide on cooking-intention scope, and have trouble getting through some items before they start to go bad.
Steve and I have grown very fond of some newer “porridge” recipes that we have discovered in a few vegan cookbooks. None of the books offer one for wheat berries, of which we had about 2.5 lbs. Though the internet provides in such occasions, I was underwhelmed. Or rather, I was more inspired by some of the non-breakfast recipes proffered.
In fact, I selected this one to prepare for some bag lunches, this week: Carrot Raisin Spelt Berry Salad with Cumin and Cilantro, and simply cooked up a little more of the wheat berries so that I could come up with my own hot cereal recipe. Note: the salad is fantastic, especially warmed up, a few days later.
Below are the details on the tasty concoction that I made with the extra cup or so of cooked wheat berries. The cooked grain by itself has a delicate, squeaky (yes, like cheese curds) kind of crunch, with a light nutty flavor. Add a bit of coconut milk and a few select healthy toppings and it’s a pretty filling and taste bud-satisfying meal.
Given that the grains don’t dissolve and soften in the same way that oats, amaranth, millet or quinoa do, I sought a better name than “porridge,” and found it. It seems semi-accurate. Note that when you say it out loud, your lips form a smile. Not so for “porridge.”
Wheat Berry & Toasted Coconut Frumenty
- 1 cup of cooked, rinsed wheat berries (the instructions here are good – I simmered them for at least 35 minutes). 1/3 cup dry berries makes about a cup of cooked berries.
- 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup coconut milk. Maybe less if it’s the really creamy canned type; I used some of the boxed kind from Trader Joe’s
- 1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Place coconut in skillet, and stir constantly until it browns. This will happen very quickly, i.e. in 1-2 minutes.
- Place warm (or chilled, if you prefer) wheat berries in a bowl, and add coconut milk
- Top with remaining ingredients, including the toasted coconut.