A pot of grains (like farro, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, teff, to name a few) made on a Sunday evening seems full of promise and hope for good meals in the week ahead. Unfortunately, once you’ve made the grains, you have to use your brain. Obviously you'll need to mix the grains with something in order to make a real breakfast, and the idea of figuring that out when you could just grab an RxBar and call it a day seems unnecessary. But come on, you went through the trouble of cooking those grains, so don’t let them waste away in a container in the back of your fridge for the week. Here are five ways to stretch a pot of grains into breakfast.
First, cook the grains. You can cook most grains like pasta: dropped into boiling water and cooked until they're puffed and are tender to the taste. You can also use the ol' 1:2 method—drop 1 part rinsed grains and 2 parts water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, place a lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Pull the pan off the heat and let steam for an additional 5 minutes. You can also just follow whatever the directions say on your specific package of grains.
Muffins: Swap 1 cup of flour from any muffin recipe for 1 cup of cooked grains. The grains add texture to the muffins while keeping them moist. For an even faster grain muffin, mix 1 cup cooked grains with 1 cup mashed bananas or pumpkin puree, ¾ cup rolled oats or almond flour, and a pinch of salt, then drop into greased muffins tins a bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes.
Muesli: Mix 3 tablespoons cooked grains with ⅓ cup muesli, 1 cup milk, a splash of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Let sit for at least 1 hour (overnight is even better) and serve with fresh fruit.
Yogurt Parfait: Alternate layers of your favorite flavor of yogurt with spoonfuls of grains and sliced banana. If using plain yogurt, drizzle the mixture with honey for a little extra sweetness.
Porridge: Bring ¼ cup cooked grains, ½ cup milk, 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Let simmer until the mixture thickens.
Breakfast Salad: Toss ¼ cup of grains with your favorite greens, leftover roasted vegetables, and a quick tahini dressing: 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and plenty of salt and pepper.