When the winter sets in, we love our bowl of hot cereal in the mornings. Filled with mixed whole grains, dried fruit and nuts, it's just requires a bit of plant milk and a warm up in the microwave to get the day started right. I'm always looking for ways to make my morning stress-free, and this is one of my hacks - in addition to hanging out my clothes for the next day the night before. Yeah. I'm one of those people.
Grocery store bulk bins are where I save big money on whole grains. I love the Five-Grain Mix - whole wheat, rye, barley, oats and triticale - from the bins at my local WinCo. At pennies per serving, you can't beat it, and it's simply another example of how being Whole-food, Plant-based saves money over a conventional SAD - Standard American Diet. If you don't live near a Winco, check other stores, or order the Bob's Red Mill version on-line.
Notice that I put all the instructions right on the container? If a guest wants to microwave a bowl of cereal - the instructions are there. Stove top? The instructions are there. You get it.
Why leave until the morning, what you can do the night before? And, cereal is one of the simplest meals to do this with. In the summer, I prep the bowls of cold cereal and set them in the cabinet - already for fresh fruit and plant milk the next morning! But, in the winter, I cook up a pot-full of flavor and fiber that will give my husband and I stress-free breakfast for 3-4 mornings! This is also referred to as 'batch cooking'.
The Instant Pot recipe is simple: 2 Instant Pot cups* of water to every Instant Pot cup of rolled cereal. Cook on High Pressure for 2-3 minutes. Quick Release. Open and then the fun starts!
I keep my pantry stocked with goodies that I add right to the hot cereal while it's still in the Instant Pot - plus I add 2-3 handfuls of uncooked rolled cereal for the added 'body' and texture (it hydrates as it sits overnight, like refrigerator oats, only better!).
I add the following:
Salt-free Pumpkin Seeds
Sliced unsalted almonds
Raisins - I prefer the Golden (and the extra 'keep' fine in the freezer, tightly wrapped!)
Ground Flax-seed meal for Omega-3's
Stir to combine, and you have a really hearty mix that will give you a healthy start to the day. This is truly a case of the 'whole being greater than the sum of the parts'.
Every evening I load up a couple of bowls, cover and put 'em in the fridge until morning.
When I come out for coffee, I bring 'em out to the counter and pour some plant milk on. Then, when we get around to breakfast, it's a simple 2-3 minutes in the microwave and on the table. The fruit is already in there!
BTW- When buying from bulk bins, just keep 'enough' in the pantry. Store all the rest, tightly wrapped, in the freezer! Raisins. Nuts. Dates. Figs. Flaxseed. All of it stores very nicely in your freezer.
* I'm referring to the little plastic measuring cup that comes with the Instant Pot. It's not exactly equivalent to a regular measuring cup.
This button will take you to PayPal where you can securely pop a bit in the 'tip jar'.