Rye Berries for Breakfast

I’m a huge breakfast guy. I’m one of those people that has to have breakfast within an hour of waking up, every single day. On the rare occasion we go out for brunch, I go for traditional breakfast faves like eggs, French toast, pancakes, oatmeal, bagels with lox, I love all that. Alexa on the other hand, is more of an -unch person.  She loves eating more savory things for breakfast, last night’s leftovers being her very favorite.

Steel-cut oatmeal has been a long-time favorite Winter breakfast for me, but lately I’ve been branching out, inspired by the fact that we have a ton of other whole grains in our pantry such as oat groats, spelt berries, wheat berries, farro and rye berries.  These grains all came from Cayuga Pure Organics, a bean and grain farm located near Ithaca, NY that is a provider for our CSA.

I’ve been treating these grains the way I would treat steel cut oatmeal, and it’s my new favorite way to start off the day! Follow these instructions to turn any whole grain into a warm, hearty breakfast flavored just to your liking.

Instructions:

Heartier whole grains such as rye berries and wheat berries cook quicker if you soak them overnight prior to cooking. A single serving is about 1/2 cup of dried grain. Just measure out the grain and put it in a bowl covered by at least a couple of inches of water (preferably filtered). Cover, and leave overnight.  The next morning (or some hours later), strain the grain and put it in a heavy pot with water in a 2:1 water:grain ratio.  Don’t worry about using too much water as this type of grain doesn’t turn into a porridge, the individual rye berries retain their integrity so you can just strain the grain when it’s cooked through, or fish it out with a slotted spoon.

Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until they tastes done.  These rye berries took about 40 minutes. They’re still al dente even after all that cooking, and they’ll pop in your mouth when chewed. At that point, you can add whatever flavorings you want, sweet or savory.   I like a touch a sweetness, so here I grabbed a small handful of raisins and sunflower seeds and it was perfect. Other great sweet options include maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, walnuts, almonds, cashews, fresh apples, bananas, etc.  For the more savory side, Alexa adds things like sesame oil, soy sauce, steamed vegetables, balsamic vinegar, and pine nuts.  What flavor combinations come to your mind? We’d love to hear your favorites, it’s going to be a long Winter and we’ve got a lot of grain to get through!


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7 Comments

  1. Sommer
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Great pics! Looks yummy, I’ll have to try …

  2. Posted January 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Does it keep if you make a huge batch and put it in the fridge for reheating? It looks really good but I’m not sure if i have 40 minutes every morning to spare to make it!

  3. Matthew
    Posted January 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Yes it keeps well in the fridge. I’ve kept it as long as 5 days and it was still delicious, any longer than that and just do a quick smell to make sure it still smells ok. I wouldn’t add the seasonings until you’re ready to eat it, so keep the plain grain in the fridge and add the toppings once you’ve heated it up, either in the microwave or on the stove. Enjoy!

  4. Posted January 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal lately, not necessarily because I enjoy it though. Never really thought of trying anything like this before, but you know what, it does look pretty good. Your sweet additions make it sound pretty awesome. I think I’ll try my first batch with maple syrup and walnuts.

  5. Matthew
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    It’s definitely a nice way to break out of the monotony of oatmeal, go for it!

  6. Dara
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matthew,
    I am just like you when it comes to breakfast. I HAVE to eat within the hour and I LOVE sweet breakfasts (but not so sweet like eating a dessert). I recently discovered a new love for experimenting with all grains in breakfast recipes. As a suggestion to add to your grain breakfasts here is what I have discovered and going to keep eating until I die:
    Make a servings worth (about 1/2 cup) of steel cut oats and whole wheat farina (cream of wheat) and place it in a small sauce pan with 1/4 banana, whatever sweetener you want to taste. This is the base. After that decide what kind of breakfast you want. For example, last week I was in the mood for a “sunny” breakfast so I sliced a couple of fresh strawberries with half an orange (squeeze the orange into the bowl first though) and I filled the pan with just enough almond milk to cover the oats. Make sure you stir this all too so everything will soak. Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning you may have to put a bit more liquid in the pan so it will not burn when it is heating. I do this by adding just enough water to loosen it up. I cook the oat mixture on the stove at med-high heat until the consistency I like is reached. Make sure you frequently stir while cooking so it won’t burn on the bottom. After cooking I will top with more fresh fruit, add chopped nuts, a tsp of honey and sprinkle on a T of granola. LOVE IT. Yesterday, I made a chocolate fig and bluberry breakfast. Using the base, chopped figs, a bit of cloves, slice concord grapes and 1/4 c blueberries with a T of coconut butter. This was awesome too. Experiment. I also like to mix millet or quinoa instead of the oats. This adds crunch. AND I have found a love for Teff flour. I will add a T of this to the base. It makes the oat mixture a bit dark but adds a great creaminess. Ahh, I love breakfast. One of my favorite meals.
    Ok, I am sure I have typed your eyes off.
    Enjoy!

  7. Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matthew and Alexa!

    I was excited to see Cayuga Pure Organics on here! I live in Ithaca, and cook with their grains and flours as much as possible. I’ve got some great recipes for entrees and sides on my blog (www.cayugastkitchen.com), but haven’t schemed up a breakfast with their products yet. (Though I love quinoa porridge with coconut milk and spices!).

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Emma

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