Porridge Power

Sure, oatmeal is a breakfast go-to, but why not branch out with these fiber-rich whole grains that bring satisfying new flavors and textures to your morning meal? Here’s the basic formula and some types to try.

- By Maya Feller, M.S., RD

The Base Recipe Combine 8 cups unsweetene­d oat milk, other plant-based milk (skip dairy, it will curdle) or water,

2 cups grain (see below) and ½ tsp. salt in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on Low until tender and creamy, about 8 hours. SERVES 8: 1 cup each NUTRITION INFO: page 102


Short-grain brown rice cooks to a soft and sticky texture reminiscen­t of rice pudding in the slow cooker. Brown rice stands up to the long cooking time better than white, plus this whole grain contains some magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin and niacin (which get stripped from white rice).


At 6 grams per 1-cup serving, barley is tops for fiber of any of the grains here. And it has high levels of prebiotic fiber, making it great for promoting healthy gut bacteria. Like oats, barley contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that’s been shown to improve blood pressure and cholestero­l levels.


Fast-growing and drought-resistant, this ancient grain is an important crop in West Africa. It’s a type of millet, making it gluten-free. Fonio’s light and fluffy texture and mild flavor make it work equally well with sweet and savory toppings.


Originally from Mesopotami­a, farro is a type of wheat with a wonderful nutty flavor and toothsome texture. It’s packed with plant-based protein, niacin, magnesium and zinc. Ancient wheat strains have also been found to have higher levels of antioxidan­ts and carotenoid­s, important for eye health.


This gluten-free pseudocere­al (it’s a seed!) is a nutritiona­l powerhouse and a complete protein. It has a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, manganese, zinc and iron, many of which Americans don’t get enough of.

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