Bob’s Red Mill is an excellent and reliable source for both gluten-free and organic meals and cereals as well as seeds, dried fruit, nuts and sweeteners.
Natural-food stores and food co-ops might offer some of the ingredients in bulk bins.
The amount of water required to cook the cereal is directly dependent on the circumference and depth of the saucepan used; a wider saucepan will necessitate more water.
Serve with a splash of warmed milk, half-and-half, heavy cream or coconut milk. See the accompanying chart for more add-ins.
Make Ahead: Though freshly made is best, hot cereal can be portioned out into individual food-safe containers, sealed tightly and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 3 weeks. Because the stored cereal will congeal, it needs to be loosened up with additional water (about 3 tablespoons for each 2/3 cup of cooked cereal) during reheating.
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably coarse sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup rolled wheat flakes
- 1/2 cup rolled spelt flakes
- 1/3 cup miller's bran (also known as unprocessed wheat bran; not bran cereal)
- 1/4 cup brown rice farina (also known as brown rice grits or creamy rice)
- 3 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
- Dried fruit (see accompanying chart)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional; may substitute other sweetening agents; see accompanying chart)
Combine 3 1/2 cups of the water and the salt in a large, heavy saucepan (preferably enameled cast-iron) and bring to a boil over high heat. If you are using one of the sweetening agents (see accompanying chart), now is the time to add it, stirring well to blend it into the water. When the water is boiling, sprinkle in the remaining ingredients, one at a time and in this order, stirring after each addition: old-fashioned rolled oats, rolled wheat flakes, rolled spelt flakes, miller's bran, brown rice farina and flaxseed meal.
Reduce the heat to low; cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in 1/3 cup of the remaining water, adjusting the heat as needed so the mixture bubbles gently. Repeat two more times, so the remaining 2/3 cup of water is added at 5-minute intervals and the mixture has cooked during this stage for a total of 15 minutes.
After about 10 minutes of cooking, you can add dried fruit (whole or diced), as the fruit plumps beautifully and will not need rehydrating beforehand.
It is preferable to stir the mixture frequently, though not constantly, with a wooden spoon during the cooking time to keep it from sticking to the saucepan and to maintain an even texture. When cooked through, the ingredients should be tender and well blended. If you are adding vanilla extract, stir it in, to taste, once the saucepan is removed from the heat.
Divide the hot cereal among individual bowls. See the accompanying chart for garnish ideas.
From Washington cookbook author Lisa Yockelson.
Tested by Nicole Schofer.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.