When the weather gets cold, consider porridge | Restaurant Reviews | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

When the weather gets cold, consider porridge

Tis the season to try a new breakfast grain

Tis the season to consider porridge. 

One, part of your inevitable New Year's resolutions is likely to eat better, after the fatty, sugary excesses of the holiday season. Two, when it's chilly, nothing makes a more satisfying start to the day than a hearty helping of hot cereal. Forget those whisper-thin flakes of bran struggling for life in a sea of cold milk, and tuck into a steaming bowl of something you can stand a spoon in.

You can save time — but not money — by purchasing "pre-made" packets of popular breakfast grains such as oats (with or without add-ins and flavors). But it's much more cost-effective to purchase cereal grains from the bulk aisle. And buying small amounts from the bulk section let's you try out a variety of grains (and grain-like alternatives), such as barley, amaranth, quinoa, bulgur wheat, buckwheat groats and oat bran.

Making hot cereal from scratch is generally as simple as adding the dry grains to boiling water in a saucepan, until they soften up and get porridge-y. Then add what you like: milk, sugar, honey, butter, fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, granola, bacon bits.

A quarter-cup of some of these grains, such as barley, amaranth and oat bran, are rich enough in fiber to make up nearly a third of your suggested daily requirement. And all of them are guaranteed to fill you up, and — as you face another cold winter's day — stick to your ribs. 

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