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Beyond Oatmeal: Whole Grains for Breakfast

Think eating whole grains at breakfast boils down to two choices: bran-heavy cereal products or oatmeal? Think again! We don't have to rely on the old standbys that live in a special place in the pantry and only come out at breakfast time. Besides being rather ho-hum, processed oatmeal and cereal choices are more often than not loaded with sugar to make them more palate-pleasing, not exactly (ok, not at all) what dietary recommendations to eat more whole grains intended. With a little imagination, though, you can use a variety of whole grains to make hearty, healthy, and satisfying breakfasts that go beyond oatmeal or cold cereal.

Read on for sweet and savory whole grain breakfast ideas that feature some of the whole grains we’ll cook with in our upcoming Kitchen Fundamentals: Cooking with Whole Grains class on September 30th:


  • Butternut Squash Breakfast Risotto – warm leftover brown rice risotto with milk of your choice, cooked butternut squash, and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger and serve with nuts and dried fruit
  • Nutty Apple Rice Cereal (from The Happy Kitchen Cookbook)
  • Sprouted Quinoa Apple Pecan Bread (recipe follows)
  • Cold Quinoa Porridge – leftover quinoa served with your milk of choice, fresh fruit, nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup


  • Creamy Grits topped with herbed goat cheese and served with locally produced thick-cut maple bacon
  • Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
  • Pan-fried Polenta cakes served with sautéed vegetables and poached eggs – cut leftover polenta in squares and gently pan-fry in olive oil or butter until golden brown
  • Brown Rice and Vegetable Fritters (from The Happy Kitchen Cookbook) served with farmstead cheese or yogurt and fresh herbs

Sprouted Quinoa Apple Pecan Bread

1 cup of cooked sprouted quinoa

1 apple, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons flax seeds, ground

1 teaspoon chia seeds, whole

6 tablespoons of water

1/3 cup of grapeseed or safflower oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup, Grade B Extra Dark

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sprouted wheat flour

½ cup white spelt flour

½ cup whole spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of chopped pecans


Grease and flour a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325.

In small mixing bowl, mix chia and flax with water and let stand. Then add in remaining wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla.

In another bowl, use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Toss apple and pecans in with dry ingredients. Then pour in the wet ingredients and mix just until all ingredients come together.

Pour batter into loaf pan. Increase oven temp to 350. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.