A steaming hot bowl of breakfast porridge is hard to beat on cold mornings. Like it or not, the temperature is steadily dropping. I no longer just run out the door in a summer dress. I linger in my warm bed just a little longer every morning before reluctantly pulling on a cardigan. To most people, porridge is synonymous with oatmeal. Instant, minute, old-fashioned rolled, or steel cut, it’s still oats. What about other whole grains?
Wheatberry, spelt, and farro make regular appearance on my dinner table. I love the chew of these large grains and the subtle nutty flavour is fantastic in salads. However, they all take a long time to cook so it never occurred to me to enjoy them for breakfast. That was until I learned the trick of overnight soaking. Soaking the uncooked grains in the fridge for a night softens them and significantly cut down cooking time.
My infatuation with pumpkin is still going strong. That container of pumpkin puree in the fridge stared right back at me when I was about to cook my breakfast porridge. It was quite simple really but satisfying at the same time. Tender and plump grains of farro cooked in almond milk and pumpkin puree with a touch of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. The porridge was sweetened with a swig of maple syrup and served with dried cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds. The orange colour was a cheerful way to start the day.
Like most porridges, this basic recipe is versatile to take on different guises. I can make an apple cinnamon variation by using apple butter in lieu of pumpkin puree along with small dices of fresh apple. If I want a more filling version, a few dollops of nut butter would be great addition. How about cocoa powder, coconut oil, and toasted hazelnuts for a decadent treat? Just use your imagination!
Pumpkin Breakfast Farro
- 1/2 cup farro, picked over
- 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, divided
- 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground ginger, and cardamom
- maple syrup, to taste
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- The night before, put farro and 1 1/2 cup of almond milk in a covered container. Store in fridge.
- First thing in the morning, empty soaked farro and almond milk into a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil and simmer at medium heat.
- Mix in pumpkin puree and spices. Keep stirring to prevent sticking to the pan. It takes about 20 minutes for the farro to soften and porridge to thicken. Taste a small spoonful to make sure. If the porridge thickens too much, thin it with the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk.
- Sweetened with maple syrup to taste and stir in dried cranberries. Serve immediately and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.