Food

Slow-Cooker Whole-Grain Breakfasts

These three, sweet-but-savory, slow-cooker porridges will set you up right for the day ahead.

Everybody wants to eat more whole grains. But there’s one problem: They can take a long time to cook. Thankfully, a slow cooker solves that problem. Its low, slow heat mellows steel-cut oats, millet, farro, and quinoa to perfection, and requires not much more than a stir the night before.

So fire up the slow cooker — then set your alarm. Breakfast will be ready when you roll out of bed. (With two warnings: One, these recipes are not designed for a giant 6 1/2- or 7-quart slow cooker. Who wants to make 12 servings of breakfast? And two, modern slow cookers flip to a “keep warm” setting after they’ve finished cooking — a boon to those who oversleep! However, no whole-grain cereal will keep warm for more than a couple of hours without getting gummy. So the early bird gets the worm. Or the cereal, as the case might be.)

You’ll want to stock up on whole grains for lots of comforting breakfasts as the weather gets chilly. Store these grains in a cool, dark place — like a pantry far from the heat of the kitchen. Some small grains — like millet — should be stored in the freezer after opening to keep them fresh. Always smell a package of whole grains before you use them to check if they’ve gone rancid. No one wants that for breakfast!

slow-cooker


Oat and Farro Porridge with Dates and Coconut
Vanilla-Almond Quinoa and Millet Porridge
Slow-Cooker Oatmeal with Dried Cherries