We’ve all heard it a million times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s no secret that it gets your metabolism going, gives you the energy you need to start your day and prevents you from gorging on just about anything you can get your hands on around 11am.
That said, not all breakfast foods were created equal. So it’s important to have a wholesome and balanced breakfast, packed with nutrients, and not sugar, as most breakfast foods are these days.
When I first moved to Italy, I found myself neglecting some of the healthy eating habits I had in the past. For one, I started participating in the local breakfast custom of brioche & caffé at the local bar. Nothing but sugar and caffeine. I was no longer eating oatmeal as I had done when I lived in Canada.
Fast forward to April 2013, when I decided to seek the advice of a macrobiotic counselor at La Sana Gola, to put balance back into my life and diet. I was feeling sluggish and tired all the time, my hair was falling out like crazy, and my psoriasis was worse than it had ever been. I knew something had to change and I knew that I had to start with my diet. I signed up for the Basic Macrobiotic Cooking Course and I started my journey to health, harmony and balance. It has been an adventure in the kitchen and the driving force behind my new-found passion for food and this blog. Thank you La Sana Gola!
One of the first things I learned to make was Cream of Rice Breakfast Porridge. You basically take 1 part brown rice to 6 parts water, bring it to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest possible setting, then cover and simmer for an hour or more until it becomes soft and creamy. During the cooking process, you might want to uncover the lid slightly so that it doesn’t boil over and if you don’t have a pot with a thick base, you want to keep a close eye on it, stirring from time to time to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pot and burn.
I usually prepare the Cream of Rice Breakfast Porridge in the evening, and I prepare enough for a few days. One cup of uncooked rice should make enough porridge to last one person about 4-5 days. After that, there are endless possibilities as to how you can turn this into a delicious, wholesome and nutritious breakfast. Here is just one!
Apple Cinnamon Brown Rice Porridge
- 1/2 a Small Apple (I like to use Golden apples)
- 1/2 C of Cream of Rice Breakfast Porridge, previously prepared
- 1/2 C of Water
- 1/4 Tsp of Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tbsp of Hazlenut Butter (or Almond Butter)
- 1/2 Tbsp Sultana Raisins
- 1-2 Walnuts, coarsley chopped
- A pinch of Vanilla (optional)
- Maple Syrup or Grain Malt (optional)
- Dice apple into small cubes
- Place apples, prepared porridge and half a cup of water in a small pot and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium low, add cinnamon, raisins, nut butter, walnuts and vanilla if using it, stir to combine
- Continue cooking and stirring, slightly squishing the rice with the spoon as you go along, until the liquid absorbs and the mixture is creamy, about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm
I like the porridge as it is without any added sweetener as I find the apples give it the right amount of sweetness for my taste buds. However, if you still want it sweeter, you can drizzle some maple syrup or grain malt over the top, mix and enjoy.