07 April 2010

Barley and oatmeal

I love breakfast foods; they're among my favorites. Enough that when I had to leave the house at 6:00 AM to get to high school on time, I still got up in time to make myself a pot of oatmeal.

Recently, I've been incorporating a lot of barley into my diet - it's cheap (80 cents a pound) and delicious, with a nutty-chewy-starchy feel.

So here's something I've come up with, mixing two of my favorite breakfast staples.

The first step is technically optional, but saves about half an hour of boiling the next day: put about 2/3 cup of barley into a mug, and pour boiling water over it. Cover, (I use a saucer), and let sit overnight.

In the morning, put the water the barley has been soaking in, the barley, and a cup of water into a small pot, and boil, covered. Boil until it is soft, usually about four minutes. It should be chewy but not al dente, and should appear a less-bright golden color, and almost translucent around the edges.

Add about 2/3 cup oatmeal. To taste, you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Stir until the oatmeal is soft, and until the water has been absorbed/evaporated to the texture you usually like your oatmeal at.

Invert into a bowl and enjoy!

Barley itself is almost sweet, and I typically eat this plain, but on days when I'm craving a sweet breakfast, brown sugar or honey do the trick best. It's shown here with brown sugar. (I bet maple syrup would be fantastic, but that doesn't exist in the southern hemisphere, somebody try it and report back!)

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