How did you feel after your breakfast this morning? Nourished? Whole? Grounded? If the answer is no to any of these, it’s time for a bowl of porridge.
The first meal that you eat after waking sets the energy and intention for how you will digest your food and experiences in the day to come. After a sound sleep, agni, digestive fire, is weaker and must be gently rekindled with simple, nourishing food. Grain, cooked into a soft porridge, is the perfect meal for breakfast.
The density and sweetness of porridge calms vata and brings you closer to the earth. Try a bowl for breakfast during the colder months, or whenever you feel you could use some grounding.
A bowl of prana
Before you reach for that box of quick oats, remember that the less processing your food has gone through, the more prana it contains. Quick or rolled oats have been processed months or years before they get to you, and this takes away some of the positive qualities and makes them harder to digest. You’ll end up getting a lot more from oats if you take a few extra minutes of preparation.
We have a small hand grinder, called a FlicFloc, to turn whole oats into flakes. It attaches to the edge of your counter and takes just minutes (honestly, watch the video below) to create an abundance of wonderful flaked grain that cooks up faster and is easier to digest than whole groats.
You can use this hand grinder to make porridge out of a variety of grain: barley, kamut, wheat berries. Almost any grain makes a delicious porridge. The recipe is quite simple, and if you measure out everything the night before, you can turn on your porridge as you go through your morning routine and it will be ready when you are done.
Demonstration of FlicFloc hand grinder
As you flake your grain, use it as a chance to connect more deeply with your food.
Make this porridge your own
Breakfast doesn’t have to be the same every day. It’s good for agni to have some variation in what you eat. Remember that you can substitute any grain you’d like for the oats, and explore the range of tastes that can come from using different spice combinations. Because it’s winter, we’re reaching for sweet, warming spice combinations for our porridge. We also like cinnamon and fennel or, in the warmer months, fresh ginger, mint and coconut oil. You can also make a delicious savory porridge with cumin and coriander.
If you don’t have a hand grinder, use steel cut oats (these are minimally processed) or cook the whole grain in a pressure cooker for about 12 to 15 minutes to create a lovely, creamy texture.
1 cup whole oats (sometimes called groats)
3 cups water
3 Tbsp. ghee
½ tsp. mineral salt
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
¼ tsp. clove powder
¼ tsp. ginger powder
Grind the oats to a flaky consistency. Add them to a pot with water, ghee, salt and other spices. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add more water for a thinner porridge or use a little less if you prefer it to be thicker.