Hot Cereal with Gluten-Free Grains

As the weather gets colder, I start to think about hot cereal. I used to love those frozen Minnesota mornings when I came down for breakfast and my mom had a big pot of Cream of Wheat on the stove. She would mix it with just the right amount of fresh milk and sugar… yum. But times have changed! Cream of Wheat isn’t a terrible option, but there are better ones to explore.

I have been experimenting with gluten-free grains lately because we talk about them so often at school. The grains I typically use in my hot cereal are steel-cut oats, amaranth and teff. Occasionally I will add quinoa as well.

Steel-cut oats: Full of beta-glucan,
which is a fiber that can help lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease; also a great source of manganese (helps your
body utilize key nutrients), tryptophan (elevates mood), magnesium (good for muscles, bones and circulation) and protein.

Amaranth: 15-18% protein content due to high amounts of lysine (lysine is an essential amino acid; it cannot be made by the body and must be obtained from food); also high in calcium, fiber, other amino acids, iron and vitamin C.

Teff: 9-15% protein content; good
source of fiber and high in amino acids; great source of minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium and iron.

The Recipe

1/3 cup steel-cut oats
1/3 cup amaranth
1/3 cup teff
3 cups water (or milk)

Bring water or milk to a boil. Add grains slowly and stir. Lower heat, cover and cook 20-40 minutes. You may need to add a little extra water about 15-20 minutes in to help grains completely soften. The longer grains cook, the sweeter they taste.

This cereal is warm, satisfying and tastes even better than Cream of Wheat or plain oatmeal. Sometimes I make a big pot and store the extras so we have it throughout the week. Top with things like warm milk, raw organic honey, seeds, nuts, fruit or cinnamon.

Babies and kids will even like this, and it is a good source of protein and other nutrients for them. The gluten-free grains can be gentler on their digestive systems when they are really young.



  1. Great recipe Ann, I'll have to try when we move back into winter....thankfully were headed toward summer :) he he
    Do you know of any good gluten free bread recipes?

  2. Ann, as your right hand sampler, I can attest to this cereal tasting great. Perfect way to start a work day or ski day!

  3. That sounds like a great breakfast! I'll try it with almond milk, I tried it the other day and I think it's pretty good!

  4. Can you buy these grains at your average grocery store?

  5. Check the grain and bulk grain isles at your grocery store. You are much more likely to find these grains at a health food store, such as Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, etc. I know teff can be hard to find, but it's always worth asking a store worker.

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