This 10-Minute Ancient Grain Breakfast Bowl Packs Every Nutrient You Need in the Morning: Protein, Fiber, and Antioxidants

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If you're following along with Well+Good's 2023 ReNew Year program, you already know just how much Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, owner of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition and cookbook author of Eating from Our Roots, loves cooking with ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, and fonio. But if you're new to using these delicious, nutrient-dense foods in your dishes at home, know that cooking with ancient grains couldn't be easier.

First things first: What are ancient grains? According to the Whole Grains Council, ancient grains are defined as grains that have been largely unchanged over the last several hundred years and haven’t been genetically modified. Research has shown that consuming ancient grains offers higher nutritional value—including plant-based protein, fiber, and vitamins—when compared to their refined counterparts.

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Need some breakfast-themed inspiration on how to cook with ancient grains in your own kitchen? Say no more. Feller kindly shared her favorite 10-minute breakfast porridge recipe that’s packed with ancient grains and can be made in large batches to have on hand for the whole week.

Just a few of the health benefits you'll reap from this ancient grain-based breakfast porridge recipe

In Feller's hearty, 10-minute breakfast porridge recipe, she uses a combination of fiber-rich oatmeal, fonio, quinoa, and hemp seeds—a combination guaranteed to give you steady, sustained energy all morning. And aside from how delicious the dish is, its benefits might be even more enticing.

To break it down, Feller says that hemp seeds are full of plant-based protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, free radical-fighting antioxidants. “In fact, the hemp seeds in this recipe account for 12.64 grams of protein,” she says.

“Meanwhile, the fonio, which is a small-seeded cereal native to Western Africa that’s important for their food security, has attracted more attention in recent years thanks to its rich nutritional profile,” Feller says. Fonio, which has a rich, nutty flavor and resembles couscous, indeed packs a bevy of health benefits. “According to a 2020 review, fonio is rich in manganese, iron, vitamin K, calcium, zinc, and more—plus it showed the potential to support level blood sugars and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in some studies."

Feller also includes oatmeal in her porridge recipe (which is packed with gut-supporting benefits) plus quinoa, which has all nine essential amino acids. Talk about a winning combination.

breakfast porridge
Photo: Maya Feller

Maya Feller’s 10-Minute Breakfast Porridge

Yields 4 servings

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup fonio
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
1 Tsp vanilla extract
2 Tsp allspice
3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk or dairy milk of your choice
Sliced almonds, for garnish
Raisins, for garnish
Seasonal fresh fruit of your choice, for garnish

1. Place the oatmeal, fonio, quinoa, hemp seeds, vanilla extract, allspice, and milk of choice into a pot over medium heat.

2. Cook until all ingredients are to your desired consistency (about seven to 10 minutes).

3. Garnish with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

4. Store extra porridge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.

Next on the menu is this delicious warming chai baked oatmeal:

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