The Healthy Breakfast You Can Make from Leftovers

Oatmeal is a great way to get heart-healthy whole grains into your breakfast, but it’s not the only way. With a little prep work, you can turn lots of whole grains into a morning meal — from quinoa and brown rice to millet and polenta. Try this easy, versatile, DIY recipe to make a healthy, hot breakfast in minutes.

This recipe uses leftover cooked grains from your fridge. If you don’t have any… get on that! Keeping a big batch of cooked whole grains in the fridge is a timesaving step for lots of healthy meals.

Leftover Whole-Grain Porridge

Mix a serving (1/2 cup cooked) of grain with 1/2 cup milk (any kind you like), 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds, 2 tablespoons dried fruit, and optional sweeteners or flavorings. Here are some of our favorite combinations:

Wild rice with chia seeds, maple syrup and raisins (or wild rice with dried cranberries, orange zest, vanilla, chia seeds and maple syrup)

Pearl barley with coconut milk, mango and macadamia nuts

Farro with molasses, sunflower seeds and apricots

Wheat berries with currants and hazelnuts

Freekeh with pistachios and dried cherries

Quinoa with coconut milk, dried mango and coconut flakes

Buckwheat with raisins, brown sugar and pine nuts

Polenta with whole milk, honey, frozen blueberries and slicedalmonds

Or, if you want to make whole-grain porridge from scratch, put whatever uncooked grains you like in a saucepan the night before and cover with boiling water. Cover the pan and let it sit overnight. In the morning, turn on the heat and simmer until done (often about 10 minutes, depending on the grain). Add additional liquid as necessary to keep the grains from sticking to the pan.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

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