Pimp my non-oat hot cereal
September 10, 2013 10:41 PM   Subscribe

I love oatmeal. Loooove it. Preferably not instant, almost thick enough to stand a spoon up in, with a sprinkle of fun toppings. CHEAP, low fat, filling, easy, good for you if you lay off the brown sugar. The bad news? Over the last few years I seem to have become allergic to oats (allover itchies and gut churning badness). So, chefs of MeFi, what hot cereal recipe should I turn to which most closely resembles oatmeal, especially in mouth-feel?

The good news is that I am a-okay with gluten. I am delighted to try anything, and as I live in central Toronto I should be able to find almost anything. Additional data:
-- I like whole wheat, barley (though I've only had it in savoury dishes), couscous (ditto, and I know it's made of wheat), white and brown rice.
-- I have a vague recollection of not liking some of the alternative grain offerings at my hippie-intensive elementary school because they tasted vaguely "green" or fresh soil-y to me, but I have no idea what those were or if they were prepared properly.
-- I have an uneasy relationship with rye bread, but I think that's partly about the caraway seeds.
-- I like dark, molassesy, malty breads
-- I seem to be sensitive to corn as well, so that's out
-- I might be able to get away with a mixed cereal that contained oat BRAN, since that would presumably be mostly cellulose and inert, right?
-- convenience isn't a huge concern as I have time in the mornings

I eagerly await your delicious recipes and recommendations!
posted by sarahkeebs to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I loved loved loved Cream of Wheat growing up. With butter and brown sugar. It has a grainier texture than oatmeal, but I like my hot cereal thick like you do, and it gives the same textural happiness to me as oats do.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:49 PM on September 10, 2013 [10 favorites]

When I was little my mom would occasionally heat up left over rice for breakfast. She'd add milk, cinnamon and either raisins or bananas. The mouth feel would be different, but I think rice would have the same sort of heartiness that oatmeal has. To make it healthier I'd use brown or basmati rice and maybe cook it right in the milk. You could also whip in an egg white for protein just as it's done cooking.
posted by marimeko at 10:59 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Pressed barley (barley flakes?) looks a lot like oatmeal and seemed kind of similar when I made it (but took longer to cook.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:10 PM on September 10, 2013

I fucking love farina. I used to eat it twice a day. (In the cocoa + sugar fashion.) And cold rice with milk and sugar or fruit is quite good!
posted by stoneandstar at 11:23 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, duh... hot oat bran. Right in between oatmeal and farina. I have no idea about the allergy concerns, but it's super good, and you can find it in most grocery stores.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:24 PM on September 10, 2013

We eat Red River Cereal a lot in the winter. It reminds me of oatmeal in texture, but it has cracked wheat, rye and flax. I think it's delicious in a wholesome prairies sort of way. It's good served hot with fruit, a bit of brown sugar, and milk.

I am not sure if brick and mortar US grocery stores carry it, but you can order it from Amazon.com.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:32 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding cooked rice, especially brown rice cooked in batches, frozen, then zapped in the microwave with milk. Goes nice and sludgy and great nutty taste.
posted by Kerasia at 11:37 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sago, tapioca and polenta all make delicious porridges.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 11:40 PM on September 10, 2013

Buckwheat groats are also terrific.
posted by thebestsophist at 12:01 AM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bob's Red Mill has some options for you in their many hot cereals.
posted by rhizome at 12:15 AM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Hot grape nuts might do nicely. They're wheat and barley.
posted by macadamiaranch at 12:35 AM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Quinoa flakes make a great porridge, like a slightly silkier oatmeal. I've also made a millet porridge before but I don't remember it well enough describe.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 12:39 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Quinoa seems to me to have a similar mouth feel. I usually add butter or olive oil, plus garlic and sea salt, but I could see it working with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Ok, now I want some.

Brown rice could work, too.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:50 AM on September 11, 2013

2nd Cream of Wheat (which is just a brand of farina). Yum.
posted by amaire at 1:02 AM on September 11, 2013

I love Cream of Wheat/Farina, too, but being from the South (southern US), grits are my absolute favorite. Grits + butter + salt + pepper = happy trip. Grate some parmesan on top, and you're in heaven.

Oh sorry grits are corn. Trip will take reading comprehension lessons.
posted by trip and a half at 1:12 AM on September 11, 2013

Running dry brown rice through the blender to smash it up a bit makes it cook into something quite porridgey.
posted by flabdablet at 1:39 AM on September 11, 2013

You want to eat Malt-o-Meal Original Hot cereal.

Soo tasty. Malty, wheaty farina - no oats, no corn. With milk & brown sugar, or with molasses or with whatever.

Trust me.
posted by dotgirl at 1:52 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

With rice, you can totally make congee/juk/lugaw - they're all savory-to-neutral thick rice puddings, flavored with whatever ingredients you add. Typically, they're made with white rice, but I've eaten brown rice congee before, and it had a nutty flavor that I think would go great with a little maple syrup or blackstrap molasses. Brown rice-based recipes will take longer to make than white rice-based ones, as they require a soak, but well worth it.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 5:35 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I remember Wheatena as having a lovely texture.
posted by BibiRose at 5:50 AM on September 11, 2013

Seconding Red River cereal. You can get it at Loblaws, so no need for Amazon. It does contain rye but no caraway seeds.
Quinoa is OK but I find the texture more like Cream of Wheat, not porridge.
I suggest you get your allergy checked out/confirmed: the minor irritation of itchiness can morph into something serious at any time.
posted by PickeringPete at 5:56 AM on September 11, 2013

Wheatena? I like the texture, but haven't had it in years, it's hard to find, maybe.
posted by mareli at 6:01 AM on September 11, 2013

Another vote for hot rice! If you want it to be an extra smooshy breakfast risotto, make a whole batch of it in a dutch oven and then you will have leftovers throughout the week. Just add some water when you re-heat.
posted by donut_princess at 6:15 AM on September 11, 2013

I also love quinoa for breakfast. So easy and fast to cook. I add various fruit and nuts for extra tastiness. I especially love it with apples, cinnamon, vanilla, and pecans.
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:47 AM on September 11, 2013

microwave(all-bran + milk) + berries = healthy and yummy oatmeal alternative
you can also replace berries with other fruit/peanut butter
posted by dinosaurprincess at 7:23 AM on September 11, 2013

Nthing farina/Cream of Wheat/Malt o Meal.

I've found that the mouthfeel and texture of any of the Bob's Red Mill # Grain Hot Cereals to be unpleasant, no matter how long I cook them. They taste like they're good for you!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:08 AM on September 11, 2013


I make a flax meal porridge many mornings. Mix Flax and protein powder, add hot water. Optional is butter/cream/seasoning. This morning it was pumpkin pie spice.

High Fiber, low net carbs! :)
posted by PlutoniumX at 9:02 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Grape Nuts in enough fluid to wet (but not float) the whole bowl, heated for 30ish seconds in the microwave. I usually just use water, but milk/milk substitutes work fine too. They end up dense but not crunchy and just fucking delicious. (And glutenous. *sob*)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:58 AM on September 11, 2013

I'll suggest that whatever you choose, try making it completely with milk instead if water.

That's how my mom made both oatmeal and Cream of Wheat and it's next-level shit. Totally ruined ever eating hot cereal anywhere out but it's been worth it.

Also seconding Bob's Red Mill. I recently tried their Cream of Wheat and it's a billion times better than the boxed stuff.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:19 AM on September 11, 2013

Have you tried Indian flattened rice? It's rice that's been cooked, flattened and dried. It's then prepared by rehydrating it with water or milk. Normally you'd avoid it getting soggy but a bit of over-soaking/over-cooking will make it more porridgey.
posted by BinaryApe at 2:49 PM on September 11, 2013

Cocomama Foods Hot Quinoa Cereal was a bit too sweet for me, but I'm sure that could be mitigated by adding more quinoa, nuts, etc.
posted by invisible ink at 4:53 PM on September 11, 2013

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