Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.Leonard CohenThis recipe is a wonderful reason to eat breakfast on these cool winter mornings, and a great way to incorporate even more whole grains and super foods into your day. As much as I have always enjoyed the ever popular hot cereal that is oatmeal, it has somehow never really been a regular in my breakfast rotation, which I think is in large part to my distaste for the sticky oatmeal pots I have to deal with afterwards 😉
As a general rule, I don’t at all mind doing dishes, and certainly any home cook worth their salt shouldn’t, since doing dishes after a meal (or as a food blogger, after an epic photo session) offers a lovely opportunity to bask in true mindfulness – where a good conversation or song can take this mundane task and elevate to the same level as a brisk walk in the woods with a loved one. I’ve always marvelled at the way these everyday chores offer us the opportunity to truly ‘be here now’, and whether it’s raking leaves in the fall as a family, cleaning up the kitchen together after a dinner party or holiday meal, or just simply folding a massive pile of laundry together on the bed, these are the moments that make up real life. I embrace them wholeheartedly and know that in future years I will look back on those times as a family and miss them. But having said that there are chores that don’t work for me, and that includes washing cars, the smell of cleaning egg cooking pans, and the sticky mush that ends up on the walls of my oatmeal pots.
Utilizing pre-cooked whole grains for your warm breakfasts offers hearty, comforting nourishment in just a few minutes, with a simple pot to wipe afterwards. You can add frozen berries instead of apples, or any manner of toppings or milks that you like. Farro offers a wonderful texture and contrast to yoghurt and the softly cooked seasonal apples here, and I invite you to try this and make it your own. Just cook up a pot of Farro on a Sunday night and enjoy the fruits of your labour easily all week long – the cooked Farro will live happily in your fridge for up to a week. As a child, I remember cool mornings made better with a bowl of hot Red River cereal, with a pad of salted butter and a little brown sugar. While I now have more options to choose from as far as my sweetener and choice of fats to up the calorie count with, it remains that there is nothing like a hot bowl of cooked grains to warm your belly and your bones on a cool winters day.
As I write this, I am tucked at the corner of my cousins gorgeous house in Toronto, gazing out at what can only be described as a quintessential fall day in Ontario: sunny, crisp, and wonderful. I’ve struggled this week to express any of my feelings surrounding the monumental string of world events we witnessed starting with last Tuesday night. So much so that I’ve felt the need to completely retreat in order to allow my being to fully comprehend what has happened. Along with the rest of the world, I was devastated by the results of that historical evening, and then the passing of Leonard Cohen just days after. It’s been one for the history books that is for sure, and I echo what I’m hearing when people express that the world needs love right now, and I agree wholeheartedly. But I also agree with those who feel the need more than ever to take that love and turn it into action – whether it’s getting involved in local politics or volunteering with community organizations that are doing work to help those marginalized in society. We all can play a part to make inclusivity play a more prominent role in our society and in our everyday lives. I’m sure I will have more to share in the coming months but for now I really need to just feel these feelings. One of my favourite songs in recent years was this one by the Heathers, with an important anthem that it’s alright to not feel ok all the time. I’ve learned to lean into these feelings and hope that with enough space and time the right moves will present themselves to me. For now let’s ensure we embody self care and take time to nourish and keep ourselves strong. Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well…as the world needs us all to protect ourselves in order to give it what we are here to offer. For me that means an equal helping of gratitude, and a sincere yearning to play whatever small part I can to create a better world for us all.
Winter Farro Breakfast Bowl:
1/2-3/4 cup cooked Farro
Half an apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Cashew Chia Pudding (see below)
1/2 cup Cashew Milk (see below)
1 tbsp cocoa nibs
1 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp coconut butter (optional)
2 Chopped pitted Medjool dates (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Maple syrup or coconut sugar, as desired
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1 tsp Vanilla extract, or to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup or 3 pitted dates, or to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Once the cashews are all blended and the mixture is creamy, add 3-4 cups of water to dilute and stir well. Refrigerate for use through the week.
Chia Pudding (recipe from The Full Helping):
Combine 1 cup of cashew milk with 3 tbsp chia seeds in a jar and stir well – and if making a larger batch simply multiply these amounts. Stir the mixture every minute or so for 10 minutes until the mixture is set. It will thicken more every time you stir. Cover and refrigerate for use throughout the week.
The best shortcut is to have your Farro cooked and ready in the fridge, I like to cook a decent sized batch at the start of the week and keep it on hand for quick use. Same for your cashew milk and chia pudding, if they are all ready, getting breakfast ready is a breeze!
To start, combine the Farro, apple, and water in a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling and turn the heat down. Cover and let the mixture heat (stirring here and there) for 5-6 minutes while you prepare the rest. Once the Farro is hot and the apple has softened, serve in a bowl with the coconut butter (put this on right after it’s heated so it melts easily), followed by chia pudding, seeds, remaining toppings, and extra cashew milk and sweetener as desired. This recipe serves one, and is easily multiplied.