Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sounds too healthy to be good...

and yeah...it wasn't good. 

I'm referring to the 6-Grain Breakfast recipe I tried this week. A few things drew me to the recipe: the aforementioned six grains (there are six grains in the world?!? wonder of wonders) and the potential health benefits of those, the cooking method (Crockpot overnight--wake up to hot breakfast!), and the inclusion of apples and cinnamon in the ingredient list. It sounded like a perfect food--tasty, easy and ridiculously nutritious.  
Here's the recipe as I found it (somewhere online [I like to give credit where credit is due]):

6 Grain Breakfast

2 1/2 TBS bulgur wheat
2 1/2 TBS brown rice
2 TBS barley
2 TBS quinoa
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup diced apples
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups water
1 TBS vanilla extract

Combine ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir before serving. Serves 4. 

I like most hot cereals, so I thought I would like this. I'm not stupid though, so I tested it on my 10-year-old first. She is very good about trying new things and she likes oatmeal, so I thought she'd love the apple-y goodness of the 6 Grain Breakfast. After a few bites and five minutes of silence, she said, "Um...Momma? This isn't very good. I don't think I can finish it." I gave her permission to stop eating (the kid loves vegetables and would rather eat salad than candy, so I give her a break every now and then when she doesn't like something). 
After she left for school, I tried some too (I added plenty of sweetener). I managed to eat the whole bowl, but I didn't enjoy the experience. 

*Problems with the 6 Grain Breakfast:

1) For the life of me, I can't figure out what the 6th grain is. I only count five. I didn't notice this glaring problem until I typed the recipe just now. I wonder if the missing 6th grain would have made the cereal taste good?

2) Too apple-y. Maybe I shouldn't have used Granny Smith apples. Perhaps a sweeter apple variety would have tasted better. The apples overwhelmed the cereal, and not in a tasty apple pie way. 

3) Too cinnamon-y. I like cinnamon, but there was too much in this recipe. Yet it still didn't counteract the apple. Rude.  

4) Too vanilla-y. It's rare that I complain about a recipe having too much seasoning of any kind. I like seasoning. But this had too much vanilla. It tasted like a vanilla candle (mixed with an apple and cinnamon candle). 

5) Needed salt. There was a blandness underlying the overly vanilled, cinnamoned and appled flavor. Salt fixes stuff like that. 

6) Nobody washed the Crock Pot for me afterwards. I don't like washing Crock Pots. 

I'm not giving up on the recipe. I liked the texture (mushy--but in a good way). I liked the grains! I liked having breakfast ready with no morning effort!

I think I'll try again next week, but leave out the apples, cinnamon and vanilla; change the name to 5 Grain Breakfast; add salt; add pumpkin puree; and add pumpkin pie spices. (Sara adds pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to oatmeal--tres good). I hope salad-eating daughter is ready to be my guinea pig again.


Wendi said...

I love your salad-eating daughter. :) Thanks for walking with me yesterday and for charging up my blue light for any upcoming gray days. :)

Maria Rose said...

Good luck on your next attempt.

Nicholle said...

I've never heard of quinoa? Where do buy that?

Also for your crock pot cleanup! You need to buy the Reynold's liner bags. They are the best invention ever!!

Holly said...

Nicholle-You are a gorgeous, wonderful genius! I never thought of using liner bags. I imagine I'd heard of them at one time or another, but I forgot they existed.
I bought quinoa in the bulk section of a health food store, but I think you could find it in the health food section of a regular supermarket, too. It's pretty good.