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Author Notes: Rainy mornings beckon for the comfort of a bowl of warm oatmeal. But finding myself out of oats on a particularly dreary morning, I was forced to rethink my typical hot cereal routine. I recalled Heidi Swanson's creative alternative in 'Super Natural Every Day" to use bulgar instead. Her Lemon-Zested Bulgar Wheat involves simmering bulgar in coconut milk to produce a hot cereal much akin to the consistency of oatmeal. I was compelled to try this unique approach that takes bulgar out of its usual role in a grain salad or tabbouleh and brings it to the breakfast table. I conjured up a variation on Heidi's breakfast bulgar, opting to use almond milk and my own set of fixings, including roasted sunflower seeds and currants. Spiked with lemon zest and drizzled with honey, the bowl brought a burst of sunshine to break through the morning clouds.
Addicted to the way that bulgar retains an al dente quality as it cooks, producing a hot cereal with more texture than its uniformly creamy cousin, I have made several variations on the theme. Here, smooth banana enters the scene, perfuming the bulgar with a subtle fruity note. Laced with honey and punctuated by the crunch of sunflower seeds and almonds, this bowl is like taking a spoon to a loaf of banana bread.
[An alternative set of fixings: Sunny Breakfast Bulgar -- almond milk, roasted sunflower seeds, currants, lemon zest and a generous drizzling of honey.] —alasully
- 1 cup bulgar wheat
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 cup almond milk (soymilk or regular milk can be substituted)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 tablespoon honey (plus more for drizzling)
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- In a small saucepan, bring soymilk and 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add bulgar and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes -- adding 1/4 cup at a time of additional water as it absorbs.
- As the bulgar is cooking, mash one banana and roughly chop the almonds (mind your fingers and spewing almond shards). Set aside.
- When the water is nearly absorbed -- the bulgar should be creamy, yet retain its texture -- stir in 1 Tbsp honey, the banana, almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Serve with additional honey drizzled on top and/or more milk as you like.
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