Friday, January 24, 2014

farina ~ hot cereal 3 ways

Pin It
It wasn't until I met Justin that I learned to love hot cereals- I am pretty certain I had only had oatmeal from a packet once in my life prior to my early twenties.  We were a cold cereal, doughnut & the "big" breakfast type family with the occasional cinnamon toast or peanut butter English muffin thrown in for good measure. Growing up, hot cereal was a staple for Justin's family; creamy oatmeal and chocolaty farina were favorites.

For me, breakfast times have certainly changed. Don't get me wrong, I still love a warm English muffin topped with peanut butter and the occasional cinnamon raisin bagel, however I am know totally on board the warm cereal train. Most mornings I bring a bowl of instant super food oatmeal to work with me that I throw together the night before- super easy and healthy, not to mention filling. All I have to do is add hot water and stir! On those mornings where I have a bit more time and the ability to enjoy breakfast at home I like to make Farina; aka Cream of Wheat.

DSC04376.jpg DSC04367.jpg
 When Justin is home I make a double batch- always with cinnamon and maple syrup, the other stir in's are completely up to you. Cinnamon almond butter is pretty amazing, for those with a sweeter palate, from what Justin says.dark chocolate with espresso beans is pretty darn good.
I can't help myself, every time I sit down with my bowl of farina I say to myself- "if you just close your eyes it kinda tastes like creamy wheat" (from a scene in the Matrix).

DSC04397.jpg DSC04364.jpg
The ratios I provide for the base of the farina produces a thicker hot cereal- for a thinner cereal simply add additional almond milk during cooking or after. I prefer during, Justin prefers the latter.

DSC04380.jpg DSC04379.jpg
Another must have is a drizzle of pure maple syrup; I love the way the maple syrup pools around the edges of the bowl, then digging in and enjoying a little bit of warm syrup with each bite of cinnamon y farina is pure bliss.

DSC04381.jpg DSC04366.jpg
Prior to becoming vegetarian and then vegan I thought of myself as a pretty adventurous eater,  it wasn't until my early twenties that I started to discover so many new and amazing foods that were actually pretty familiar foods to most people. I love exploring new tastes, textures and ways of preparing ingredients - farina is so simple and basic, but completely transforms when a few high quality ingredients are added to the mix.

What is your go to weekday breakfast- do you consider yourself to have a pretty solid breakfast routine or do you switch up your breakfast dishes often?

DSC04396.jpg DSC04397.jpg
Farina ~ Hot Cereal 3 Ways
makes 2 servings

you will need:
2 1/2 cups almond milk + extra milk if desired
2 tsp Cinnamon 
1/2 cup farina 

Maple syrup
Vegan Dark Chocolate
1 tbsp Maple Cinnamon Nut butter

In a medium sauce pot, bring almond milk (or other non dairy milk) and cinnamon to a boil- reduce heat to medium low and slowly whisk in a 1/2 cup of farina. Continue whisking over medium low heat until farina thickens- about 1-2 minutes.

Transfer farina to serving bowls- top with additional milk if desired and maple syrup along with your topping of choice.



  1. Looks amazing! I have always been a hot cereal kind of girl! Some of my fondest memories are when my grandma would visit and she would make me oatmeal (onto which we would scoop copious amounts of sugar). I have never tried farina though! I'm not sure it would agree with my slightly wheat-intolerant stomach, but I find I do so much better with actual grains of wheat than flours or breads so I might just give this a shot :)

    1. Thanks sweet lady! I totally love maple syrup in just about anything, I have never been a big straight up white sugar girl even growing up but Justin was! Any of these toppings are awesome in oatmeal too!

  2. oh an ps- clearly we were on the same wavelength today- I posted a hot cereal recipe too!

  3. I grew up eating farina for breakfast (we always called it cornmeal mush, because that clearly makes it more appetizing), but we never made it so fancy! I fully support chocolate for breakfast. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I know right, cream of wheat doesn't sound much better either- Farina is a much prettier name!

  4. i grew up eating cold cereal, pop tarts, toaster struedel, and bagels for breakfast...or nothing most days in high school. after going vegan...and then gluten-free, oatmeal became my morning routine. i can't eat anything besides hot cereal for breakfast. currently, i'm completely obsessed with buckwheat porridge. it's so earthy and hearty, and sweet. mmm.

    i've never had farina, and unfortunately will not be able to, but it looks so thick and creamy. and i love your variations. almond butter in hot cereal is just so. damn. good.

    1. OMG Toaster Strudels! Those bring me way back too, with the little packets of icing- we always had those growing up too! Oh man, that porridge sounds so good- I love any type of hot cereal this time of year, Gabby posted one this morning that sounds pretty amazing too!

  5. I've never had farina/cream of wheat before...looks good! :) Especially with peanut butter and chocolate, yum!

    1. I hadn't either until my mid 20's! It is so good and a perfect breakfast for chilly mornings!

  6. i'll have some with the maple cinnamon butter!

  7. I've followed your blog for a while, but I've never commented. After getting this post in my e-mail this morning, I had to go out and get some farina. I had never thought of adding cinnamon while cooking--it makes a huge difference.

    I just finished off a bowl with cinnamon, dark chocolate chunks, and bananas. It almost makes the winter bearable. Thank you!

    1. Hi Rhonda! Thank you so much for being a loyal reader and for stopping by to say hi- for me Farina is just not the same without a good dose of cinnamon, I'm glad that you thought so too! Love the combo of chocolate and banana's - I am pretty sure anything with chocolate and banana's is pretty amazing!

  8. Can I try all 3 ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Everyday? :D
    Because they all look too delicious!


  9. Hi Heather,
    You photographs look very delicious! :-)
    I tried the recipe today and it was a lovely variation to my usual semolina pudding with lemon zest and topping of berries! Next time, maybe I'll throw in some dates when making the almond milk (I make it myself, using my blender), so the milk gets a subtle sweetness right away. I had peanut butter on top, which was lovely. Thanks for the ideas =)

  10. Craving cream of wheat now! I never liked it as a kid, but now oatmeal is my favorite food and a go-to whenever I'm cooking for myself (breakfast, lunch, or dinner).

    Do you ever find farina in grocery store bulk bins or do you buy it packaged?

  11. Oh boy this looks delicious! Loving the simplicity of your photography, as well.
    I am such a creature of habit in the morning. Bowl of oatmeal, chopped fruit on top, and an extremely large cup of coffee. Can't wake up without it. However, maybe I'll get a little crazy and swap out my oatmeal for some of this farina stuff :)

  12. That looks SO good! My kids will absolutely love it!

  13. The only hot cereal I've ever had is oatmeal, but this farina looks very intriguing!

  14. Oooh, I just love hot cereal. I've kind of gotten away from it lately, but new and interesting toppings are the way to keep it interesting. I'm not sure why I'm drinking smoothies for breakfast in the middle of winter, must get back to hot cereals! :)

  15. I've never tried farina or cream of wheat, but I admit that I still enjoy those packets of instant oatmeal every once in a while! I try to buy brands that have the least amount of sugar, but I should really start making my own homemade mix and top it with a drizzle of maple syrup and some cinnamon instead!

  16. I don't really like to have sweets for breakfast.But literally, this article changed my mind,
    I think i'm gonna have these for breakfast the whole the week.


Thanks for stopping by - your comments make my day!