Cranberry Walnut Wild Rice Porridge ~ swap out your usual oatmeal for this cozy hot cereal full of antioxidants, protein, and fiber. It’s naturally gluten free and ready in minutes!
Thank you to our talented friend, Sue, from The View from Great Island for this inspirational recipe!
Let me guess ~ you love a healthy hot breakfast but you’re getting a little bit tired of the same old oatmeal. I’m right there with you, so I’m excited to introduce you to this earthy wild rice porridge, it’s going to rock our cozy hot breakfast world!
The Native Americans had the idea first, they called it mahnomin porridge, made with wild rice, nuts, berries, and maple syrup. The porridge was picked up from the Ojibwe by 19th century fur traders, and eventually made its way into the cuisine of the Northern midwest states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of you living in those areas might recognize it.
Floating Leaf wild rice gives this cereal a depth of flavor that oatmeal just doesn’t have. Once you try it I bet you’ll return to it over and over again all winter.
There’s more to hot cereal than oats, in fact you can make porridge out of all kinds of grains and seeds, including wild rice.
I used Floating Leaf’s Wild Rice in Minutes for my porridge. It’s perfect because wild rice can take a while to cook, and this product has been pre-cooked and dehydrated, so it’s ready asap. Really nice on chilly, busy mornings. Note: you can use regular or quick cooking wild rice for porridge, the result will be similar to the difference between steel cut and quick cooking oats.
What is wild rice?
Wild rice is the seed of a marsh grass that grows in the Great Lakes regions of the US and Canada, and in fact wild rice is considered an ancient grain, it hasn’t changed in thousands of years. It’s got a great chewy texture, and a nutty, earthy flavor ~ use it in all the same ways you use regular rice. Floating Leaf wild rice is great all year round, but it’s especially nice to use during the fall and holiday months.
Is Wild Rice Healthy?
Yes! It’s full of antioxidants, fiber, and protein. It’s lower in calories and carbs than regular rice, and has a lower glycemic index, too. The slow burning complex carbohydrates in a bowl of wild rice porridge will keep you feeling satisfied longer, and help stave off cravings. In fact all Floating Leaf’s whole grain and legume products are non GMO, gluten free, and organic. They promote heart health, help keep your appetite in check, and are perfect choices for those with celiac disease and diabetes.
Where can I buy wild rice?
I find that wild rice can be hard to locate in store, it’s hit or miss. Luckily you can always buy regular and instant style wild rice on the Floating Leaf website, which makes it super convenient. They also sell really creative rice/grain/pulse blends too, like 6-Grain Sprouted French Lentils and Sprouted Brown Rice, Split Pea, and Quinoa. I can think of a million ways to use them.
I’ve made my wild rice porridge with fresh cranberries not only because they’re seasonal, but because they have a bright flavor like no other fruit. Flash roasting raw cranberries is a technique I love ~ I roast them for exactly 5 minutes, and they get just enough heat to soften them and make them pop to release their juices. The heat brings out their brilliant color and flavor and makes them so much more enticing than dried cranberries. They are tart, but the brown sugar and maple syrup balances that out.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this porridge but I was hooked after the first bite. The wild rice is earthy and a little bit sweet from the maple syrup, the toasted walnuts are buttery and a little bit astringent, the berries burst in your mouth… the whole thing is just really good! But there are also lots of ways to change out this wild rice porridge for your particular dietary needs or tastes, here are a few suggestions…
Dairy Free Wild Rice Porridge
Use any number of non-dairy milks in your porridge. I think almond or hazelnut milk would be amazing, and coconut or soy milk would certainly work.
Nut Free Wild Rice Porridge
In place of nuts try pumpkin seeds, sunflower seed kernels, or even chia seeds for a bit of crunch.
Refined Sugar Free Wild Rice Porridge
I add a touch of brown sugar because I love the flavor, but you can use more maple syrup, agave, molasses, or whatever natural sweetener you like.
Use other fruit and nuts in your porridge
In Door County WI they make it with their famous cherries. Dried cranberries or other dried fruit like apricots will also work. I think sliced bananas would be delicious. Hazelnuts would be an awesome substitution for the walnuts, but you could also use almonds or pecans. Just be sure to toast them first to bring out their flavor and crunch.
Use the Slow Cooker
This porridge is quick cooking, so I suggest making a double or triple batch on the stove and then transferring it to the slow cooker, set on warm, to keep fresh for hours. Add the brown sugar and the walnuts as you serve each portion. (A great idea for Thanksgiving morning!)
Overnight Wild Rice Porridge
Put the Floating Leaf Wild Rice in Minutes and water in a saucepan the night before. Cover and leave overnight. In the morning drain off any excess liquid, and proceed with the recipe.
This is the perfect season to incorporate wild rice into your menu, it can be used alone or mixed with other rices or grains for side dishes, stuffings, soups, and casseroles. Here are a few ideas from my blog get you started…and you’ll find more delicious recipes on the Floating Leaf website.
- Wild Rice Bowl with Watercress and Hazelnuts
- Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms
- Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Nuts
- Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants, and Herbs
Cranberry Walnut Wild Rice Porridge
- 1 cup Floating Leaf Organic Wild Rice in Minutes!
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup milk, half and half, or cream
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup roasted cranberries (see instructions below)
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar (optional)
Put the wild rice in a strainer and rinse under cold running water for 60 seconds. Put in a medium saucepan and add the 3 cups water. Stir and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat way down, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Strain off excess liquid.
Put the wild rice back in the sauce pan and add the milk or cream and maple syrup. Bring back to a simmer and gently cook for another minute or so.
Divide the porridge between two bowls and add the cranberries, nuts, and a sprinkle of dark brown sugar. Enjoy!
*To flash roast your cranberries, just put them on a baking sheet and roast in a 350F preheated oven for about 5 minutes, just until they turn bright and glossy, and some of them have popped. This turns an unappealing raw cranberry into an irresistibly sweet/tart delight.