You never forget your first time…eating congee.
Well, at least I didn’t. The story of my introduction to congee was certainly memorable, and like some first times of the naked variety, it did include a penis – that amusing anecdote can be found over here.
Congee has always been one of my go-to comfort foods when I have a stomachache, but it’s also become one of those all-around healing dishes that I incorporate into my personal menu plans on a regular basis.
I’m impatient when food is involved, so I usually simmer my congee on the stovetop. Since we had such a hot summer here this year, I didn’t turn on my oven for months and began experimenting with our slow cooker. If you have any slow cooker recipes to share, I’m all ears!
I have never made congee in the slow cooker and I honestly don’t think I would make it any other way now, unless I was short on time and needed to get a meal on the table. I’ve always found it tricky to achieve the perfect congee texture – when I make it at home it seems to taste different than when I eat congee made by congee experts. Preparing congee in the slow cooker brought me much closer to that smooth, creamy consistency that I love.
You all know I’m a huge fan of savory breakfasts, and they’re virtually all I have in the morning nowadays. Slow cooker congee is going to take my breakfasts to the next level. What could be easier than dumping a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker, and waking up with nothing to do except eat it?
This congee recipe makes the most of fall produce like butternut squash (I cannot get enough of it at this time of year), as well as shiitake mushrooms – which are super helpful for modulating the immune system.
I like to soak my grains before using them, as this releases the enzyme inhibitors that interfere with our digestion. I’ve included a few gluten-free grains in here to mix it up, but you can easily pick your favourite and use a single grain.
If you’ve never had congee for breakfast, now’s the time!
- ¼ cup millet, soaked for a few hours
- ¼ cup buckwheat, soaked for a few hours
- ¼ cup brown rice, soaked for a few hours
- 2 cups vegetable broth, bone broth or water
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup mashed butternut squash
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mixed greens, to serve (optional)
- Drain the grains and rinse them well, then add them to your slow cooker along with the broth, water, squash, mushrooms and salt. Cook on low overnight.
- Serve topped with mixed greens.
- If you don’t have a slow cooker, add all the ingredients to a pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Cover and cook for 1 – ½ hours, adding more liquid to the pot if needed.