Coconut brown rice porridge with apple sage granola is my take on a breakfast porridge I had at Sqirl LA, a hyped (for good reason) café in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood. Sqirl LA’s brown rice porridge is topped with hazelnuts and blackberry jam; here, I made a seasonal New England version by topping it with a simple apple sage granola. The coconut brown rice porridge can be enjoyed with or without the apple sage granola – I like the extra flavor and crunch this granola provides, but any toppings would work; fruit, jam, nuts, seeds, yogurt, almond butter… anything you’d top a warm breakfast cereal with.
WHY IT’S HEALTHY// This coconut brown rice porridge is gluten free and vegan. Brown rice is a good source gluten-free of magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine, vitamin B-6 and niacin and also provides some iron and zinc. Coconut milk has many health benefits. Coconut brown rice porridge is only slightly sweetened with dates, a natural unrefined sweetener. The apple sage granola, also gluten free and vegan, is full of fiber. Sage leaves are traditionally used to reduce inflammation and help with digestion. //
(From top left: Sqirl LA, the Getty, Mount Baldy summit, the view from Palos Verdes, Eggslut counter, “Levitated Mass” at LACMA, open face brioche toast at Sqirl, “Urban Light” at LACMA, palm trees.)
PLACES TO EAT//
SQIRL – Hyped breakfast/brunch cafe in Silver Lake. Healthy gluten free and vegan options, like brown rice porridge with hazelnuts (which inspired this recipe) but known for its jam and brioche toast. Both routes are delicious.
ALIBI ROOM – One of Roy Choi’s restaurants. Lounge atmosphere, really good greasy Korean BBQ and Mexican fusion. Food is served at the bar in take-out containers.
A-FRAME – Another of Roy Choi’s restaurants and probably my favorite meal we had. We sat at the bar and the food was delicious – get the pickles and the baby back ribs.
EGGSLUT – Located in LA’s Grand Central Market, which is downtown. Best egg sandwich I’ve had in a while (Long Island’s still can’t be beat). The market, which has a ton of other great eateries, is worth the trip to the otherwise somewhat seedy downtown area.
G&B COFFEE – Also located in Grand Central Market. Eggslut only had cold brew, so we picked up a hot cup here before waiting in the Eggslut line. It was good.
BERLIN CURRYWURST – Good sausage and beer place with three locations (one next to Eggslut in the Grand Central Market). We went to the beer garden on North Cahuenga Boulevard.
JAY’S BAR – We found it surprisingly hard to find a bar that was open in Silver Lake on a Sunday afternoon. Jay’s is in a strip mall, but once you’re inside, it has a great atmosphere; good beer, wine and bar food.
THINGS TO DO//
HOLLYWOOD FARMER’S MARKET – Held every Sunday with lots of fresh produce, baked goods, spices, etc.
FARMSHOP – Nice little curated artisan food market and restaurant with local cheese, handcrafted chocolate, wine, beer, etc. located in the Brentwood Country Mart, which has other cool shops, like Diesel, an independent bookstore.
HIKING MOUNT BALDY – Wanting to get out of the city for the day, we drove about an hour east to Mount Baldy (aka Mount San Antonio), the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. We took a chairlift to the Top of the Notch restaurant and then hiked the Devil’s Backbone trail to the summit. Great views and a cool way to see another part of Southern California.
PALOS VERDES – A peninsula about 45 minutes south of Los Angeles. My mom grew up here, so I wanted to check out the area. Beautiful views of the Pacific with walking trails along the coastal cliffs.
THE GETTY – Another huge museum with a lot to see – and great views of Los Angeles. Definitely worth a visit.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 2 15 oz. cans light coconut milk
- ⅓ cup dried dates (Medjool or soaked overnight, see notes)
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
- ⅓ cup raw walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup dried coconut flakes
- ¼ cup unsweetened dried apple
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a high speed blender (I used my Vitamix), blend together the soaked dates with 1 can of the coconut milk. Set aside.
- Melt the coconut oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the brown rice and lightly toast in the oil, about 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and date mixture, remaining can of coconut milk, 2 cups of water, salt, cinnamon stick and vanilla and bring to a boil.
- Once the porridge is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is chewy and absorbs most of the liquid, about 1 ½ hours.
- Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, flax seeds, coconut flakes, dried apple, cinnamon, sage and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the applesauce, honey, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- Pour the applesauce mixture over the dry mixture and stir to fully combine.
- Spread the granola evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Inspired by Sqirl LA's Brown Rice Porridge. Apple sage granola adapted from Two Healthy Kitchens.