Breakfast Bowl with Cultured Butter, Bee Pollen, and Apple

For the New Year, I resolved to eat more good butter. Cultured butter! Have you ever tried it? It’s made from cream that has been fermented, similar to the way that yogurt is fermented. The process, which is as simple as pouring a little buttermilk into a pot of cream and letting it cure overnight, encourages flavors to develop in the milk. It’s rich, it smells buttermilky, it’s…the Champagne of butters.

You can make it yourself, as one of my students did this year (yielding beautiful results), or you can pick up cultured butter at the store — Vermont Creamery makes an exquisite French-style cultured butter. It’s easy to spot at places like Whole Foods because it’s sold in a little basket with a blue-and-white checkered paper cover. If you’ve never tasted cultured butter before, you will faint at its luxness. Vermont Creamery uses cream with higher butterfat (86%) — in line with traditional French butter — plus a pinch of sea salt. I once won a prize once for a batch cultured-butter brownies.

For this breakfast bowl, I used a local cultured butter from Valley Milkhouse. Divine.

I started with my new fave 8-Grain Hot Cereal from Bob’s Red Mill (not a plug, I am just a fan). It’s gluten-free and has a fine consistency I love, similar to cream of wheat. In addition to oats, it contains brown rice, millet, sorghum, and flaxseed. Very virtuous.

As a topper, I like to add all kinds of things, but today’s combination was particularly purr-worthy. The key is cultured butter. And I had a jar of Marisa McClellan’s Apple Cinnamon Caramel in the fridge from our recent joint post. Try her recipe, or substitute with apple butter or maple syrup.

Why bee pollen? I gave up morning coffee. Have to get my perk somehow!


Breakfast Bowl with Cultured Butter, Bee Pollen, and Apple

This recipe makes one serving but is easily doubled. It also reheats well. You can find bee pollen at farmers’ markets and health food stores.

  • 1/4 cup 8 Grain Hot Cereal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced


In a saucepan, combine hot cereal ingredients over medium heat. Bring this goodness to a simmer, then drop on the lid, turn the flame to low, and let it cook about 10 minutes. Check it a few times to make sure it’s not burning on.

Pour it into a bowl (remove the cinnamon stick), add toppings, and gaze lovingly at the butter while it melts.


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