Unless you went to a shady, legally suspect sleepaway summer camp as a child, the first time you ever heard about gruel (or its cheaper equivalent, imitation gruel) might have been on The Simpsons, in the classic fourth season episode “Kamp Krusty.” Though an astonishing number of Simpsons gags have crossed over from cartoon to reality, the satisfying, satiating taste of Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel has eluded us... until now. The secret recipe for the delectable gray slop can be found in The Unofficial Simpsons Cookbook—released today!—alongside recipes for such classic dishes as Baby Guts, Powersauce Bars, and oh-so-tasty Sloppy Jimbos. Whether you’re preparing a meal for your happy campers or yourself, a morning that starts with a big, warm bowl of imitation gruel and a tall glass of malk is the best way to kick off a good day.
“Kamp Krusty,” Season 4
Excerpted from The Unofficial Simpsons Cookbook by Laurel Randolph; reprinted with permission, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Sweet, nourishing gruel! It might have an unappetizing gray hue, but homemade gruel is actually a delicious way to start the day. Plus, it has Krusty’s seal of approval.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (long- or short-grain)
- 4 cups rice milk
- 3 cups water
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3 ⁄4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 ⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground chia seeds
- 1 ⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Optional Toppings: More blueberries, brown sugar or maple syrup, cream or yogurt
Pulse brown rice in a food processor or blender a few times to break up grains. Combine rice, rice milk, water, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cook, stirring every 5−10 minutes, about 45 minutes.
Add blueberries, brown sugar, chia seeds, and nutmeg and stir. Simmer another 20 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally and mashing blueberries a bit as they cook. Add extra water as needed if gruel becomes too thick. Rice should be very tender when done. Serve warm.
The ground chia seeds lend the dish a gray color and some added nutrition. Grind them using a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle.
Any milk will work, including regular milk or other nondairy milks. You can also make this gruel in a slow cooker. Add rice, rice milk, water, and salt; stir; cook on low for 7–8 hours. Add other ingredients and stir well, cooking for another 30 minutes–1 hour.