porridge transports me back to my childhood to the days when my mum made a basic, austere, but wholesome version of porridge, mostly with oatmeal, and other times with broken wheat or finger millet. she said it was healthy and fed me, and so did my grandmother in her times.
most people do not fancy waking up to a gloopy gruel when they could easily have fried eggs, crispy bacon and gooey melted cheddar sandwiched between generously buttered slices of toasted brown bread (well ok, wholemeal and multigrain at that!). but the health benefits of the unassuming humble oat are far too many to ignore, such as lowering of high blood pressure, reducing of bad cholesterol, regulating of blood sugar levels, besides being a vital source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. it is little wonder then that oats already happens to be the breakfast choice of champions, athletes and of those on a liberating not restrictive diet. read more on this study conducted at the Harvard University. my grandmother and mother did not need conclusive evidence then, kitchen wisdom never fails. period.
purists insist on porridge being made with oats, water and salt alone. i don’t see that going down well with anyone, leave alone me. now adding of milk surely enhances the taste and texture of what would otherwise be a goopy inedible unpalatable mess. and nobody wants that! my breakfast porridge is apt for those rush workday mornings and works just as good on lazy weekends. simple, wholesome, healthy, and flavorful. now shouldn’t a breakfast be all of that, if not more?
- a cup of quick oats (i use Quaker Oats)
- a half a cup water
- a pinch of salt
- a cup of milk or more depending on how you like your porridge consistency to be (use full fat if you want it creamy, i use skim milk)
- one heaping tbsp of light muscovado or soft brown sugar
- a tsp of ground cinnamon powder
- a handful of roughly chopped walnuts or almonds or a mix of both
- a scant mix of dried berries (blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries)
take a small saucepan, pour the water in it and bring it to a boil. tip in the cup of oats, pinch of salt and stir until all of the water has been absorbed. pour in the cup of milk and stir. toss in the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until blended. bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for a while. turn off the heat and cover until ready to serve. pour into two bowls and sprinkle a mixture of walnuts and mixed berries on top of each bowlful. i believe toppings are personal. some alternate suggestions;
- a drizzle of thick dark forest honey
- a sprinkle of chopped dates and walnuts
- greek yogurt and honey
- a sprinkle of demerara sugar
- any fresh fruit serving of your choice
serve right away!
as always, BBC Good Food and The Guardian have articles on how to cook the ultimate “anything”;