Saturday, 16 February 2013


Oat porridge... When I was little, I didn't think much of oat porridge. I would see my dad have granola and the like with milk for breakfast in the morning, and sometimes oat porridge too. Warm soggy oats? Nah, that seemed too healthy and way too boring.

In the more recent years, I discovered those nifty little instant porridge sachets with lots of different flavours, packet full of sugars (the golden syrup one was my favourite) and other additives that made me actually like it.

Now though, I have had my eyes opened up, and I cannot belieeeeeve how good it is to completely funk up a bowl of the good ol' porridge. At first I thought I would try my hands on making a few savoury pots of porridge, but after my first attempt at porridge with egg and chorizo...I decided against it. It was edible, don't get me wrong, but I think oat porridge should be either sweet, fruity or have a bit of zing to it!

This is the result of my experimenting over the last two months (I would have been quicker had it not been for the fact that some of these became instant favourites and had to be made again - as soon as possible!)
I decided to put up nine, as 7 wouldn't have fit within the whole cut-and-paste, and twelve...though it would have been nice to have one representing each month, just seemed a bit excessive. Why don't you make the last three by combining some of your favourite fruits, nuts, seeds and syrups? It's a lot of fun, especially if you come across something you would never even have dreamed would work together so well!

The normal way around making porridge, would be to boil up water, enough for the oats to soak up but also so that there is a little bit extra. For extra creaminess, just use a little bit of milk instead, or replace it with milk entirely. I prefer mine a little "rough", especially if there's some fresh bits of fruit involved. For the chocolate though, a dab of milk is a treat!

Oat Porridge Nine Ways

The photos read from left to right, starting at the top row, and all the recipes are one serving only.

Porridge 1) Hippie Honey Nut
About 360 calories
40 g porridge oats
1 tbsp honey
8 hazelnuts
40 g raisins
- Boil up the water and add it in a small casserole with the oats, stir frequently to prevent it from catching the bottom. Whenever the oats are cooked half way, add the honey, nuts and raisins. Simply stir until the water has evaporated enough for it to not be runny, but moist enough for it not to be too sticky. Alternatively use the honey to drizzle over the porridge instead!

Porridge 2) Warm Winter Spice
About 300 calories
30 g oats
25 g dried cranberries
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
1 apple, half grated

- Boil up water and have the grated apple in with the oats and simmer, stir frequently. Cut the other half of the apple into chunks and have in a small pan along with the rest of the ingredients and cook on low heat with a tbsp of water until the fruit softens a little. Top the porridge with the fruit compote and enjoy!

Porridge 3) P'N'B Supreme
About 350 calories
40 g oats
100 ml skimmed milk
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

- Boil up the porridge along with the milk and a little bit of water if the mix looks too dry. Simply top with the peanut butter and redcurrant jelly, or swirl it through (Making it looks a liiiittle bit more appetising than the photo I took, I ended up just stirring it up whenever I served it, mmm!)

Porridge 4) Cocochoco Pawridge
About 300 calories
40 g oats
1 tsp or tbsp of unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp honey
1-2 tbsp dessicated coconut
50 ml skimmed milk

- Bring the milk to a boil and add the oats, a little water, cocoa, honey and 1 tbsp of the coconut. Once you have a deliciously chocolatey porridge mix, serve and top with another tbsp of the dessicated coconut. Definitely one of my favourites!

Porridge 5) Apricot-Cin
About 300 calories
40 g oats
2 apricots, each cut in eight
1 1/2 tbsp agave syrup
A sprinkle of cinnamon

- Glaze the apricots slightly with the agave syrup in a pot whilst you boil up the water. Add the oats to the fruit and add enough water for the porridge. Simply sprinkle with a little (or in my case - a lot!) of cinnamon and you're good to go!

Porridge 6) Cockadoodle-Apple
About 330 calories
40 g oats
50 ml skimmed milk
1 tbsp applesauce
1-2 tbsp cinnamon
1 apple, halved
1 tsp flaxseed

- Cut one half of the apple into segments, drizzle over cinnamon and bake in the oven on high heat for about 15 minutes until the ends start to turn a golden colours. Dice the other half of the apple and stew in the casserole in a little water. When the apple is softened, add the apple sauce, water, milk, flaxseed and remember to stir frequently! Top the porridge with the cinnamon apples! Optionally you can use the apple sauce for topping along with the apples, or cut the cinnamon apples you use for baking into chunks - which will make it a little less awkward to eat - but then you can't make fun patterns with it, heh!

Porridge 7) Peanut-Snowball
About 290 calories
35 g oats
2 tsp peanut butter
100 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp dessicated coconut for topping
A drizzle of agave syrup, for topping

- Cook the oats along with the milk and a little water if needed, swirls through the peanut butter as it is cooking. Serves the bowl of porridge topped with cocnut and agave syrup. Nutty heaven!

Porridge 8) Poached Plum Punch
About 200 calories
25 g oats (soaked in half a cup of water overnight)
Pinch of salt
2 plums
1 tbsp agave nectar
A few cloves
1 cinnamon stick

- Cook the porridge for about 10-15 minutes adding a little bit more water and a pinch of salt, until the water has evaporated and the porridge is smooth and creamy - add a little milk if you prefer a silkier texture, stirring frequently. In another small casserole, heat up the agave syrup and enough water to cover the fruits. Remove the pips from the plums and quarter the fruit before adding it to the syrup along with the cloves and cinnamon stick. Let it simmer on medium low heat for about five to ten minutes until the plums are soft. Drain off the liquid, take out the cloves and cinnamon, and top the warm porridge with the poached plums.
Idea came from Sophie Dahl's "From Season to Season" p. 71.

Porridge 9) Zingy Zen
About 200 calories
40 g oats
80 g frozen mixed red berried
2 tsp agave syrup for drizzling

- Simply cook up the porridge with your normal amount of water and add the berries. Once cooked, serve topped with the agave syrup.

I was inspired by a lot of different websites, blogs and also the cookbook mentioned above for my No. 8, I added my own tweaks to all of them though. Use what you've got and see what you come up with!
Please feel free to post up your own favourite porridges in the comment section, I would love to try new flavours!

- Jules

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