Happy New Year!!
It has been a while, apologies for the lack of posts! I don’t really know where the time goes especially during the Christmas run up and then the festive period, it all seems to happily dissolve into one long stretch and I find myself in mid-January and rather chilly!
Anyway enough of that and on to todays blog which is all about things that warm you up; I’m talking specifically about breakfasts and drinks.
Although I really love the winter; crisp cold bright days and especially frost outside, I do hate that moment when you have to get out of your warm bed into a fairly (relatively anyway) cold room. I have found that the best way for me to recover from this (granted small temperature shock) is to have a delicious and warming breakfast to look forward to.
There really is only one contender: Porridge.
I LOVE porridge. Not only is it warming but it is packed full of fibre – the kind that helps out with keeping blood cholesterol levels healthy – and because of the fibre, it is really filling. The energy from porridge is released slowly throughout the morning so you avoid the mid morning coffee biscuit slump and whats more, it is (dependant slightly on the type of porridge that you choose) a relatively unprocessed grain so you also get your fair share of minerals and vitamins too.
The possibilities are endless, as too are the ways of cooking it. I am not professing to be a porridge snob and nor am I saying that mine is the best way….all I know is that I love it and it works every time.
Here is my recipe for perfect porridge:
1/2 cup* of oats – oatmeal or porridge oats oats or Jumbo. I prefer Jumbo because although they take a little longer to cook, the texture is chewier and nuttier.
1 cup of fluid – I use a half water half milk and vary the milk from cows milk to almond milk to rice milk.
You could use all water or all milk either. The milk boosts the protein content and calcium content too.
Put oats and fluid into a small pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Stirring frequently, the oats will turn into a gloopy porridge to which you can add more water/milk if you like it ‘wetter’. After about 10 – 15 minutes of simmering, it will be ready. To speed up the cooking time, soak the oats in the water/milk mixture overnight.
Now comes the fun bit – toppings. Anything goes so here are some of my favourites
1 handful of strawberries heated in a pan with 1 tsp maple syrup until mushy
1/2 sliced mango with 1 tsp dessicated coconut
1 tbsp chia seeds (packed full of fibre and omega 3 fats) plus 1 tbsp date syrup
1 apple + 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp honey
the list is endless….!
*although I don’t tend to work in cups, I use it here because making porridge is all about volume rather than weight. I use a standard smallish coffee mug which fits in approx 50g jumbo oats.
To accompany the porridge if I really need warming I go for a mug of fresh ginger tea. Simply peel a thumb tip sized chunk of ginger and slice it into the bottom of a mug. Pour boiling water over the ginger and let it stew. You can then reuse these ginger bits for the morning by simply re-filling your ‘ginger’ mug with boiling water.
So why not rediscover porridge; cheap nutritious, sustaining and delicious! Let me know what your favourite flavours are! Happy cooking