Porridge, to me, is the quintessential hot breakfast. I pretty much never have it in summer, but in winter it is on high rotation. It is warming and filling and guaranteed to power you through the morning. Plus, it can be made in so many different ways. Today's post shares five options, but I have no doubt you have favourites of your own as well. I am focusing here on oat-based porridge, so there are even more options if you branch out to buckwheat or other grains.
|Hazelnut and cocoa nib porridge|
I think porridge tastes nicer cooked on the stovetop, and given it only takes a few minutes to cook through, most of the time I take that approach. I let the mixture come to simmering point over medium-high heat (1-2 minutes), and then reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional minute. It is in that final, low heat stretch that I tend to add flavourings to the mix.
If you aren't a fan of stovetop cooking in the morning, a microwave does work fine too (and sometimes I take that approach myself). A 2 minute stretch on high power is usually sufficient, with a break at 1 minute to stir and with careful monitoring over the last minute to avoid the porridge bubbling over!
Once you have your basic porridge mix, there really is no limit to how you flavour your bowl. Here are some of my recent favourites - but I'd love to hear your porridge preferences too.
|Hazelnut and cocoa nib porridge|
First up, one of my all time favourites: hazelnut and cocoa nib. To make this, simply cook your oats with hazelnut milk and add a teaspoon (or even tablespoon!) of hazelnut butter half way through the cooking process. Top with a sprinkling of pure cocoa nibs and a sliced banana.
|Raspberry and pear porridge|
A different, but equally enjoyable option is raspberry and pear. For this, any milk will do; I used unsweetened almond. Take 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries and stir them into the oats about half way through cooking, with an optional sprinkle of coconut sugar. Top with pear at the end.
|Plum and apple porridge|
Plums and apples are beautiful in autumn and the above plum and apple porridge made the most of the seasonal fruit. I liked this best with hazelnut milk, but almond also works fine. Add a teaspoon of vanilla, a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, and the chopped pear and apple to your porridge about half way through the cooking time.
|Apple, vanilla and raisin porridge|
Also featuring vanilla and cinnamon is the classic mix of apple, vanilla and raisin. I like this best with almond milk and usually add a teaspoon each of vanilla and cinnamon along with a tablespoon of sultanas or raisins, plus the apple pieces, again half way through the cooking time.
|Gingerbread porridge, topped with banana|
Last but definitely not least - gingerbread porridge. To make this, add a decent teaspoon of dried ginger powder to your oats at the start of the cooking process, and then add half a teaspoon of vanilla and a few chopped dates half way through. I have favoured unsweetened almond milk but, again, any milk could do. Top with fruit of choice to serve (in the above photo, I have apple as well as banana, I think because I was refuelling after a particularly long run!).
So there we have it - five of my recent and current porridge favourites.
What types of porridge are you enjoying at the moment?