..and as appealing as the packaging…
It struck me that my blog posts don’t touch on some of the less interesting and everyday things in life. So this post is about my favourite breakfast – porridge. Yes, that’s right. Porridge. Known as oatmeal by my North American friends. It sounds boring and looks a pale and uninteresting shade of grey to non-porridge aficionado’s. But I hope to change this perception with those yet to be converted. And this is all you need to make it, plus use of a microwave and 2 – 3 minutes to prepare…
Porridge is of course synonymous with Scotland and many generations have been brought up starting their day with a bowl of porridge. Whilst I don’t endorse any particular brand, I was of course brought up on Scott’s Porage Oats, which has been available in most places I have lived in overseas. The packaging still catches my eye and guarantees its purchase. Cannie beat a man in a kilt!
I am also conscious that in these days of sugar laced mega varieties of cereals, 24 hour supermarkets and convenience stores plus drive through Macca’s, we have to move with the times and accordingly develop ways to keep porridge on the household menu. Plus, I offer you my top ten reasons to eat porridge:
1. Porridge is rolled oats. Oats are a superfood, packed with many nutritional goodies including fibre which helps to reduce cholesterol.
2. Other superfoods can be added, giving you a double whammy of goodness.
3. It can be ready in 90 seconds, thanks to Mr Microwave.
4. Minimal washing up when you use a microwave to prepare.
5. When kept in a airtight container, it keeps well for weeks.
6. It’s widely available.
7. Oats have anti-ageing benefits.
8. Porridge oats can be used in other recipes, such as crumbles, flapjacks and veggie burgers
9. Fruit can be added, helping you eat your five a day portions.
10. It’s cheap!
Porridge preparation 101 by microwave
You can get these “ready made” porridge sachets, but these are artificially flavoured and quite frankly, are no quicker and easier to make that the real deal. This is all there is to it:
What you need
1 bowl or pan
1 part porridge (25 grams per person)
2 parts water or milk, or combination
Pinch of salt, according to taste.
Mix everything in a microwave proof bowl and cook for 90 seconds on high. If you don’t have a microwave or are camping for example, pop everything into a pan and stir over a low heat until porridge has stopped thickening.
What to do next
The most traditional way to serve porridge is just as it is, with perhaps a little extra salt for taste. however, a little added sweetness and imagination really can make it a great breakfast and gives you more energy.
Less grey ways to start the day
So here are my serving ideas to convert porridge from boring grey into interesting and colourful, nutritional breakfast. I use honey for sweetness, as I prefer it and it is more healthy than syrup . Maple and date syrup can be used as well. It is all down to taste.
Add banana and a drizzle of honey. Especially good if you are going out for exercise 90 minutes or so after breakfast
Add a teaspoonful of soft muscovado sugar and a drizzle of cream. This was a weekend favourite during childhood:
Add a few sliced strawberries, a sprinkling of ground almonds and a sprinkling of castor or vanilla sugar. A meal in itself!
Apple, blueberry and cinnamon, with a drizzle of honey. Either fresh or stewed apples can be used, although I prefer the soft texture of stewed apples and the contrast of fresh blueberries:
My personal favourite – fresh blackberries, or brambles when in season and you can get hold of them. Finish off with a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of cinnamon:
Yummy – all of them!
As for my udder bowl, I bought it in Lyon, France in 1997. Only the French can come up with something like it! I love it though and have made porridge in it all over the world since.
Now for the washing up. Oh – and that should take about a minute.