Porridge – your grandmother’s go-to breaky – is making a comeback. While the health benefits of eating porridge regularly are well documented (i.e. lowers cholesterol, helps maintain steady blood sugar levels and is a rich source of soluble fibre) you might look back at your childhood and remember it as little more than a bland bowl-filler you quickly traded out for toast, bacon and eggs or pancakes at the first opportunity. But is it time to give porridge another chance?
For those in the know, a big bag of rolled oats equals a big bag of potential. You can either remain a purist – stirring the pot with little more than one part porridge to two parts water – or go bananas with an endless array of toppings including fresh fruit, dried fruit, extra bran, seeds, syrup, honey, brown sugar, cream, milk or all of the above. Some even stir in egg whites for an added protein hit. Chocolate porridge and savoury porridge are also a thing.
But whatever you do, don’t forget to add a pinch of salt – it really brings out the subtle nutty flavour.
What’s so good about porridge?
Aside from being extremely healthy and versatile, oats are also pretty economical. A 1kg bag of premium rolled oats will set you back about $4 (or even less if you buy a generic brand). If your mornings are chaotic, you can make overnight oats or opt for quick oats that can be microwaved to perfection in 90 seconds flat. And if you ever get sick of eating porridge, you can always turn those oats into Anzac biscuits, an apple crisp, toasted muesli, muesli bars, or protein balls.
Recipe: Carrot cake porridge
Food writer and author of ‘The New Porridge’, Leah Vanderveldt, believes porridge is one way to indulge in a daily sweet treat without any of the guilt. Her recipe for carrot cake porridge is a great example.
95 g/1 cup rolled/old-fashioned oats
375 ml/1½ cups water
250 ml/1 cup almond or coconut milk
2 carrots, grated
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1–2 tablespoons almond butter (optional)
Fresh coconut or coconut yogurt, raisins or sultanas/golden and toasted walnuts.
- In a medium saucepan, combine all the porridge ingredients, except the lemon juice, and place over a medium-high heat.
- Bring everything to the boil with the lid on but slightly ajar.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, the liquid is absorbed, and you have a creamy texture.
- Stir in the lemon juice.
- Stir in the almond butter (if using), then transfer to bowls and serve with the suggested toppings.