Cranberry and pecan porridge with blueberries

Bowl of porridge topped with creamy soya yogurt, blueberries and hemp seeds
Simply delicious

Porridge is my breakfast of choice in my adult life. Quick, simple and I never have to think ‘what will I eat?’ first thing in the morning. I enjoy my fruit and nut porridge at other times of day too; it makes a great dessert 😊

9 photos of bowls of porridge, showing an array of variety and possibility. Most feature blueberries and yogurt. Some include blood oranges, cherries, blackberries, nuts and linseeds (flax). Porridge is an off-white colour in most photos, but in one bowl it's bright yellow. One photo includes LiLi Kathleen looking like they're about to dive mouth-first into a bowl, they have their mouth open and their eyes fixed on the porridge.
One recipe, infinite variations

Ingredients

You can substitute any and all ingredients, even the oats! One of my friends uses quinoa instead.

Porridge

  • Oats, 3 dessert spoons
  • Mixed spices (or cinnamon) to taste
  • Ground turmeric with black pepper, to taste (try just a little at first)
  • Pecans (or other nuts), to taste
  • Cranberries (or other dried berries), to taste
  • Unsweetened soya milk (or other dairy-free milk), cover the other ingredients, add a little extra. Add more if you like a runnier porridge, or use less if you want it thicker

Toppings

  • Unsweetened soya yogurt (or other dairy-free yogurt), to taste
  • Linseeds (aka flaxseeds), ground into powder, one tablespoon, to taste
  • Blueberries, defrosted, to taste

How to make cranberry and pecan porridge with blueberries

Using a microwave

  1. Select a microwave-safe bowl. Often the porridge will rise up in the bowl, so pick a larger size to avoid spills. You need space for the toppings too. ‘Cereal bowls’ tend to be too small. If you use a wider bowl, your porridge will cook faster too.
  2. Put all the Porridge ingredients in the bowl. I usually do this the night before and leave it to soak in the fridge. Which gives a better texture, faster cooking and improved digestion.
  3. You can put a plate under the bowl in the microwave, just in case the porridge spills over. Cook it for 1.5 – 4 minutes. Timings vary depending on the microwave.
  4. Add your toppings.
  5. Enjoy!

Note: Once you stop stirring porridge, it will thicken a little

The first time I make porridge in a microwave, I cook it for 2 minutes, then take it out, stir it and see if it’s the texture I want. If the oats haven’t absorbed the liquid, I put it back in and cook it for a little longer. I do the same when I change the recipe too, experimenting with the timings to get the texture I want.

Using a cooker or stove

  1. Put all the Porridge ingredients in a saucepan. I like to do this an hour or two before cooking, but it’s not necessary.
  2. Put the saucepan on the stove.
  3. As it heats, stir it. Make sure you get the corners and the bottom, so the porridge doesn’t stick too much or burn.
  4. Cook until you get the desired consistency.
  5. Pour into a bowl. Scrape out as much porridge as you can so you don’t waste it and so cleaning the pan is easier
  6. Put some water in the pan to soak or wash it straightaway so you’re not scraping cold porridge later.
  7. Add your toppings.
  8. Enjoy!

Note: You can use water instead of dairy-free milk if you’re cooking your porridge on the stove. Using dairy-free milk tastes better tho!

No cook option: Overnight oats

  1. Put all the Porridge ingredients in a large bowl and leave to soak in the fridge overnight.
  2. Add your toppings.
  3. Enjoy!

How to top your porridge

  1. Sprinkle on the linseed
  2. Add dairy-free yogurt
  3. Add blueberries. I like to drain the blueberries by drinking the juice, so it doesn’t make my porridge soggy.

Variations

Porridge

I love this combination, so usually I stick with it. But I add other ingredients when I want. And I change it when I run out of things or can’t access my favourites, for example, when travelling.

Experiement with ingredients you like or want to try. These are some options that I enjoy:

  • Oats: Quinoa flakes instead of some of the oats (I use 2 spoons oats, 1 spoon quinoa). Cooked red lentils, 1 spoon (sounds bizarre, but makes porridge more filling)
  • Spices: Cinnamon and turmeric (with black pepper for absorption) are the key spices for me. I aim to include ground cloves too (super antioxidant), but only a little so they don’t dominate. Vanilla powder (love this, but it’s expensive). Ginger powder (especially when I want to boost my immune system). Amla powder (dried indian gooseberries, SUPER antioxidant). Maca powder for sweetness and antioxidant goodness.
  • Fruit: Mixed dried fruit. Sultanas, cheap in the UK. Fresh pears or apples, peeled and diced first, makes a more filling porridge
  • Nuts: Roast chopped blanched hazelnuts. Walnuts (I like to soak them for a couple of nights first to get rid of the bitterness). Flaked almonds
  • Milk: Soya milk is cheapest in the UK, and easy to find. I avoid sweetened, but otherwise as long as it’s dairy-free, I’m happy to use it. Oat, almond, cashew, hemp, quinoa, hazelnut, rice… The sky’s the limit.

Toppings

  • Yogurt: I like almond yogurt and cashew yogurt too. Nice for treats since they cost so much more than soya yogurt. Keep coconut yogurt away from me!
  • Linseeds: I always include these. Sometimes I add hemp seeds or chia seeds too
  • Blueberries: Defrosted cherries instead of, or as well as, blueberries are great too. Fresh fruit works too, for example, strawberries, blackberries, blood oranges. ¼ or ½ of an orange is enough for me with my porridge.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtnUYQvDWgb/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BeurNlYHdo_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoQx1zwDvA6/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BkLk704AcbY/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUB5aCaBKDm/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BTjonmOh1ry/