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 😊
You can substitute any and all ingredients, even the oats! One of my friends uses quinoa instead, sometimes I include some quinoa flakes.
- Oats, 3 dessert spoons
- Mixed spice (or cinnamon) to taste
- Ground turmeric with black pepper, to taste (try just a little at first)
- Pecans, soaked walnuts, shelled hemp seeds, roast chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts & seeds), to taste
- Cranberries and goji berries (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
- Linseeds (aka flaxseeds), ground into powder, one tablespoon, to taste
- Unsweetened soya yogurt (or other dairy-free yogurt), to taste
- Blueberries & cherries, defrosted, to taste
How to make cranberry and pecan porridge with blueberries
Using a microwave
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add your toppings.
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. Try 30 second increments. If it’s too thick, I add more soya milk, stir, and cook it 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
- Put all the Porridge ingredients in a saucepan. I like to do this an hour or two before cooking, but it’s not necessary.
- Put the saucepan on the stove.
- As it heats, stir it. Make sure you get the corners and the bottom, so the porridge doesn’t stick too much or burn.
- Cook until you get the desired consistency.
- 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
- Put some water in the pan to soak or wash it straightaway so you’re not scraping cold porridge later.
- Add your toppings.
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
- Put all the Porridge ingredients in a large bowl and leave to soak in the fridge overnight.
- Add your toppings.
How to top your porridge
- Sprinkle on the linseed
- Add dairy-free yogurt
- Add defrosted berries. I like to drain the berries by drinking the juice, so it doesn’t make my porridge soggy.
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). You can add cooked red lentils or mashed white beans, 1 spoon (sounds bizarre, but makes porridge more filling)
- Spices (& other powders): 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.
- 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.