How to Make a Bowl of Porridge More Interesting
JULY 30, 2012, 1:58 PM
Last week I posted photos of two bowls of porridge I've recently had for breakfast.
Porridge is a great start to the day. It's easy to prepare, inexpensive, full of low GI carbohydrates, together with some protein and fibre. I particularly enjoy porridge when the weather is cold. There's something hearty and reassuring about starting your day with a bowl of warming porridge.
However, I find basic porridge can get quite dull. Even drizzled with a bit of honey, or brown sugar, after a few days I'm bored. So I've found there are a number of ways you can change the flavour of your morning bowl of porridge, to make it more interesting.
Use spices: adding spices like nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon or even the mixed spice blend is a really simple way of oomphing up the flavour. I usually add these while cooking my porridge, but you can also sprinkle over at the end.
Add some fruit: recently I've been stirring grated apple through my porridge, but I also regularly add in slices of banana or some frozen berries towards the end of the cooking time. If you don't have fresh fruit, then sultanas, dried apricots and even figs are delicious.
Think about seeds: a scattering of pepitas, especially if they've been toasted, is quite delicious, offering a contrast in texture as well as flavour and nutrition. I also like Mindful Foodie's idea of cooking chia seeds in with the porridge.
Try different grains: while traditional porridge is made with oats, there is no reason why you can't use other grains to make a porridge-like breakfast. I regularly use barley, Sophie from Mostly Eating makes a quinoa version, while you could also use polenta or cooked brown rice.
Sprinkle over some toasted granola: while granolas are often high in fat and sugar, a small sprinkle over a bowl of porridge isn't going to damage the nutritional goodness of your breakfast. However it will add flavour, texture and interest. Or alternatively you could also make your own lower fat and sugar version.
Try some tea: rather than adding flavourings at the end, you can also flavour the milk or water which is used to cook the porridge. I've heard of people cooking porridge in jasmine or earl grey tea, or you could also try a chai-spiced version.
Make a fruit compote: one of my favourite ways to add flavour to porridge is by spooning over some stewed fruit or a fruit compote. Cooking up some apples, pears or rhubarb with a bit of orange juice and ginger, is an easy weekend task. The fruit mixture can then be separated into smaller portions and frozen. Take the compote out of the freezer the night before, or defrost in the microwave and stir through the cooked porridge.
Do you add anything to a bowl of porridge?
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