A breakfast your gran would be proud of.
Porridge! No, wait! It’s not all bad, see…I know it conjures up images of grannies, but then, there is a plus side to all the crochet-inducing. Think of all the yummy pies of old…your gan had some good taste. Ok, there is a point to all this. I’ve been reading “eat your heart out” by felicity lawrence, and I’m just reading the cereals section (the beginning of the book). It’s an engaging book about “why the food business is bad for the planet and your health.” Yes, it does sound preachy, but it’s not actually, and instead it’s interesting, full of delicious factual tidbits. Also, I made porridge! To be fair I’m actually quite a fan of the stuff. You can’t really go wrong with it, and with plain rolled oats as the base, you can do any flavour you like – so much more versatile than your regular cereal-in-a-box. I quite enjoyed this version: Brown sugar, cinnamon and date porridge with a cinnamon-dusted plum (this from the girl who used to HATE cinnamon). A dark breakfast for a dark and gloomy looking day.
Ok, so for one person, to start, you want some soft brown sugar or dark brown (guess which I used!!), about a Tablespoon (I added 2 Tbs and it was very sweet, but I also had dates…so use your own judgment) – dump it in a small saucepan (depending on how many people you’re making this for), with about a cup of water. Heat it up on medium heat, swishing the sugar every now and then to dissolve it all. Once it starts boiling rapidly, add a heaped 1/4c of fine rolled oats (they’re more broken down and messy lookin, but they cook faster…not as chewy also) to the pan, swish, and let it do its thing for a few minutes. While it’s going, you can prep some of your flavourings (a recommended list is below). Once the water has gone syrupy in texture, add some chopped dates (about 1/4c), and a hearty pinch of cinnamon, or your other embellishments. Continue cooking until it’s to your desired texture/consistency – some like a more watery syrupy porridge, some like it so thick you could mould little cakes out of it…go for what you love man…freedom tastes sweet. I topped mine with a split plum…I like fruits on my porridge, it makes the sweetness less cloying for summer especially.
Flavours to try:
Dark brown sugar – adds colour and depth of sweetness, plus heaps of goodies nutrient-wise
Light brown sugar – adds colour and a mild depth of sweetness, with a sort of caramelly thing on the side
Cinnamon – adds warmth and spice
Nutmeg – a bit of a tang, and spice
Dates – soft moist sweet bombs
Raisins – pop these in when serving, as boiled raisins can go sour in an unpleasant way
Maple syrup (not the flavoured stuff, but the real stuff) – need I say more?!
Vanilla – needs no explanation!
Fruit – any kind goes, even dried! Apples, plums, berries, nectarines/peaches…FEIJOAS! Mmm…
Yoghurt – for a sour tang and digestive goodness
Honey – sweetness with all the goodness
Cream – yes, cream, get away from that margarine you!
Grated carrot – goes nicely with cinnamon and nutmeg, like having carrot cake in breakfast form
…any more suggestions?