Breakfast of late has been spent basking in Spanish summer so Bircher Muesli has been heavily on the breakfast cards – filled with fresh figs and pipped black cherries. BUT – and I can hardly bare to say this – the leaves are starting to turn, and the other day in true London fashion, the skies blackened and it rained ALL DAY! I actually really liked it though because I grew up in Scotland where it is super rainy most of the time, and also, the parks and trees were looking really thirsty. As a result it turned into a porridge day and we are surely brewing up for lots more days like this.
However, because it is summer (Just. Still. We have to prolong all things Summer for as long as possible) it means you can add delicious summery ingredients like nectarines and peaches to your porridge.
I also love adding coconut oil to porridge because it makes it SO deliciously thick and creamy. Coconut oil is also a fantastic source of good fats, while I also think that melting a little into to your porridge helps to keep you nice and full until lunch time. I am a big fan of the Vita Coco coconut oil a) because you can now get it in most supermarkets and b) because it is organic and cold pressed. A great friend from home has recently started a cold pressed rapeseed oil company called Cullisse and he was telling me the other day about the horrors of the current ‘oils’ market. The bleaching, processing and generally pretty grim practices that are involved in the creation of all cooking oils are just horrifying. Just so that all of the oils on the supermarket shelf can look uniformly the same and we can have exactly the same customer experience every time. He said the best thing that you can do to ensure that you are not flooding your food with hideous, chemically infused oils, is to ALWAYS choose cold pressed and organic. Unfortunately the more expensive the better too! Cold pressed and organic oils and organic meat are my only 100% steadfast rules when it comes to food.
TOP TIPS FOR GOOD PORRIDGE:
1. Slowly does it. Porridge has become a bit of a quick fix recipe for breakfast, but if you want to get the very best porridge, you need to cook it for longer and at a lower temperature. Overnight in a low oven is ideal but 99% of the time you can’t do this so about 10 minutes over a medium heat is perfect.
2. Add lots of liquid, be it milk/plant milk/water or apple/orange juice. If you add lots of liquid at the beginning it will ensure you cook it for long enough.
3. Stir. Just like a risotto, a good porridge requires lots of stirring.
- 100g porridge oats, gluten free if necessary
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 200ml of milk or plant milk
- 150ml of water
- ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom (blitz whole pods in a good blender if you don't have any ground cardamom. If your blender is not up to it, just pass the blended pods through a sieve and you should get some lovely ground deliciousness)
- 1 tablespoon of honey, agave syrup, maple syrup or date syrup
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1/2 a peach or nectarine, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon of bee pollen (optional)
- Added sprinkling of ground cardamom
- Drizzle of honey, agave syrup, maple syrup or date syrup
- Put all of the porridge ingredients into a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a medium simmer. Stir continuously over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. If the porridge looks too thick and dry, just add a little more milk or plant milk. Once at the desired consistency and nice and hot, divide into two bowls.
- Chop the peach or nectarine in half and remove the pip. Slice each half into chunks or thin slices and lay over the top of the bowls. I like to sprinkle mine with a little more ground cardamom and bee pollen. This recipe is actually naturally very sweet so I often do not need to add any extra honey or syrup on the top - it's up to you though, go for it if you are feeling naughty/in need.