So it would seem that with the onset of summer, the weather has taken a turn for the wetter, which has come as a bit of a disappointment after such a glorious May Bank Holiday weekend.
However, such situations should not always seem to be viewed negatively. There’s always a silver lining, and in the case of The Pinny Project, an opportunity in the kitchen.
When I wake up to a dull and dreary day, there’s only one pick-me-up on my mind…and that’s a bowl of sweetly satisfying porridge, served steaming hot alongside a comforting cup of tea. Heavenly!
I find it sets me up for the entire morning…and it tastes mighty fine to boot! And with no added unnatural nasties and plenty of flavour packed in for good measure, you could do a lot worse than a bowl of this hearty helping to kick start your day.
To serve one, you will need:
A teacup of oats
A teacup of organic soya milk (or any other milk of your choice)
A teacup of water
A handful of blueberries (frozen are as fine as fresh)
A tablespoon of honey (I like heather honey)
In a small saucepan over a medium heat, place the oats, milk, water and blueberries. Stir from time to time until the oats begin to swell and the mixture becomes thick and gloopy (in a satisfying way!) – it usually takes about 5 minutes. As the berries melt into the oats, the porridge takes on a marvellous bluey-purple colour, which is a delight to behold! Feel free to add a little more milk to reach the consistency of your liking.
When you’re ready to serve, pour it into your favourite bowl, spoon over the honey and tuck in until your heart (and your tummy) is content.
The most wonderful thing about porridge, is that once you have the basics of oats, milk and water, you can customise it to suit your exact tastes. Anything goes, so be experimental!
Why not try these suggestions of how to ‘pimp’ your porridge:
- Add in any soft fruit during the cooking stage to make a meltingly delicious fruity version – try chopped banana, strawberries, raspberries or blackcurrants – they will give your breakfast a fantastic colour, too
- Add a little spice by popping a teaspoon of cinnamon or a grating of fresh nutmeg in with the oats and milk before cooking
- Be indulgent and add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the oats, or even a tablespoon or two of desiccated coconut, and then cook as normal
- The choice of toppings is almost endless and you can play about with textures too. For a spot of crunch, try adding pumpkin seeds or nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pecans or hazelnuts. You can also throw in a spoon or two of seeds into the oats before cooking, too
- Porridge tastes delicious without anything added to sweeten it up, but if you feel like it, try a drizzle of maple syrup, a flavoured honey such as heather or eucalyptus, or even a spoon of home-made jam. If you fancy sugar, go for the unrefined, golden variety
- For a fruity topping, try stewed rhubarb, chopped bananas, berries or even dried fruits such as figs, dates, raisins and cranberries
- For a different taste altogether, you could try a range of milks, such as oat milk, soya milk or rice milk – or you could just use water on its own
Here are some combinations you could try, from the classic to the Caribbean, via the Black Forest:
- Cinnamon-spiced porridge topped with sliced banana and honey
- Cocoa porridge topped with blackberries and home-made cherry jam
- Banana porridge with sultanas and maple syrup
- Creamy coconut porridge with fresh or dried mango
- Linseed porridge with a stewed rhubarb topping
Here’s to a happy, healthy start to the day for all.