Porridge is a Winter staple. It warms you from the inside out, it’s filling, it’s hearty and it’s SO good for you.
I do love porridge, but to be honest, I don’t cook it as much as I should. As far as the kids go, Mark loves it and will happily inhale a bowlful, Claire, on the other hand, much prefers muesli, yoghurt and fruit. Aaron will have a lot more porridge over Winter to help to warm him up after his morning swim in the bay – no wetsuit….crazy!!!
Now, I don’t really like the term superfood, but if I were to select a superfood, oats would be one. They are low GI, so they keep your blood sugars stable as well as keeping you full. They are a great source of soluble fibre, which helps to keep your gut healthy, drawing more water into the gastrointestinal tract and the beta glucans (sugars found in the cell wall of plants, including oats) can help to lower cholesterol. If you have the choice between quick oats and rolled oats, choose the rolled oats, nutritionally, they’re much better for you.
Many people love porridge as it is, but I do like to mix it up occasionally to keep it exciting. Quantity wise, I usually allocate about 1/3 cup (raw oats) per person as porridge it deceptively filling. I have used the seeds out of the cardamom pod to give the flavour, but ground cardamom will work just as well. If we have chia seeds, I will always add some of these to our porridge to give an extra source of protein, essential fatty acids (omega 3’s) and fibre.
Last night, I stewed some rhubarb with orange zest and juice, so this accompanied the porridge quite well.
- 1 cup traditional rolled oats
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- Zest of 1 orange, cut off in thick strips
- Seeds of 1 cardamom pod, finely crushed or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- Roasted slivered almonds, toasted coconut and pumpkin seeds to serve
- 1 bunch rhubarb, cut into 5cm lengths
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbs castor sugar
- 1 tbs water
- To make the rhubarb, finely grate the zest of 1 orange and place into a medium saucepan with rhubarb, water, sugar, vanilla and juice.
- Place over medium heat and allow to boil. Stir gently. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until rhubarb is tender, ~5 minutes. NOTE: Rhubarb will cook very quickly and will turn to mush, so if you want it to hold it’s shape, keep an eye on it.
- Once cooked, place into an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.
- To make the porridge, place oats, cardamom and orange zest into a small saucepan, top with water and 3/4 cup of milk and allow to soak for 15 minutes (if you are short on time, you can cook straight away).
- Place saucepan over medium heat, add the chia seeds, stir and bring to the boil, stirring to prevent sticking. Reduce the heat once the porridge it hot and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add remaining milk and cook until oats are soft and at the consistency you prefer. Remove the chunks of orange zest.
- Divide between 3 bowls and top with rhubarb, some of the rhubarb juice, toasted almonds, sunflower seeds and coconut. Add more milk if desired