Hello hungry peoples,
If you are feeling like a healthy treat for breakfast this really hits the spot, and it keeps your insides working properly too. Porridge is a hotly debated, much messed with food stuff (who would have thought?). There are a plethora of ways to cook it and not many people agree on the best method. If you know a Scottish person it seems to be a good way to start a fight with them. They are adamant that all you need is oats, water and salt. You even have to stir the porridge a certain way or you will encourage the devil into your breakfast. Jeepers! I have read SO MANY porridge articles and here is what I came up with. It is not strictly traditional, cultural sensitivities aside, but it makes a tasty breakfast.
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 apples
- Pinch salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 pecans
- If you are pressed for time in the mornings the best thing to do is prepare your oats the night before. If you are going to toast your oats do this as outlined below and then add the water to the oats and allow it to soak overnight. Many people swear by toasting the nuts before adding any liquids. To do this put the oats in the saucepan you are going to good the porridge in, put it on a low-med heat and stir regularly. This bit is a bit tricky as you don’t want the oats burnt. It should only take a couple minutes. Once they look toasty, but hopefully not burnt, add the liquids.
- Add milk and a bit of extra water to oats and cook on a low-med. A little bit of lemon juice is also nice to produce a buttermilk effect. Give it all a good stir initially and then leave it alone, stirring occasionally. Milk versus water is hotly debated. If you use all milk it will produce a very rich porridge, which is delicious. It is easy to burn the milk though and that doesn’t taste so good. I go for a compromise of one third milk, two thirds water, which seems to work well. If you are watching calories you can go all water.
- In regards to oats, regular rolled oats are an easy choice. I am currently trying steel cut oats. People rave about the lovely nutty flavour and texture they produce. So far I am not convinced they taste significantly different, they definitely have a coarser texture and take twice as long to cook. People say they are healthier so I guess there is that. It will take about 20 mins for the oats to cook, unless you have soaked them overnight. Then you are looking at about 10 minutes. You can tell when the oats are cooked as they should become creamy but still have some texture.
- Peel the apples and coarsely chop. Throw into the pot with the oats. Some people prefer to have the fruit raw on top of the oats. I like them cooked into the oats. Apple and pear is also a nice combination if you have them.
- Now to toppings. You can buy maple toasted pecans at any local market but they are really easy to make yourself. Heat up a couple of tbsp of maple syrup in a pot. Once it is warm and more liquidy add the pecans and give everything a good stir. Give the pecans a little time in the pot to make them a bit toasty and you are done!
- Towards the end of cooking the oats add a pinch of nutmeg, the tbsp of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. The salt is added towards the end as it is believed to make the oats tough. I have pumpkin spice at home and I commonly use this in my porridge. It is hard to find at the shops but easy to make at home, being mostly cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Put a cup of the cooked oats into a bowl. Top with pecans and drizzle with a bit of extra milk and maple syrup. Brown sugar is also a good sweetener if you want to use it. Enjoy!
p.s. If it is a special occasion you can have cream instead of milk poured on at the end. Ooh lah lah, my arteries are quivering.
Difficulty: Easy peasy