The golden girl and her three hirsute friends were onto a good thing with porridge: it's delicious and nutritious. Our five-grain porridge is the perfect answer to cold winter mornings (though my son eats it all year round).
Winter's colder, darker mornings can keep us in bed longer (as our bodies try to store fat and stay warm). With less time for breakfast, some people cut corners by using quick oats to make porridge. But these products have a moderate to high GI. The energy they provide is used faster by the body than low-GI whole grains that give sustained release.
This blend of five wholegrains is a textural sensation that excites tastebuds and energises bodies from the deepest slumber. If you're an early riser and/or exerciser, this porridge will charge your body with much-needed energy to replenish your muscles and mind.
Happily, you needn't slave over a stove to eat properly. It's a myth that you must cook wholegrains, as you'll see from my Porridge recipes. As Goldilocks will attest, everyone likes their porridge a bit different. Some have it thick enough to stand a spoon. Others prefer a smoother start to the day. However you like it, here are some Porridge serving suggestions to try.
Why eat this?
- Low GI. This can help regulate food cravings, especially in colder months.
- Cholesterol free.
- High in vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate).
- Rich in complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.
- 9% fibre to help keep you regular.
- High in calcium.
- Negligible saturated fat.
- High in minerals (including iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc).
- Great source of plant-based protein.
- At just 108 calories (454 kilojoules) and $0.45 a serve, it's perfect for hips and hip-pocket.
75 g = 2.5 serves.
1 kg = 33 serves.
3 kg = 100 serves (hospitality only).
A standard serve is ⅓ cup (30 g) of dry porridge blend, but you can adjust this to need and taste. All recipes serve one. Simply multiply measures by the number of mouths.
Quick sticks porridge (aka Look, Mum; no pans!)
- Put ⅓ cup of porridge blend in a small bowl.
- Add ⅓ cup of boiling water.
- Cover with cling film and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the bed, take a shower or do some star jumps.
While the nutty taste and texture make this porridge delicious straight up, it goes fabulously well with extras. See Porridge serving suggestions for 12 ideas.
Thick, grainy porridge
- Stir ⅓ cup of porridge blend into ⅓ cup of boiling water in a saucepan.
- Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Over a medium heat, stir mixture for 2 minutes.
This recipe is for those who love porridge piping hot.
Smooth, creamy porridge
- Soak ⅓ cup of porridge blend in 1 cup of cold water overnight.
- Next day, add a second cup of cold water (or milk for a creamier taste).
- Over a medium heat, cook for 5-10 minutes or until you reach the desired consistency (add water or milk to taste).
- Add ½ cup of porridge blend, ½ cup of water and ½ cup of full-cream milk to a 1 litre microwave-safe container (to avoid spill).
- Cover container loosely with lid, to let steam escape.
- Microwave on 50% power for 3 minutes.
- Let stand for 2-3 mins to absorb all liquid.
- When it's thick, stir and transfer to a warmed bowl.
- Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with brown sugar, along with your choice of extras (e.g. cranberries, pistachios and cardamom or currants, almonds and cinnamon).
- Serve immediately.
Porridge serving suggestions
While many people love porridge straight up, here are 12 ingredient combinations you can add for variety or a special feast.
A moat of cold or warm milk (dairy, soy, rice or oat) gives wonderful 'light and shade'.
For those in a rush (or who want one!) pour an espresso or ½ a cappuccino over the porridge.
A few sultanas, a sprinkle of nutmeg and you're done!
Sliced banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of brown sugar bring old-fashioned comfort.
Add slivered almonds, a freshly grated Granny Smith apple and a few currants for sweetness.
A wedge of honeycomb stuck in the middle can 'bee' a cute way to serve porridge to overnight guests.
Some pistachios go well with a sprinkle of cardamom and a drizzle of honey, apple concentrate or rice syrup.
A few pecans and some chopped dates evoke the exotic.
Freshly grated ginger, shredded coconut, macadamias and honey make you feel you're in paradise.
A beaten egg (stirred through one minute before the end of stovetop cooking) is especially good after a workout.
Any warm stewed fruit - especially rhubarb, plums or apple - is delicious dolloped on top.
For something naughty, grate chocolate on top and watch it melt into the porridge.
For something naughtier, stir through some chocolate buds or cacao nibs.
For something truly wicked, bury a square of Pana Chocolate or a Ferrero Rocher in the porridge and watch the faces light up as breakfasters find their treasure.