As the weather cools our minds have turned towards the humble bowl of porridge. So we want to share with you some of our favourite porridge recipes. But first, I thought we'd take a brief stroll through the vast and varied history of what is, at its heart, a humble bowl of cooked, starchy grains. Put simply, porridge is grains - often crushed or split - boiled with water or milk, and topped with various flavourings.
Porridge has been around for thousands of years, and traditional variations span every continent.
Porridge, in all of its incarnations, shares one thing: it's always greater than the sum of its parts. To call porridge just a bowl of oats it's like saying cheese is just a load of milk, or wine is just a glass of grapes.
Pictures: Top left - Banoffee Pie; Top right - Hummingbird; Bottom left - Chocolate; Bottom right - Lamington.
Basic Oat Porridge:
Combine ½ cup rolled oats with 1 cup water or milk of choice and simmer over a gentle heat for 10 mins, stirring often to avoid it catching on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and add your choice of sweeteners and toppings.
Basic Overnight Porridge:
In a jar or cup, combine ½ cup rolled oats with ½ cup juice or milk of choice. Then add in dried fruits or flavourings or choice. Stir together, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning it’s ready to eat.
Steel Cut Oats Porridge:
Overnight Stove Top: Add 1/2 cup of steel cut oats to a warm saucepan and stir for a couple of minutes to make them toasty. Add 1 ½ cups of water to the pan and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat, put a lid on the saucepan and simply leave overnight. Simply reheat in the morning and you are ready to go. You can add 1/2cup of milk of your choice to add creaminess. Add sweeteners and toppings of your choice.
Slow cooker method: Add 1 cup of steel cut oats, 3 cups of water and 1 cup of milk of your choice to a slow cooker and cook on Low overnight You can add sweeteners and dried fruits in at this
Here are a few combo's that we love.
CLASSIC: Sprinkle in brown sugar and cinnamon.
HONEY & ALMOND: Add in 1 - 2 tsp honey and then sprinkle over roasted almond slivers.
MAPLE & NUT BUTTER: Add in 1 - 2 tsp of maple syrup and 1 tbsp of either almond or peanut butter creating a delicious, nutty richness that is out of this world.
BANOFFEE PIE: Stir in half a mashed banana. Top with the remaining banana, sliced, a sprinkle of brown sugar and some chopped medjool dates.
LAMMINGTON: Stir in 1 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tsp honey. Top with more coconut and a sprinkling of dark or milk chocolate drops. For extra decadence add a tsp of raspberry jam.
CHOCOLATE: Add 1tsp of raw cacao powder, 1 - 2tsp of honey and a drizzle of vanilla (optional). A sprinkle of of chopped nuts and a dollop of raspberry sauce will take it to the next level.
SIMPLE TOPPERS: Botanical Clusters or Cacao and Wattleseed Clusters make and instant, delicious and crunchy topper.
OVERNIGHT HUMMINGBIRD: In a jar or cup, combine ½ cup rolled oats with ½ cup apple or pineapple juice, or milk of choice. Stir through 2 tsp chopped dried pineapple, half a chopped banana, 2 tsp shredded coconut, 1 tsp mixed peel, ½ tsp allspice. Cover and refrigerate. The next morning it's ready to eat - if you wish you can top with more fruit!
OVERNIGHT CHOCOLATE: In a jar or cup, combine ½ cup oats with ½ cup milk of choice. Add 2 tsp cacao powder, 2 tsp honey & a drizzle of vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate. The next morning, top with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of dark chocolate drops and cacao nibs for extra crunch.
Oats aren’t the only base for a delicious porridge.
I love this recipe, which is based on the Czech krupicová kaše.
Pour 1 cup of milk into a medium saucepan and add ½ cup of semolina and a pinch of salt, and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps forming (I like to use a non-stick whisk), over medium-low heat until thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
Top with a slice of cold butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You can add other toppings as desired, such as dark choc drops or fresh berries.