The porridge revival
Sticky, oaty gruel has shed its image as the stuff of unpleasant childhood memory to become a popular breakfast dish. You’ll find it in different guises as “oatmeal” or “porridge” depending where you are in the world. It is touted as being particularly healthy and easy on the digestion. But how on earth has gruel gone from cheap, bland food to chic food trend?
How porridge is finally getting the respect it deserves
Oat flakes, water, milk ‒ these ingredients don’t sound especially exciting. There’s a reason why “doing porridge” is old-fashioned British slang for a stay at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. But the tasteless old groat has long shed its reputation, because classic oatmeal these days demands fresh ingredients and special garnishing that take it to the next level.
Unlike Overnight Oats, porridge is cooked and eaten warm. It’s supposed to be better on the stomach that way. Oat bran in particular keeps cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels in check. The very antithesis of the lavish breakfast buffet, porridge allows you to save on calories and still feel fuller for longer. Proteins, fiber, vitamins... it’s got them all.
For many people suffering from food intolerances, home-made porridge can be a helpful alternative. Quinoa or buckwheat are suitable for a gluten-free diet. And if you replace ordinary milk with plant alternatives, porridge can even be lactose-free and vegan as well.
What basic ingredients do I need to make porridge?
Oat flakes. That’s the basis of this British classic. But it’s not cast in stone, as any food trendoffers room for innovation and reinterpretation. The following varieties of grain are suitable for a home-made breakfast porridge:
- Oat bran
- Spelt flakes
- Semolina (polenta or spelt)
You’ll need roughly the same amount of liquid as grain. The ideal consistency is achieved by using half water and half milk. Instead of cow’s milk, try grain-based drinks such as soya, rice and co.
How do I add a little diversity to my breakfast?
Porridge is something of a blank canvas: it can be combined with all sorts of ingredients. The classics are fruit varieties such as apple, pear, banana or berries. Those who prefer something a little more exotic can also try kiwi, mango or passion fruit.
It doesn’t always have to be fruity or sweet, though. Porridge comes from Scotland, where it is also served up as a savory accompaniment. Combining it with mushrooms, leek, zucchini, carrots or pumpkin makes a delectable alternative to risotto. Fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, chives and thyme also give it a certain zing.
What mustn’t I miss for oatmeal?
Once you’ve decided on your basic grain and additional ingredients, you can add some extra flavor to this comfortingly warm breakfast by adding various garnishes or sweeteners. A spoonful of yogurt alternativewill do wonders for your digestion:
- Vanilla pulp
- Acai or matcha powder
- Chia or linseeds
- Nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts)
- Pine nuts or sunflower seeds
- Yogurt alternatives
- Raisins, cranberries
- Dandelion, rice or maple syrup
- Agave or apple syrup
How to prepare porridge in three easy steps
- In a pan, mix 1/2 cup oat flakes (or another grain) with ½ cup water and ½ cup of a Dream&Joya Drink of your choice. Add a pinch of salt and bring the mixture to the boil.
- While it’s bubbling away, prepare the remaining ingredients. (Wash and peel the fruit.)
- Remove the pan from the stove once you have achieved a thick, creamy consistency. Add the fruit and other ingredients (e.g. cocoa) and stir carefully. Sweeten to taste and sprinkle with your chosen toppings.