An Homage to Porridge

One of the healthiest and tastiest breakfasts…

Getting out of bed in the morning when it’s cold outside can be a bit of a challenge. However, something that  The Grumpy Chef and I have found very helpful for shaking off those winter morning blues is the promise of a big bowl of warm, sweet porridge. Very low in calories and packed full of fibre plus various important nutrients including manganese, phosphorous, copper and vitamin B1, porridge is not only excellent for warming the cockles throughout the coldest months, but also one of the healthiest ways to enjoy breakfast.

The Grumpy Chef has been enjoying porridge since he was a little boy and loves nothing more than starting his day (when he has time!) with a big bowl of the stuff topped with soft brown sugar and sliced banana  – yum! According to him, the trick to achieving the perfect consistency is to soak the oats in cold water overnight as this helps to break down the fibres of the grain, which reduces the overall cooking time and makes the oats less prone to unpleasant lumping. He also recommends cooking slowly in lightly salted water rather than milk as oats are actually quite creamy already and can become too rich for breakfast if cream is added.

Something else to bear in mind is how easy it is to overcook oats. The Grumpy Chef despises dry, gloopy porridge, and recommends to avoid ending up with a bowl of gunk that you stir continuously whilst cooking and replenish with more water if you notice that the mixture is drying out. If you stick to this then you can rest assured that your porridge will always be a lovely consistency.

The Grumpy Chef’s Perfect Porridge with Brown Sugar and Banana

Prep Time: 6-8 hours
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Equipment: You will need a medium lidded saucepan

1/4 pint rolled oats
1¼ pints cold water (add more if needed)
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. soft brown sugar
1 ripe banana (sliced)

1. Before you head off to bed, place the oats and a 1/4 pint of water in a saucepan, stir a couple of times and then leave out of the fridge with the lid in place until you’re ready to cook the following morning.

2. The first thing to do in the morning is slice the banana, which you can then leave to the side for later. Next, add the rest of the water (1 pint) to the oats with a large pinch of salt and cook over a low heat for around ten minutes, until the porridge reaches a thick but pourable consistency. You will need to stir continuously to prevent the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If the oats begin to dry out you can always add a little water or a drop of milk to loosen.

3. When the porridge has reached the desired consistency, remove from the heat immediately and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. To finish, divide the porridge between two bowls and garnish with sliced banana and a tablespoon each of soft brown sugar… perfect!

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