Recently I have started working at a mobile catering ‘hut’ completely devoted to porridge. Ever since I started working there I have come around to appreciate the wonders of porridge. It’s a healthy, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that (if you manage to stay away from the sugary additives) keeps your body running on more complex energy stores instead of sugar. I am not talking about those packets you buy and add water to. I am talking about porridge that is made using milk and oats to give it a rich, velvety texture. YUM!
At work, I make massive pots of the stuff by slowly cooking oats in copious quantities of milk. I realize that the average breakfast doesn’t have to feed an army, so I have been working on a way to get the same texture and flavour without having to wake up an extra half hour early just to make your breakfast. My solution: soaking the oats. By leaving the oats to soak in milk overnight, they are given the chance to absorb lots of moisture so all you have to do in the morning is heat the mixture up. It is amazing how much milk a small amour of oats can absorb. Think of it like making rice: 1 part oats to 3 parts milk.
Aside from the obvious health benefits, there are other serious pluses to porridge. First, it is seriously cheap. Even taking into account the cost of the milk, oats make a much cheaper breakfast than, say, cereal or granola. Second, there are TONS of different flavourings you can add to the porridge to give it a different texture and flavour. Varying the taste of porridge is as simple as adding honey instead of maple syrup, walnuts instead of banana; you can flavour porridge with whatever you fancy that day.
- Measure out the oats and milk into a container.
- Cover the container.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Transfer the oats into a small saucepan.
- You can cook the porridge one of two ways:Leave the porridge to sit for a minute before eating it. The porridge needs this ‘resting’ time to finish cooking.
- Put the saucepan over medium low heat and leave it to cook as you get ready. It will take ~10 minutes this way.
- Put the saucepan over medium high heat and stir constantly until the porridge reaches the desired consistency.
- As the porridge rests, figure out which toppings you want. I think toppings that give a variety of texture are best. A classic is honey with bananas and raisins, but people are going crazy these days adding things like pumpkin pie filling.