My partner grew up on porridge (or oatmeal) but I never did as we were more a weat-bix family. He’d cook it most mornings and slowly I become a fan too, at the mere age of 27! Traditional porridge is a cooked mixture of oats and milk or water. You can use steel cut oats, rolled (or traditional) oats or quick oats.
We asked our Foost audience about how they enjoy making their porridge and 45% said they make it all milk, 12% liked it made with all water and 43% enjoyed a mix! We love to see variety in food and remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to eating! Porridge made with milk is higher in calcium and energy, but made with water it is dairy free and super cheap. Porridge works with any milk or milk alternative.
Oats are cheap and filling! They are high in fibre and are a prebiotic, which keeps our guts happy! Steel cut oats take the longest to cook (and are much more pricey) but are the most filling (lowest GI). Quick oats are simply rolled oats, cut up more. Quick and rolled oats are the same price wise, but rolled are a little more filling (as our bodies have to do the cutting). You can also make porridge with other grains including quinoa, buckwheat, rice, even barley! You can also used leftover cooked buckwheat, quinoa or rice to make porridge in a flash!
Note: if you have coeliac disease, there is much controversy around oats. Whilst oats are technically gluten free, many oats are contaminated in processing. But some people with coeliac disease cannot tolerate oats (due to a gluten like substance in them) and there is no simple test to find out tolerance. Therefore currently oats are not recommended on a gluten free diet as treatment for coeliac disease. Instead of oats you can use quinoa (longer cooking time) or quinoa flakes.
You can also get oats in sachets, these do cost a little more and do check the ingredients (as they have flavours usually added) but they can be convenient, I often eat these when travelling for work. At home though we buy oats in larger packages and have fun making our own porridge combos (see below).
In our house, I am making porridge for 6 people (2 adults and children 15, 12, 10 and 8 and my kids love breakfast!). Here’s what I do (except I do more than this and eye ball it):
- 1 1/2 cups of oats
- 2 1/2 to 3 cup of milk (or water or mix). Note: more liquid gives creamer texture but takes a little longer to cook
Mix oats and milk/water in a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer and simmer for around 4-5 minutes until porridge is thick and creamy (it is okay if there is a little liquid left as it will mix in when porridge is left for a moment to cool). Remember quick oats cook slighlty quicker. Steel cut need more luquid and take 20 plus minutes to cook.
- 1/3 cup of oats
- 2/3 cup of milk (or water or a mix)
For larger serve:
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1 cup of milk (or water or a mix)
Mix in microwave proof bowl. Zap in the microwave for 90 seconds on high, stir and cook for another 60 seconds.
Now for the fun part! To flavour your porridge, you can cook different fruits or veggies or nuts and seeds or flavours into it, or you can use toppings to create flavour or a combination of both! Here are some of our personal favourites, plus some great inspiration gathered from the Foost community.
Flavoured porridge (add-ins whilst cooking)
For adding flavour whilst cooking, I first mix the oats and liquid. I then cook it for about 2 minutes and add the add-ins and then continue to cook until thick.
Perhaps spend the next week giving these a try (amounts of add-ins given per serve):
- apple pie: a lovely mix of apples, cinnamon, sultanas and cashews (full recipe here)
- mashed banana and frozen raspberries (full recipe here)
- 3 dried diced dates or one fresh diced date in your porridge mix
- 4 diced dried apricots
- 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
- 1/4 cup frozen berries and 1 teaspoon of nut butter
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds and 2 teaspoons of sultanas
Porridge with toppings
You might choose to make your porridge with just oats and liquid and add toppings to create flavour. My children like it when we create a design your own porridge with a porridge bar! You can have options like nuts, seeds, sultanas, cinnamon, shreadded coconut and fresh fruit. Keep nuts and seeds in easy to open containers in the cupboard making the porridge bar easy to set and pack up.
Other of our favourite toppings include:
- warmed pears (click for recipe)
- sliced bananas and pecans fried in a little olive oil and a drizzle of maple syrup
- thinly sliced apple wedges fried in a little olive oil and lots of cinnamon
- cinnamon, steamed apples and almonds
- grated apple, maple syrup and chia seeds
- stewed apples or berries
- fresh or frozen (defrosted) blueberries and maple syrup
- fresh banana and cinnamon
- banana and almond butter
- strawberries and greek yoghurt
- cinnamon, blueberries and honey
- tahini and pear
- banana and honey
Out of the (oatmeal) box
Now if we want to get really fancy, we might do a combo of add-ins and toppings or go for fancier flavour combinations (ingredints are about per serve):
- add-in mashed banana whilst porridge is cooking and top with peanut butter and honey
- carrot cake flavour: ½ grated carrot, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg added into porridge mix. Top with drizzle maple syrup and a few walnuts
- choc zucchini: 1/3 zucchini grated and 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder mixed into the porridge mix! Top with fruit of choice or a few toasted hazelnuts
- pumpkin porridge: 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- gingerbread porridge: 1 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and a dash of vanilla essence. Top with sliced bananas
What to do with leftover porridge?
Now we are not fans of food waste at Foost, so if you have leftovers after breakfast here are our top ways to reuse it:
- pancakes: mix leftover porridge with some fruit. Fry mini pancakes on a low heat in an oiled frypan. To make mixture more fluffy, add in extra milk, egg and self raising flour
- reheat in microwave for a snack or breakfast the next day. For a creamier texture, add milk and reheat on stove top.
- porridge cookies, just add lefotver porridge to your fav cookie mix
- porridge muffins, add leftovers to your next batch of mufins
Other things to do with oats
Not sold on porridge yet or looking for variety. We also love to do make our own muesli and snacks with oats. Here are our favourites (click the recipe for the full recipe):
If you make any of the above oat creations, please tag us on social media @foost.com.au or send a picture through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Oats are cheap, healthy and versatile. Making them a berry great breakfast or snack!