Breakfast of Champions!
For our first ever “skinny” post, we can’t think of a better place to start than Breakfast…porridge is one of our trusted, healthy favourites! It can be enjoyed equally by those who like slow mornings and have time to appreciate the warm, soothing, comfort that a yummy bowl of porridge provides and also by those who have only seconds to spare each morning before running off to start their day and just want something fast, filling and tasty!
Porridge has the benefit of being highly flexible to suit varying dietary needs and intolerances (as you will see from the ingredients below.) You can have your porridge plain or with various healthy additions and can make it tailored to your needs! It takes just a couple of minutes to microwave or a few minutes longer on the stove. Whether you decorate your bowl with a pretty heart shape of berries (like in Alicia’s photo) and just how much time you take to savour it… is entirely up to you!
What you need: (1 serving)
– 50grams Plain Porridge Oats – you can soak these overnight in water – this is not essential but see below for an explanation on this. (If you’re avoiding gluten or are celiac then use gluten free oats.)
– 350ml Milk / Milk Alternative / Water – add more/less liquid to get the consistency you like. (If you don’t do dairy, try options such as soya/almond/oat milk — look out for added sugars in them though to ensure extra calories aren’t sneaking in! Likewise, for the dairy lovers, try to avoid full fat milk for the same reason.)
– Optional additions – We throw in a big, dessert spoon of Berries/raisins and then a more restrained spoonful of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, linseed etc) and Nuts (ground almonds are really nice) before adding a dash of Cinnamon powder. Traditionally porridge has a pinch of Salt in it but we’ll leave that up to you!
– Sweetener – The use of fruit and cinnamon means that you shouldn’t need to add sugar. However, if you’re used to sweeter food, don’t become miserable by going cold turkey! Try using sweeter fruit initially — a half banana will help! If you really need it sweeter, avoid refined sugar (white or brown) and opt for honey/agave or stevia instead. Avoid chemical sweeteners too (why eat chemicals if you don’t have to?) Gradually reduce the amount until just the berries and cinnamon are enough.
How to make it:
If you’re microwaving this, put the oats (pre-soaked or not), cinnamon, pinch of salt (if using) and your milk/liquid into a microwave-safe bowl and zap the lot on high heat for about 1 min. Keep an eye on it because this stuff has a tendency to boil up and over in the blink of an eye and microwaves do vary in power… just get used to the timings/settings for your particular one. Once you hear the beep/ping/buzz, take it out, give it a stir and then pop it back in for up to 1 min (again watching to make sure it doesn’t boil over… honestly there is nothing more annoying than a porridge volcano mess to deal with in the morning!)…once it is done then add in any of the extras that you like and enjoy! Every single ingredient provides nutritional benefit and it also tastes delicious. And if that wasn’t enough, it will keep you feeling satisfied for longer helping you in the battle of the bulge!