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Porridge doesn’t have to be boring!

It’s common knowledge that Porridge is good for you. However, many consider it a dull and bland meal. I’m very pleased to be able to bust that myth! I’ve been asking my friends and colleagues what their favourite breakfast toppings are and have discovered there are plenty of ways to add flavour whilst maintaining the health benefits.


Let’s start with ‘why is porridge so good for you’?


Oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan.


According to Victoria Taylor, British Heart Fountain dietitian,

Beta-glucan “can help lower your cholesterol level if you have 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet. A 40g serving of porridge oats contains 2g of beta-glucan.”


Not only is fibre, in general, vital to maintaining good health but it also can help you feel fuller for longer, one of the many reasons, fibre is an important factor in weight management.


So, the bottom line is not only do oats help care for your heart and overall health, but also your waistline.


You can read more fibre and weight management here and more about fibre and cholesterol here.



Porridge couldn’t be easier to make!


Whilst this is true, porridge is one of those things that everyone seems to make differently.


The basic recipe is;

· 30g porridge oats

· 15g rolled oats (optional)

· 200ml milk or water

Put your oats in a saucepan, pour in the milk or water and sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time and watching carefully that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.


Alternatively, there’s nothing wrong with zapping it in the microwave, especially if you are in a rush in the morning, and some people leave out the salt!


A big point of debate with my friends was about what type of milk to use.


Some of my friends seem to favour whole milk whilst others said low-fat milk was best. Some people, who are trying to lower their cholesterol levels, said they use just water to keep the calories down and minimise saturated fat. My vegan friends said it had to be oat milk (well, that does make sense!) and one friend said she used a mashed up banana with a splash of chocolate soya milk.


I’d be interested to hear what everyone uses, so make sure you comment in the comments below!



Bags more flavour!


I eat porridge most mornings and I like to change up my toppings. Here are a few of my favourite toppings are;

· Blueberries, a splash of maple syrup and omega seed mix

· Banana and chocolate syrup

· Apple slices with honey and omega seed mix

· Dates, walnuts, honey

· Peach and maple syrup puree

· Stewed apple with a pinch of cinnamon (adds a sweet flavour without any additional sugar)


I asked some friends and colleagues what they put on their breakfast and I got a mix of the usual, the unusual and the simply bizarre! What do you think of these combinations?

· Lydia - dried fig and honey

· Elena - peanut butter, honey, banana and blueberries (the Elvis of porridge toppings!)

· Dave, Tracy and Deborah - just sugar

· Oriana - left over brandy butter

· Kat - berries and honey

· Miki - apples, pears and blackberries (from a community garden) cooked down with spiced vanilla rum and black pepper. (sounds pretty mega!)

· Anon - grated fresh ginger and chilli oil

· Faye - pistachios with agave or honey

· Kaz - maple syrup

· Monique - golden syrup

· Vicky - frozen berries, chia and flax seeds, maybe some honey

· Deborah - honey, natural yogurt, strawberries and blueberries

· Lucy - cacao nibs and honey

· Kitty - butter and syrup

· Jenny - frozen berries, mixed seeds, Dutch breakfast sprinkles, banana and chopped prunes

· Rob - banana, cinnamon, red berries and brown sugar

· Debbie - I just like porridge on it’s own

· Deborah - homemade pear compote or honey and sultanas

· Nicci - chopped bananas, yogurt and chopped nuts

· Shelly - cooked in raisins so they go all juicy, with a blob of honey

· Dawn - sprinkling of coconut sugar


I hope this has given you lots of breakfast inspiration and let me know what your favourite toppings are!



Word of warning

Be careful with the amounts of sugar and salt you add, as an excess intake of salt can raise your blood pressure over time, and avoid adding large amounts sugar, syrup or honey. (A tablespoon of syrup, for example, adds 60kcal and 16g of sugar – nearly a third of the daily maximum sugar intake).


About Us

A Food Bank is about so much more than food.

‘Recipes from The Larder’ is part of the community project Sevenoaks Larder. We are based in Sevenoaks, Kent, UK. Sevenoaks Larder is a new food support service (Food Bank), which helps residents of the Sevenoaks area who are struggling to pay for their weekly food shop. We provide fresh, as well as non-perishable, foodstuffs. You can find our Donations Wish List here.



Got a recipe you want to share?

We would love to hear from you! We welcome recipes and tips from our readers and service users. Send your recipe along with a few images to sevenoakslarder@gmail.com. Remember to include your social media handles if you want to be tagged!

Together let’s make good food made with real ingredients!


Links

www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/ask-the-expert/porridge

www.healthline.com/nutrition/fiber-can-help-you-lose-weight#bottom-line

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