To make wonderful porridge you want to think texture, colour and flavour. For example berry compete will bring a brilliant bright purple colour, caramelised banana will bring a slight chew, a caramel note and a lovely banana sweetness.
Here are 5 principles to making beautiful porridge/ oatmeal
1. Know your oats - Oats come in many forms from:
- Oat groats - these are the wholegrain before being steamed and rolled - these take longer to cook and are a little like short grain brown rice
- Steel cut oats where the oat groats have been cut into smaller pieces - like oat groats but in smaller bit size
- Rolled oats - they normally come in 2 forms - jumbo meaning the flake size is larger and the porridge ends up coarser porridge with a little texture OR oat flakes or smaller oat flakes which normally cook quicker and result in a thicker more smoother, baby food like porridge
2. Creamy porridge is always better
- Part of the reason why many people see porridge as gruel is that its cooked on water and served with completely plain so it really does taste one dimensional. If you try cooking your porridge with half of your milk of choice and half water it results in a creamier porridge that tastes much more satisfying!
- One of our favourite milks to cook our porridge in is rice milk. Rice milk is naturally quite sweet and mean your porridge end up creamier and sweeter.
- Other ones to try are half hazelnut milk half water as its gives a slight ‘nutella’ like note
- For a more indulgent porridge try cooking your porridge on half coconut milk from a tin and half water.
- Go with what you like - If you’re like our mom and dad they just prefer their oats cooked with water so make sure to go with what you like.
3. Think texture and colour when topping and decorating your porridge - porridge itself is quite one dimensional so its important to add variety of texture. Think crunchy, creamy, fruity, nutty and any other texture you like. More below on toppings on point 5.
4. Sweet or savoury? Our good friend Mark always likes avocado and seaweed in his porridge or in Japan they have a savoury rice porridge with miso and mushrooms for breakfast. Porridge or oatmeal is a wholegrain that can be seasoned to your liking.
5. Toppings are key and a real game changer:
- Crunch - granola - its pretty easy to make - we have lots of recipes here or else we make lots available nationwide
- Nutty - peanut or almond butter or toasted seeds
- creamy - we love coconut yogurt or yogurt of choice
- fruity - try making some fruit compote or stewed fruit of choice
- caramelise bananas - this is so easy to do and is worth while - ensure your bananas are ripe, heat a non stick pan on medium heat, peel and slice the banana lengthwise and place flat side down on the pan, fry till it starts to caramelise, turn and repeat. Serve warm on your porridge for a wonderful treat!