Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Top toppings

As the temperature drops my craving for hot food extends to breakfast. Whilst a cooked breakfast is appealing (when I have one I always go for the vegetarian version to limit the damage), porridge is undoubtedly the healthy warming winter breakfast of choice.

Having gone gluten and dairy free sometime ago I make mine with organic rice flakes, rather than oat flakes with rice milk which makes it naturally sweet. I also often add a tsp of Ndali natural vanilla extract to make it taste creamier and some ground flaxseeds for extra fibre.

It's actually a pretty tasty alternative but, as with all foods, having the same breakfast everyday isn't much fun. It's also healthier to eat a greater variety of foods to ensure you're taking in a variety of nutrients.

Consequently I like to have my porridge with different healthy toppings. These both add extra flavour and texture and extra nutrients: Dried fruit contain iron and other minerals, fresh fruit adds vitamin C and antioxidants and the nuts and seeds add essential fats and extra fibre slowing down digestion of the meal helping me feel fuller for longer.

These toppings are also great to add flavour to natural yoghurt as a healthy pudding or sustaining snack.

My favourite porridge toppings:

Chopped Dried apricots, chopped figs and sunflower seeds (leave the dried fruit to soak over night or buy pre-soaked)

Dessicated coconut, turmeric and goji berries. I tend to cook in the goji berries in the porridge so they soften. Don't be put off by using turmeric, it's used in Indian pudding and gives a warm spicey flavour.

Apple, cinnamon and raisins - delicious old school combo!

Banana, agave, chopped hazelnuts.

Stewed berries, cinnamon + flaked almonds. I keep frozen berries in my freezer over winter so I can always make a quick berry compote to go with breakfast. Just add a couple of tbsp water and stew for 5-10mins.

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