Thursday, 15 November 2012

Power porridge

There are some people who eat the same breakfast all year round but my tastes change with the season and as it gets colder my desire for hot and easily digestible food increases with porridge top of the bill.

A comforting breakfast that warms you up after a cold commute, it also contains a lot of fibre and liquid so has the ability to keep you full til lunch.
Oats are also a good source of energy giving B vitamins and have been found to have cholesterol lowering properties.

For those of you who can eat oats this is also a readily available breakfast in the city, either at work, at pret, eat or crussh and you can often get dairy free versions.

For anyone gluten free, missing out on porridge is a sad necessity, however oats aren't the only grain you can use to make it.

I buy organic rice and quinoa flakes in my local healthfood store and use these in a mix, cooked up with some rice milk or kara coconut milk which I then heat up the next morning at work. Alternatively I cook up organic brown or basmati rice or quinoa grains again with dairy free milk to make a kind of rice pudding. Adding a teaspoon of Ndali sugar-free vanilla essence to any of these helps make them a bit creamier.

Once you've got your basic porridge you then might want to spruce it up a bit.

Firstly if you've got a sweet tooth try and skip the brown sugar. Honey isn't too bad, but healthier sweeteners are agave syrup, chopped dried fruit such as dates or figs or some sugar-free st dalfour jam.

Adding some fruit is another great way to sweeten porridge and get one of your five a day. Berries are my favourite and the most antioxidant rich fruits, but I use frozen ones this time of year when they aren't in season. Just stir them into hot porridge and they'll defrost. Chopped pears or apples are also lovely as is some chopped banana.

Next up you might want to add some crunch with some healthy fats at the same time. Flaked almonds, chopped hazelnuts or even pumpkin and sunflower seeds all add a nice bit of texture whilst the extra essential fats will keep you feeling full for longer.

Finally it's time for some spice. Allspice and cinnamon both add a lovely wintery warmth with some antimicrobial action to boot, whilst turmeric is also nice and anti-inflammatory so good for any stiff joints.

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