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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Gluten Free Porridge

Jess' turn!

This is essentially the antithesis to Tom's muesli post. Me and Tom will have to eternally agree to disagree on the way to eat oats. Personally, the idea of eating oats soaked in cold water is not appealing. Oats should be eaten hot! Porridge is the way forward.

Firstly, I implore you to not buy 'instant porridge'. It is overpriced and really not great. Yes, there are lots of wonderful flavours out there but in my experience, they never taste as good as you expect them to and it would be a LOT cheaper to make the flavours you fancy yourself. There are so many ways to make porridge more exciting than just hot milky oats, I will never understand people who say porridge is boring. It's great, filling comfort food and only needs to take a few minutes to make!

So anyway. Please buy plain oats. I would recommend Scottish oats (I don't know why they're nicest, they just are). I don't buy gluten free oats because they are exceptionally expensive compared to normal ones and I've never had a problem with oats, probably because I'm wheat intolerant not coeliac. But if you are coeliac and need gluten free oats, don't buy the instant packs, just buy the oats in a bag. Trust.

This post isn't going to result in an exciting recipe to try - it really is as simple as this:

Put 40-50g oats in a bowl. Add 200-250ml milk or water or a mix of both (depending on how creamy you want it to be). Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, stir, microwave further if needed. There you go. Porridge.

That's what I do when I have work or uni to attend in the morning. Add some fruit on top and you're sorted. There is no need for sugar. However, there are variations that make it more exciting. Making porridge with 1 part oats to 1 part oat bran makes a slightly creamier texture and since oat bran is great in lowering cholesterol and is generally recommended in weight loss plans (eg. Dukan diet), I like to think it's healthier even if the calories are the same. I use no-fat skimmed cows milk for my porridge, usually half milk and half water, but using hazelnut or almond milk makes a nice change sometimes.

One thing i always always always add to porridge is cinnamon. If you don't like it, sorry. But cinnamon makes everything amazing. I tend to add it once the porridge is already cooked, and just stir it in on top with fruit. Cinnamon porridge with raisins and hazelnut milk - please tell me if anything has ever sounded more appetising! Chop or grate an apple into cinnamon porridge and you have a bowl of apple cinnamon goodness for breakfast. Adding a bit of maple syrup to porridge is lovely too. As is honey. And jam - morello cherry flavour is a favourite at the moment. Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, chopped banana, all wonderful additions. A tablespoon of milled flaxseed on top adds omega fats and protein. A handful of nuts and seeds also works. Literally anything goes.

Except instant porridge and sugar. Enjoy!

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