Oatmeal Porridge

What do you eat for breakfast?

The one constant I’ve had over the years with respect to food has been my eating oatmeal porridge in the morning for breakfast. I don’t eat it every day, but do eat it a few times a week, at least. I love that it fills me up, helps start the day with energy, is inexpensive and easy to prepare.

The way I make oatmeal porridge however has changed over the years. At first I made my oatmeal porridge with milk and a slab of butter with brown sugar. Later I made it with water and added a little milk at the end when it was ready to be served and skipped the butter. Now I skip the milk and butter altogether, but make my “oatmeal” with a combination of grains and fruits, with some nuts or seeds thrown in along with some spices and sweetener of some kind.

The “oatmeal porridge” in this photo contains the following ingredients:
– whole barley grains
– whole oatmeal grains
– amaranth
– quinoa
– fonio
– oat bran
– grounded flax seed
– sunflower seeds
– dried goji berries
– dried figs
– dried cranberries
– fresh pomegranate seeds
– 1-2 tablespoons of homemade cranberry sauce
– 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
– cinnamon

I never make my “oatmeal” the same way twice. The quantities of each ingredient and the choice of ingredients changes each time depending on what I have available. You can of course mix any combination that suits you. That’s what is so great about oatmeal…you can start your morning by creating a meal that will get you going for the rest of the day. If you are making oatmeal for more persons than yourself, you can also put various toppings in separate bowls and let each person choose what they want inside their oatmeal.

You can also choose whatever liquid you want to make your oatmeal. Water and/or dairy milk are traditionally used, yet nutseed milk, such as almond, hazelnut or coconut milk make for delicious porridges. As do milk made from soy, oats, rice or other grains.

The amount of liquid you use will depend on the grains that you choose to use. Generally you need 2x the liquid volume for 1x of the grain volume, but it might still depend.

When I have time and forethought, I will pre-soak my grains the night before since this helps to make the grains more digestible and easier for you to absorb the minerals and vitamins in the grains. Grains, like beans, nuts and seeds, contain phytates and enzyme inhibitors which make it harder for us to absorb their nutrients. Soaking these foods however increases our ability to absorb these nutrients. (For more information on this follow this link).

Pre-soaking is therefore recommended, yet of course purely optional. Pre-soaking also reduces the amount of time needed to cook the grains the next morning. You may need a little more liquid added in the morning when preparing the “oatmeal” if you’ve pre-soaked the grains.

When I do pre-soak my grains, I will combine the grains which have the same or similar cooking times together in separate bowls and cover with the appropriate amount of liquid. I then cover the bowls with cheesecloth and leave on my counter overnight (if you use dairy milk you probably want to put the bowl in the refrigerator). I will then start cooking the grains needing more time together and add the other grains into the pot later so they cook the time they require. I often add my dried fruit and seeds/nuts to the grains when they are pre-soaking for the same reasons as stated above.

I add whatever sweetener and spices I use at the very end. By adding certain fruit to the “oatmeal”, such as bananas and dried coconut flakes, you can reduce the amount of sweetener needed.

You can also add at the end any butter or oils, such as coconut oil, that you want to make your “oatmeal porridge” more tasty.

I hope this is not too much detail or information for you, but I add it if it helps people change the way they eat or see “oatmeal porridge”. It really does not take much time, even though it may sound like a burdensome process. It takes me 2-3 minutes to put the grains and seeds together for pre-soaking the night before (when I do this step) and then the next morning I merely cook the grains, which if you’ve pre-soaked takes less time.

Enjoy your “oatmeal porridge” and let me know your comments below. I’m interested to know how you make yours!  Please also share what you often eat for breakfast?

One thought on “Oatmeal Porridge: A Healthy Breakfast

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