The Observer - - WEEKEND - WEEK­END COOK WORDS: MAG­GIE COOPER mag­gies.col­umn@big­pond.com

There’s re­ally noth­ing more suit­able for a chilly win­ter’s morn­ing than a big, com­fort­ing bowl of porridge. My mum used to cook it with salt and serve it with a (big) pat of but­ter, lash­ings of brown sugar and a driz­zle of milk. I haven’t eaten it like that for many years. I try to limit the added salt in my diet so I’ve trained my palate to do with­out it in my break­fast ce­real where pos­si­ble. These days I pre­fer to flavour porridge with fruit and spices. Oats are con­sid­ered to be a super food, with many health ben­e­fits. They are gluten-free and full of an­tiox­i­dants, sol­u­ble fi­bre, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. The ba­sic recipe here is for one serve; ob­vi­ously it’s eas­ily mul­ti­plied.


Serves 1


1 cup porridge oats 2 1⁄4 cups wa­ter


Place oats and wa­ter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, stir­ring to pre­vent porridge from catch­ing and burn­ing on the bot­tom of the pan. Re­duce heat and sim­mer for 4–5 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Pour into a serv­ing bowl and top with one of the fol­low­ing choices.


1. A hand­ful of mixed nuts (try al­monds, hazel­nuts and wal­nuts) with honey and flax seeds. 2. Add 1⁄2 tsp cin­na­mon to the porridge while cook­ing and top with Granny Smith ap­ple slices and a few wal­nuts. 3. A lit­tle milk, 1⁄4 cup dried cran­ber­ries and a driz­zle of maple syrup. 4. Yo­ghurt with sea­sonal fruit and chia seeds. 5. Sliced ba­nana with sliv­ered al­monds, sun­flower seeds and co­conut milk. 6. Yo­ghurt and honey.


A bowl of oat­meal porridge will sat­isfy win­ter hunger pangs.

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