Who doesn’t love a big hearty bowl of creamy porridge every morning? Not only does it totally fill you up until lunchtime (thanks, slow-releasing energy oats!), but it’s also full of all the best nutrients you need every day.
In our house, I make a big pot in the morning on the stove – the kids all like different toppings, and love having fun making faces with berries and cinnamon sprinkles. I like to change my porridge recipe most mornings to mix things up a little, here are a few of my faves:
1. For the whole family
This one is probably for the weekend when you have a little bit more time, but honestly, it is to-die-for, everything Jamie Oliver does is so tasty, and this one does not disappoint.
What’s in it
200 g blanched hazelnuts
400 g porridge oats
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 heaped tablespoons quality cocoa powder
200 ml coconut water
1 heaped tablespoon Greek yoghurt
80g fresh fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, sliced banana, grated apple and pear, segments of orange
1 pinch of ground cinnamon or quality cocoa powder, (optional)
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan on a medium heat until golden, tossing often, then tip into a food processor. Add half the oats, the vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Finely grate in the orange zest and pulse until fine, then stir the mixture back through the rest of the oats. Pour into an airtight jar, ready to use.
When you want a portion, simply put 65g of the mixture into a saucepan with 200ml of coconut water and heat gently over a medium-low heat for 3 minutes, or until it’s the consistency that you like, stirring regularly and adding splashes of water to loosen, if needed. Serve each portion with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and 80g of fresh fruit. It’s also nice finished with a pinch of cinnamon or a dusting of cocoa if you like. And remember, if you up the number of portions you’re cooking at one time, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. Chocolate porridge – how cool is that!
2. For the kids
The kids will LOVE these. They kind of look like cupcakes, but they are super-healthy. They’re a great way to give them bundles of energy in the mornings to (hopefully) get them through to mid-morning without the dreaded “I’m hungry.”
What’s in them
350g porridge oats
120ml maple syrup, golden syrup or honey
1 egg, beaten with a fork
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Toppings (optional) (use any fruit, chocolate, nuts, nut butter, spice or another topping you like!)
Preheat your oven – 180 degrees for conventional ovens or 160 degrees for fan ovens – and line a 12-hole muffin/cupcake tin with cases. I used paper cases.
Tip the oats, milk, syrup and beaten egg into a large bowl. At this stage, feel free to add some vanilla or even a little cinnamon if you have some.
Mix it all together until combined into a porridge-like paste. Feel free to taste it at this stage, adding a little more salt or syrup if you like.
Use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cases in the tin.
Gently press your chosen toppings onto the porridge cups.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until firm and lightly golden on top.
Allow to cool a little before removing from the tin.
Enjoy these warm with a little milk, cold as a snack, and topped with whatever you like!
*I made these using raspberries and some chocolate chips, but they are wonderfully customisable so get creative!
3. Just for you!
Sick of hot porridge – then eat it cold. Easy. And totally and utterly delicious, once you go cold, it’s hard to go back!
What’s in them
1 cup porridge oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut chips
Combine everything (except for the banana) together in a bowl.
Place in jars and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, top each jar with bananas slices and enjoy!
Centra is helping customers get back on track in the first weeks of February with their Live Well Restart Initiative with healthier breakfast, lunch and dinner inspiration, as well as great offers Mon-Wed such as blueberries 125g €1, Flahavans Porridge Oats Microwave Drum 500g €1, and Centra Fresh Irish Chicken Fillets 454g half price.