Posts tagged oatmeal
Mini Christmas Pudding Porridge... takes just 3 mins all in!!

This was my epic breakfast last weekend. It looks like dessert, to be honest it is totally worthy of 'bressert' status. For dessert use the juice as noted and sprinkle the coconut sugar. Job done!

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You could prepare the mix ahead of time too and just let it sit for an hour or so, possibly overnight, I haven't tried it that way but I don't see why it wouldn't work. 'Overnight Oats Christmas Pudding Porridge', ha ha! The best thing ever to wake up to on Christmas morning... with absolute minimal prep!

It literally takes three mins to make from start to finish! (if you use a microwave- see my notes below).

I make servings like this using a silicone egg poacher - so handy, the perfect size and they are flexible so the contents come out so easily. I highly recommend investing in one for you single serve cakes and such like (not eggs!) ;-)

What will you be making on Christmas day morning?

Are you more sweet or savoury?

I'm such a sweet porridge girl so that's been my go-to to make for my family these last few years. If you haven't already, I highly recommend trying these too- the bakewell pie and the classic festive baked oatmeal that kicked it all off!

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Recipe: Mini Christmas Pudding Porridge!

Serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 2 tbs ground nuts of any kind
  • 1/4 cup apple puree
  • 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (a mix of some of these: raisins/sultanas/currants/cranberries/gojis)
  • 1/2 tsp spice or more to taste (I used a little of mixed spice & cinnamon)
  • 1 heaped tbs flax
  • 1/4 cup water (or juice for extra sweetness)

Method:

Mix everything together well in a small bowl.

Spoon into a small circular microwaveable domed dish- I use an egg poacher (so great for mini cakes!!) Press firmly and smooth the top.

Microwave for 90 seconds on high power. Carefully loosen and tip out onto serving plate and dress with vegan yoghurt or cream plus any extra fruits and spices, I used gojis, but a cranberry compote or some festive jam would be amazing! If you prefer an even sweeter porridge sprinkle a touch of coconut sugar, it was fine for me without.

*Notes: I rarely use a microwave these days but I didn't want to turn on the oven on for this tiny dish, I also find it crisps/dries up more in the oven and this works best when the moistness is maintained. By all means try the oven but don't overcook- cover loosely in foil and make sure middle is still very moist!

If you try the microwave option but are making multiple puddings- cook one at a time or increase the timing- I have only tried cooking one.

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Blackberry & Apple chia porridge

It's been a beautiful sunny October with some very warm days thrown into the mix. I love the seasons. Conkers on the floor, red crunchy leaves in the woods and the nip of winter on the horizon with dark mornings and early nights creeping in. Particularly now the clocks have changed.

Is it porridge time yet?

Yes please!

I had some blackberries left from picking a few weeks back in the freezer and some apples that I picked from a a friends tree sop this little warming breakfast or brunch was perfect. Plus I have been experimenting with recipes using this natural unrefined syrup by Sweet Freedom. More on this to come soon, but you can check them out here. The thing I love most about this syrup is that it is the closest equivalent to honey in flavour that I ever have come cross in a vegan sweetener.  I love it in muffins or drizzle on porridge like this. They also make a chocolate drizzle syrup and I have had both on hand in my cupboard for a few years, so versatile!

You could also try this porridge concept with gluten fee oats or something else entirely such as buckwheat or quinoa flakes.

By adding chia seeds and grated apple along with the oats, you'll create a lovely warming porridge that is that little bit lighter than the norm... perfect for the shift to winter when full blown comfort foods might not quite yet be in the agenda!  

Recipe: Blackberry & Apple chia porridge

Serves 2

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk of choice (plus extra to suit)
  • 2-3 tbs chia seeds (white will look prettier)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small apple grated
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • large handful blackberries
  • 1 tbs sweet freedom plus extra to serve

Method:

Add the oats, milk, chia, cinnamon and grated apple to a medium saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes (or until preferred consistency- I like my oats only just cooked) Add extra milk to achieve desired consistency- the amount of chia you use will impact this.

In a separate frying pan cook the apple chunks- or you can just add them into the porridge along with the rest of the ingredients at the beginning if you are not fussed about having them as a chunky topping.

Add the cooked apple and blackberries on top (I add the blackberries cold) then drizzle with sweet freedom to taste. Add an extra dusting of cinnamon if you are a cinnamon freak like me!

Note: you can also stir through a teaspoon of maca powder, it's totally optional by I usually add it to all my porridgy concoctions as it gives me a boost for the day!

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Goldilocks… and her oats!

The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. 

She tasted the porridge from the first bowl. 

"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed.

So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

"This porridge is too cold," she said

So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.

"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and she ate it all up……

Ok, well I can’t really blame her for eating the bears porridge...it would have been tempting after all (although if I was one of the bears I would have put my foot down and decided that we would not leave the house until we’d eaten all of the porridge- just in case!)

I figured today would be a fitting opportunity to re-live a little oatmeal magic. I eat a bowl of oats every day for breakfast, and often at other times of the day for a little snack to keep me going. It’s not just porridge that gives me a kick…we have the breakfast cookie, the bakewell oat tart, gorgeous granola, the simplest most versatile crumble topping, plus many of my pancake recipes such as have a hefty serving of oats!

So..i’ll get to the point. Today’s post is simply a little tribute to the humble oat to give you a little inspiration…and maybe a drool-worthy moment. Catering for all tastes and textures (as I know for many people it is the 'gloopy' texture of porridge that doesn't appeal) check out the teasers below..... I will take this opportunity to remind you that ALL these recipes are super healthy  (even when it doesn’t look that way!)

step by step: oats and soy milk- pre cooked... cooked oats with grated apple on top...apple mixed through plus toppings

This pictures above are my go-to everyday breakfast bowl. I usually eat when I get to work and keep oats, seeds, nuts and soy milk in the cupboard/fridge in the office. I then take an apple in with me each morning  and concoct this monster! If I’m feeling like a lighter breakfast I will reduce the amount of oats and keep everything else the same so once the apple is mixed through it’s simple ‘light’ oats and not so filling and heavy. I add quite a lot of soy milk so that the oats have a lovely creamy milky texture.

  The best thing about this method is that grating the apple makes the bowl of oats look huge once its mixed through and it offers plenty of sweetness without any thing needing to be added. A few raisins/seeds/nuts are the perfect finali!

I use this method in many of my variations with different toppings. Typically I go for ½ cup oats (usually porridge oats not steel cut), slightly under 1 cup soy milk- microwaved together for 90 seconds then with 1 grated apple mixed through before toppings added last.

Now, check out some more oat love below...............Mmmmmmmm!

 apple and mango oats- using thegrated apple method

 apple and mango oats- using thegrated apple method

 my favourite   chocolate granola

 my favourite chocolate granola

 oh yeah...   the breakfast cookie!

 oh yeah... the breakfast cookie!

 a very milky PB&J styled combo  (peanut butter oats with strawberry and nectarine)

 a very milky PB&J styled combo  (peanut butter oats with strawberry and nectarine)

 strawberries and almonds

 strawberries and almonds

 another breakfast cookie...coming to my blog very soon...

 another breakfast cookie...coming to my blog very soon...

 plums and nuts

 plums and nuts

the  banana choc classic  ...or go crazy with carob

the banana choc classic ...or go crazy with carob

super simple   crumble topping

super simple crumble topping

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The beach with tropical oats

It hard to believe its October and just a couple of days ago I spent one of the hottest days this year walking along a beach in the beating sun and eating chips whilst the sunset! (oops, well I am allowed a naughty treat every now and again)

Crazy English weather- but I’m not complaining this time (just would have been nice to have seen some of this weather during August!) 

The crash of the waves, the heat of the sun and the feint whiff of sun cream was still on my mind when I woke up the following morning ready for a bowl of…. tropical oats!

I had taken a pic-nic for our beach trip. Filled with veg sticks and hummous, cous cous, fresh bread, fruit and a couple of bags of these….

Mini bags of ‘infused’ raisins by Nakd (the Nakd bar people), and not having tried them before I couldn’t help myself. Strangely moorishly yummy!

The pineapple infused raisins caught my eye when I opened up the cupboard to ‘discover’ breakfast and before long they had made friends with some mango, nectarine and coconut butter, all mixed together in a lovely bowl of tropical goodness…. Now all I need is my sunglasses and lounger!

Recipe: tropical Porridge oats

Ingredients:

  • A serving of oats soaked in soy milk (see this post for my basic oats)
  • 1 to 2 tsp coconut butter
  • 1 handful of fresh or frozen mango chunks
  • 1 nectarine cut up into chunks
  • Mini packet of pineapple infused raisins (or actual fried pineapple pieces!)
  • Dollop of soy yoghurt
  • Sprinkling of coconut chips (if desired or if omitting the coconut butter)

Method:

Pre-soak the oats in the soy milk and then mix through the coconut butter. Cover the oats with the mango and nectarine chunks and lightly mix into the oats. Top the mix with the infused raisins/pineapple and a dollop of soy yoghurt and a sprinkling of coconut chips (I didn’t have any coconut chips to hand).

The perfect breakfast for a hot ‘summers’ day (or even the depths of winter when you need reminding of what summer actually feels like!)


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Breakfast oats

I love oats and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of them! No really… there are just so many topping options. This is the way I start pretty much every day, and in times when a quick fix is in order then I’ll often have oats for lunch or dinner, particularly if I’ve had a late gym class and need a quick and healthy but substantial fix before bed.

Typically I keep the base the same and vary the toppings. Something like this…..

Serving of raw oats soaked in soya milk (the exact amount depends on time of day or how peckish I’m feeling) see also important note below on soaking.

  • 1 tbs of mixed seeds (I combine my own mix of sesame, flax, sunflower and pumpkin seed)
  • 1 to 2 tbs of soy yoghurt dolloped in the centre of the bowl on top of the oats
  • Sprinkling of raisins
  • If you like your oat base a little sweeter then add up to 1 tsp of agave nectar.

Toppings… right this is where you can really go crazy! 

I typically have grated apple and a sprinkling of cinnamon, one of my favourites. At the moment I’m also really into nectarines so a chopped up nectarine (or both apple and nectarine if I’m making up a bowl for the boy too). Blueberries or raspberries are also super yummy- use a small handful of frozen ones at a push if there are no fresh ones available, particularly if teamed with fresh grated apple…. Can you see the familiar theme with the apple obsession! I think a sprinkle of cinnamon works well with most fruit to give a warm spicy boost.

These last couple of days with the morning sun streaming through the kitchen window I took a few pictures of my breakfast bowls…. You’ll never want a boring old bowl of cereal again!

Important note:

If uncooked, raw oats ideally need to be soaked prior to eating (if you are not making them into porridge which I am not) I soak my oats in soya milk for approximately an hour or so (that’s usually all the time I have in the morning) but overnight is better!

The soaking bulks up the oats prior to digestion and prevents the need for heating which denatures the protein- it keeps the breakfast raw. Most importantly soaking helps to break down phytates in grains which, if not broken down, may prevent proper digestion of the nutrients. Soaking breaks down the phytates and allows the body to properly absorb all the good content of those whole grains. I use soya milk, but any ‘milk’ alternative could be used.


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Pan Fried Plantain With Cinnamon Pan Crumble

I came across plantain entirely by accident whilst out shopping for something entirely different (no I didn’t find what I was looking for!) A new ethnic food market stall caught my attention and I had a little browse. So many random and exciting things, many of which I’d never even heard of gave rise to many new ideas in my mind. I’ll probably be going back there sometime soon!

I decided to play it safe and not get carried away on my first visit, after all that hadn’t been the reason I’d actually ventured into town. However, I couldn’t help but be seduced by plantain…..

I’d had plantain once before at a bbq where it was cut into thick diagonal slices and simply bbq’d until soft and the pale creamy yellow flesh had turned a deeper shade. It was delicious and I kept coming back for more.

A plantain looks like a ‘big banana’ but the starchy texture makes it more like a cross between a banana and a sweet potato. It can be used in sweet or savoury dishes and either in its green (unripe) or yellow/black (ripe) state. 

Once home, I did a little investigation to see what the options were, having never cooked it before I wanted to do it justice if I could! The most popular recipes seemed to be sweet dessert/brunch type snacks using ripe plantain, either grilled or fried with spices or syrup. An ideal opportunity for a Sunday brunch. So this morning, instead of the usual oats (as much as I love my oats- more on those later), I decided to surprise the boy with cinnamon fried plantain topped with peanut butter oat crumble (ok so I couldn’t quit the oats entirely!!)

Recipe: fried plantain with cinnamon crumble

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • One large ripe plantain- sliced on the diagonal approx. 10mm thick
  • Generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon- approx. 1 tsp 
  • 1 tbs oil (I used coconut)

For crumble topping:

  • Approx. 50g oats
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon 

To serve- 2 large tbs soy yoghurt (or more)

Method:

Heat oil in large frying pan until hot then carefully place strips of plantain covering the pan. Fry on either side for 3-4 minutes until golden yellow and beginning to crisp.

Transfer cooked plantain to a side dish and without delay pour the oats into the pan and add the peanut butter, agave and spice. Stir briskly for approx. 2 minutes until the oats are toasted and clumpy.

Assemble the plantain on plates, add a dollop of soy yoghurt to the centre and top with the oat mixture and more yoghurt if prefered.

Mmmmmm…… perfect Sunday brunch or dessert!


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