Thursday, July 8, 2010

Winter Porridge

Winter Porridge
Home Cooking

The idea of porridge might sound boring to some but at the moment, I'm absolutely obsessed. The term was first brought to my attention recently by Mochi, when we went out for breakfast at Piaf. She asked for porridge and they had none. At the time, I thought 'porridge? Hmm?'

It sounds bland, yeh? But don't you think that sometimes, bland things just sound really appealing? I had an image in my head of wood choppers spooning large bowls of steaming gloop in the heart of winter and decided I would very much like some of that.

When I went to Cirque, I rejected many fine breakfast options in favor of getting porridge. It was nothing like what I expected. Rather than rustic and bland, it was creamy, refined and decadent. I don't know if that's a representation of 'true' porridge but what the heck, this post is about MY version.

I went through a phase in early winter where every morning, I made a bowl of oats for breakfast. It became rather methodical: oats cooked the traditional way, in a saucepan, with milk and a drizzle of golden treacle at the end.

This time, I got a bit fancier in an effort to recreate what I had at Cirque. It didn't turn out exactly the same... I suspect they use some kind of special oat (steel-cut?) because the shape is different. Still, this is a reasonably easy and delicious oat preparation.

Winter Porridge

Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup milk + 1/3 cup more
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 chopped banana
  • 1 tbsp vanilla yogurt

1. I cook my oats as per the ratio on the back of the packet (1/3 cup oats to 1/2 cup milk).2. I pop the oats into the saucepan first, turn the heat on high to toast the oats a bit and then add the milk. Once the milk boils, I reduce the heat to low. This whole time, I'm stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from burning and sticking. Non-stick milk pans are really good for this.
3. Add a bit more milk to thin out the mixture and stir through so that the whole thing is nice and creamy. The oats should be cooked now too. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and turn off the heat.
4. I like to serve this with chopped banana, a dollop of yogurt (makes it even creamier but is healthier than using cream) and a sprinkle of extra cinnamon and muesli for crunch, nuts and coconut.

This is my current favorite breakfast item and I've been making it as a snack for night time too. Adding the extra milk after the oats are cooked gives it a nicer consistency and I think the yogurt is a good addition too.

I really think there's nothing better for beating the cold and it's a really healthy option too. Feel free to experiment with different additions and make suggestions in the comments below. I'd love to hear how you have your oats :).


  1. I love love love porridge. I often add frozen mixed berries to mine, with cinnamon, and it goes a gorgeous purple colour, and then sprinkle some brown sugar over it all once cooked.

  2. Hi this is me without you... I agree and brown sugar makes it rad. Too dessert-like and awesome to be a healthy breakfast :D.