Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Winter and porridge are a marriage made in heaven

In a strange coincidence (or was it?), The Age newspaper ran an excellent article devoted to the joys of eating porridge, just eight days after we did the post about rolling our own oats. The report by Carli Ratcliff is titled “Wild Oats” (see it here http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/cuisine/wild-oats-20120725-22oxl.html )

Oat porridge with sultanas and freshly grated ginger
The article is largely about the popularity of different types of porridge in various Sydney fashionable eateries (apparently it is “all the rage” at the moment). There are plenty of excellent suggestions for spicing up the traditional recipe, but the article does have a few oversights.

It doesn’t mention adding freshly grated ginger (as well as a range of dried fruits) which we reckon is one of the best ways to make a top class porridge. Surprisingly it doesn’t mention the benefits (let alone the possibility) of rolling your own oats.

Other ingredients we often add to our oats include apple, sultanas, goji berries, dried apricots, various nuts and seeds and honey. 
Rice porridge with fruit, nuts, seeds, yoghurt and honey
Sometimes for variety we have brown rice and to this we add sultanas, and sprinkle on top sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as walnuts, macadamias and stewed apple or any other stewed fruit that we have at the time. As we haven’t been eating meat we also add quinoa when cooking the rice as this gives us protein.  Last but not least a dollop of plain yoghurt right on top and there it is .....our delicious breakfast.

Although the article promotes biodynamic oats, it is worth noting that even biodynamic and organic oats may have been pre-steamed to remove the natural oils to give them a longer shelf life. The best way to ensure you are getting all the goodness of the whole grain is to freshly roll your own.


Kirsten said...

I didn't know that about the pre-steaming, thanks!

I've been being lazy this year, as my elder kids have gone off porridge at the moment, so I've just been having bircher muesli, but instead of soaking overnight, I just soak for 15 or 20 minutes in the morning using boiling water, then add a little milk just before eating. Takes nearly as long as porridge I guess, but if I am in a hurry I just eat it early.

My favourite porridge is just simple, with grated apple and cinnamon added, but I've never tried ginger, that's something to try next :)

Andrew and Heather said...

Thanks for the comment Kirsten. We don’t always remember to soak the oats overnight either, and have found that they only take a few more minutes anyway. The great thing about porridge is that it is so open to adaptation in preparation methods as well as additional ingredients. You can make so many variations it is never boring.

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