It’s a little strange to be obsessed with porridge, but I admit, I am. Porridge is a bit like flour; you have the base, and with it the opportunity to make whatever sweet dessert you want. There are so many opportunities to spice up porridge. You can make chocolate porridge, apple pie porridge, carrot cake porridge… the list is truly extensive. But first, you have to master the basics.
1. So firstly, you get your oats. Depending on how much porridge you want, you add the oats to the saucepan. Then you add either water or milk, or a mix of both, until it covers the oats plentifully. If you fancy plain porridge, then milk adds richness and a natural depth of flavour. When I have a lot of toppings, I tend to prefer water because I feel the taste is less heavy. However, half milk and half water is nice as well.
I recently tried oat milk with porridge, which I found really suits porridge and adds a natural sweetness (as oat milk is made with fermented oats).
2. Next – this is an optional tip, but it will make your porridge fudgey and thick. Mash up either banana, sweet potato or courgette/zucchini. I usually opt for banana. Add this at the beginning of making porridge before you add liquid, and mix well.
3. Bring the porridge to the boil, and then lower the heat. Try not to stir too much during this process. If you want to add cacao powder/spices, add now. Also, if you want your fruit slightly cooked or softened, add now as well. If you want raisins or chia seeds, add now as well so they absorb liquid.
4. Now, one of the crucial things about porridge is knowing when to stop cooking. If you like creamy porridge, cook until it is creamy, but this can make it gloopy and gross because the starch breaks down and forms a gloopy substance. This makes the difference between basic porridge that your mum made you eat when you were little, and gourmet dessert porridge. I like to cook my porridge until all the water has absorbed and the oat is soft, creamy, and the edges have broken a little, but the general shape is still there so you can see it is made of oats. Take the heat off now.
5. Lastly, add your toppings. I adore peanut butter in my porridge, because it melts a little from the heat, and the stickiness and coat the back of your tongue-ness disappears, but the wonderful flavour remains. Granola is also delicious (I know, oats on oats, weird – but trust me) and fruit adds a fresh, juicy contrast to the cooked, piping hot porridge.
6. Enjoy, you’ve just made the perfect breakfast! (Don’t fight me on this haters)