If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll know I’m a major porridge fan. I have oats in some form almost every morning (and have done for the past three years!), and I just never get bored!
Porridge oats are not only a very cheap option for a budget breakfast, they are a fantastic health food, full of fibre, B vitamins and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. According to the oldest family in Ireland, who have a combined age of 1,075 years (!), the secret to long life is to enjoy a bowl of porridge for two out of three meals per day. Certainly, evidence is now mounting for the cholesterol cutting properties of the humble oat – all the more reason to make it a staple breakfast grain!
If you’re concerned about eating more locally sourced food, UK-grown oats are easy to source from UK supermarkets. Jordan’s Organic and Flanagan’s are examples of brands that use UK grown oats.
Zero Waste Tip: Where to Buy Oats Without Plastic Packaging
- Buy unpackaged – You’ll find unpackaged oats in almost every eco or health food store that has a bulk section.
- Buy in paper – If you don’t live near a bulk store (most of us aren’t so lucky!) then try buying oats in paper or card packaging. Quaker Oats are available in most UK supermarkets and come in a cardboard box with no hidden plastic packaging inside. Flanagans Organic Oats are a slightly pricier option also available in supermarkets, but are such good oats! Their jumbo oats in particular make the creamiest porridge. They come in paper bags that are recyclable and biodegradable.
- Buy online – Check out whole food wholesalers for oats in 1 kg + sized paper packaging (I’ve heard Suma Wholefoods do excellent deals in the UK). Just make sure to request that your order doesn’t come wrapped in any plastic packaging when you checkout.
5 Cosy Oatmeal Recipes for Autumn
One of the things I love most about porridge is that the flavour combinations are endless! Here are some of my favourite oatmeal recipes for cosy autumn mornings. Best enjoyed with a steaming cup of tea.
1. Autumn Spiced Figgy Date Bowl
Packed with iron and fibre rich dried fruit, this one is perfect for cosy autumn or winter mornings! I love the extra crunch from the sunflower seeds too.
Add 2/3 cup oats to a pan along with 1 cup plant based milk, 1 chopped/mashed banana, 2 chopped dates, 2 chopped figs or prunes, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, and 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Cook over a low heat until creamy, about 5 mins.
Once the oatmeal is ready, top with whatever you feel like – I love the combination of ground flaxseed, coconut and frozen blueberries or chopped apple or pear. Delicious!
2. PB and J Rice Krispie bowl
Adding 1/2 cup of rice krispies, or other rice crisp type cereal, to your porridge while you cook it really adds a certain something – trust me, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Top with some delicious jam and crunchy peanut butter and you have a winner! This is also great camping food, that kids will love too.
3. Chia Blueberry Oatmeal
While you cook your porridge, in a separate small pan, combine 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds and 1 tbsp liquid sweetener of your choice along with a large dash of water. Cook over a low heat until a jam-like consistency forms – the quickest jam recipe ever! A delicious topping for porridge, or toast.
4. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with toasted Coconut and Cashew Cream
This is a slightly more indulgent breakfast that is wonderful for a slow, autumnal weekend morning.
For one serving, add 1/3 can of pumpkin puree to a pan along with 1/2 cup oats, 2/3 cup oat milk, 2 chopped dates and 1/2 tsp each of ground cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Cook over a low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the oats are cooked. While the oats are cooking, spread 2 tbsp coconut chips on a baking tray and toast in the oven at a low heat (~150 degrees Celsius, with fan) until lightly browned. Serve the porridge topped with chopped banana or other fruit, the coconut chips and, if you’re feeling especially indulgent, some non-dairy cream: try my cashew cream recipe below.
For the cashew cream: Soak 1 cup of cashews in water for at least 1 hour, then combine in a food processor or blender with 2 cups of water, 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, and 1 tbsp liquid sweetener. Blend on high until smooth – there’s no need to strain. It’s best to store this in the fridge in a container with a tight fitting lid, so that you can give it a good shake before you serve it! This makes a delicious, creamy topping for oatmeal. Heated up, it also makes a delicious non-dairy alternative to custard.
5. Baked Apples with toasted Nuts and Maple Syrup
Thinly chop 1 medium sized apple into small pieces, and toss together with 1 tbsp walnuts or pecans, 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice. Spread the mixture on a tray and place in a hot oven. Meanwhile, get your porridge cooking on the stove. By the time the oats are thick and creamy (about 5 min), the apples should have softened and the nuts toasted – making the perfect topping for your porridge bowl!