I am afraid I have come late into the 2015 health-kick! January, it turned out was not a good time to ditch indulgence, but with the start of Lent I have made a decision to cut out a few things (crisps at the office desk have been a particular downfall of mine in the last couple of months) and to try and avoid any snacking between meals as well.
In an attempt to keep the wolf from the door, I have been trying to make breakfast as appealing as possible. I have never been good at breakfast….. I think because I see it as an interruption to the possibility of an extra half hour’s sleep (of which I need lots).
So in my head, breakfast should be quick, convenient and something I can eat at home, in the car or in the office dependent on time available in the morning (and at what point my body suddenly tells me it has to be given sustenance).
In the last couple of years there has been a proliferation of commercially available instant porridge pots and sachets. The convenience of wholesome, filling breakfast porridge which can be prepared and ready in a couple of minutes by microwave (now found in many office kitchens) is very alluring. But what makes it so instant?
It’s no big trick and nothing very complicated. It is a simple matter of balancing rolled oats with oat flour, making them apparently speedier to cook and also much creamier. And here’s the good news…… you can make them at home to your own specification……. lacing with your own favourite spices and adding delicious fruit and nuts as you fancy. If you are gluten free, just make sure you use certified GF oats to avoid any cross-contamination.
This is my version! Instant Fruit and Nut Porridge Pots which combine a carefully considered ratio of porridge with my favourite dried fruits and nuts, balanced with brown sugar and cinnamon for a healthy, sustaining, incredibly tempting breakfast treat.
This recipe uses freeze-dried strawberries and dried blueberries (I used Crazy Jack) for a good fruity punch…… with a blending portion of rich ground hazelnuts and a crunchy couple of spoonfuls of chopped green pistachio nuts. The flavours and textures in this morning bowlful are like no porridge I have had before……. And that is a good thing! This is a a bowl which excites the tastebuds……… It makes getting out of bed something to look forward to…….
You could just mix the porridge portion in a bag and it would taste just as good, but I have layered mine……… it looks so much prettier! Presented in small glass jars, it makes for lovely little gifts if there is someone you want to cheer up, or to give to those early birds in the office as a little rewarding treat……….. the experience of eating the contents is guaranteed to make them feel valued and to put a smile on any face.
Although I have used strawberries, blueberries, hazelnuts and pistachios, there are no limits to the combination of ingredients you could choose, providing the fruit is dried, to ensure portability. This is the opportunity to use the fruit and nuts you like.
Instant Fruit & Nut Porridge Pots
Ingredients – For Each Pot
18g gluten free oats
7g GF oat flour (just whizz some oats in the blender/grinder until they are powder)
3 teaspoons rough chopped freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
1 heaped teaspoon dried blueberries
2 teaspoons chopped pistachio nuts
2 to 3 teaspoons brown cinnamon sugar (make by adding a little ground cinnamon to soft light brown sugar)
1 heaped teaspoon ground hazelnuts
- Mix the oats with the oat flour in a small bowl.
- Prepare your jars or pots (with airtight lids) ready for mixing or layering and lay out your ingredients in small bowls ready to divide into portion-pots.
- Spoon your ingredients into your jars/pots in the ratios as above. Feel free to vary your fruit and nuts as you prefer. To make mine as pretty as possible I layered in the following order (from bottom to top) : half the oat mix; strawberry; blueberry; pistachio; sugar; hazelnuts; rest of the oats.
- Seal the jar/ pot with a lid.
- To Prepare : Tip the porridge mix into a serving bowl and stir.
- Add 140 ml milk and microwave on high for 1½ to 2 minutes. If you prefer your porridge a little less thick, just add a little extra milk)