Red Velvet Porridge

I have a friend who loves Café Nero’s red velvet cake. Iona, you are either going to love me or hate me for what I have done with your red velvet cake.

This recipe is inspired by that rich, intensely chocolatey cake with its distinctive red colour. And how to get that colour in a porridge that also provides two of your 5 a day? Raspberries and beetroot. Yes, beetroot. Sounds odd, it really isn’t. In food tech, back in high school, my friend Lucy made chocolate and beetroot muffins, and they tasted amazing- vegetables actually work really well in cakes. And if you aren’t a fan of beetroot don’t worry, once its well blended, and combined with maple syrup and chocolate, you can’t really tell its there.

If you’re also in need of a little bit more protein to keep you full, or aid gym recovery, or simply because you eat a plant based diet and so worry you don’t get enough- then I have you covered too. You can add a scoop of protein powder to this porridge to bump up its protein content. Just be aware that this gives a more savoury taste if you’re using one such as pea protein- if you have a chocolate protein powder, then extra chocolate points for you. Taste a bit of the porridge once its nearly ready, and if it isn’t sweet enough due to the protein powder, then add just a touch more maple syrup.

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2tsp pure maple syrup (I use Meridian)
  • 1/5 tbsp. cacao (I use CHOC Chick)
  • 3tbsp unsweetened almond milk (I use Alpro currently)
  • 2 cooked baby beetroot, chopped (NOT the ones that come pickled, or flavoured- just steamed and then vacuum packed baby beetroot)
  • 5g protein powder of choice (I use the Pulsin Pea Protein. You can leave this out, and reduce the water by 1/4cup)
  • 1 small handful frozen raspberries (approximately 80g if you want to count it as one of your 5 a day)
  • Begin by making the red velvet paste. Into a good blender (or even better, liquidiser) place the beetroot, the cacao, and the almond milk. Pulse, and then blend for longer periods to achieve a smooth paste. Much as I love beetroot, chunks of it in this recipe would not be pleasant.
  • Use a spatula and scrape the paste into a saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat, and add the oats, boiling water, half of the frozen raspberries, and the protein powder if using. Stir to combine, and break down the raspberries.
  • Once the porridge begins to bubble, turn the heat right down to low. Now add the maple syrup, and continue stirring until thick.
  • Empty into a bowl, and top with the remaining raspberries for fanciness.
Want cream cheese frosting? Beat together 30g cream cheese with 1.5tsp honey or maple syrup, and 1/2tsp vanilla- throw on top of the porridge and enjoy…

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