Savoury Oats (Eggs, Asparagus & Mushrooms)

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Savoury porridge. Are you feeling disgusted or intrigued? Either way, just for me, please give it a go. You might surprise yourself.

In this porridge bowl we have mushroom, asparagus, salt, black and white pepper, and two runny-yolked eggs. This combination meaning that you have a lovely, balanced breakfast containing low GI carbohydrates in the oats (they digest more slowly, meaning they don’t spike blood sugar and keep you fuller for longer), a source of protein and healthy fats in the eggs, and one of your ‘5 a Day’ in the asparagus and mushrooms- as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals, which the fat in the egg yolk is going to help the body absorb. This is one super-charged breakfast bowl, and a great alternative if you want to change it up a bit from fruit and nut butter on your porridge. My biggest tip with this dish is not to skip the seasoning: white pepper is amazing with eggs, and the salt and pepper combo is going to give the oats some oomph (they smell great when they’re cooking).

I happened to love this combination of salt and pepper oats, eggs, and veggies- but I’m interested to hear what you think, so let me know in the comments below if you decide to try this. Lets get started…

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Pimp Your Porridge: Banana, Chocolate, Raspberry & Almond Butter…

wp-1484392423819.jpgThere shall be no prizes for guessing my favourite breakfast, having looked through this blog. Obviously, it has to be porridge. However, I tend to stick to the same formula of pear, nut butter, berries- because it’s easy, quick, and like a reflex action on a busy morning. Today though, after seeing the café in the gym I’m using while visiting home put banana and chocolate chips on porridge, I stepped it up a notch.

This is by no means a really complex or ground-breaking recipe, just a quick post on a combination of porridge toppers you may want to try out…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats, combined in a small pan with 1/2 cup freshly boiled water, a pinch of cinnamon, and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 super-ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 handful frozen raspberries
  • 1tbsp almond butter
  • 1 small handful dark chocolate chips, or chocolate of choice (I used two of the Discover mini gianduiotto, chopped up into pieces- they taste like Nutella and worked great here)

Method:

  • Heat all of the ingredients that you’ve already placed into the pan, stirring, until the porridge thickens to the consistency of your liking. Empty into a bowl.
  • Top with the chocolate chips immediately so that they begin to melt, then add on the rest of the toppings.
  • Voila! You’re all done…

 

 

Salted Caramel- Apple Porridge

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I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like salted caramel. Even those who hate the combination of sweet and savoury, love sweet and salty. I have met a lot of people who hate porridge (I know, it’s unthinkable), but for this post we’re going to ignore them.

This porridge contains sweet and tender apples, and is topped with a healthy faux- salted caramel. I know that it sounds incredibly autumn appropriate, but I’m already looking forward to that time of year, and this is my blog so I’ll do what I like.

It takes just under 10 minutes start to finish, and I can guarantee it will get your morning off to a cracking start. I love using canned apples in recipes because, although fresh apples are lovely, I can have these kicking around in a cupboard for emergencies, and they have a beautiful tender texture. The salted caramel you’ll be making can be used in other recipes as well- top a fruit salad with it, double the quantities and stir in frozen berries, dollop it on top of a poached pear or griddled peaches,  whack it on top of a chocolate mousse, or smother pancakes with it.

Let’s get started….

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats (proper oats, not instant stuff)
  • EITHER 1/2 cup boiled water and 1/2 cup almond milk OR 1 cup boiled water
  • Pinch of cinnamon and ginger
  • 100g canned apple slices, reserving a few slices for decoration and chopping the rest into chunks
  • For the salted caramel: 1tbsp almond butter (I’m using Meridian) + a good pinch of salt (to taste) + 1tsp honey + 2 scant tbsp thick Greek yoghurt

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Pear & Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Does anyone else prefer their pears crunchy and crisp? Instead of that awful, gritty, mushy mess they become when overly ripe? When pears are anything less than crunchy, there is only one thing for them: baked oatmeal. Pear and blueberry is a particularly lovely combination. Frozen blueberries are better value, keep longer, and also (for some strange reason) release more of their juice and flavour in baking, I find. The oats will keep you full throughout the morning, provide fibre, energy, and cook down to a texture somewhere between cookie dough and a muffin. In short, this is a perfect student breakfast. I tend to make my baked oatmeal on a Saturday morning, post lie in, when I have more time to enjoy it…



Ingredients

  • 1 medium pear, I used a Rocha pear (these were the crispest ones I could get hold of at the time)
  • 1 small handful frozen blueberries (trust me: these work the best)
  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (plant based, or cow’s milk)
  • 1/4tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • Cinnamon and ginger, to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Nut butter of choice, 1 tbsp. (to top)


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190*c, and grease a baking dish (a deep dish works best).
  • Chop the pear into chunks, reserving three thin slices to top.
  • In a bowl mix together all of the ingredients, and then pour into the baking dish, pushing the pear chunks below the surface of the mixture (as much as possible anyway). Top with the pear you sliced earlier and then put to one side, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a few more frozen blueberries.
  • Place into the oven for 25 minutes, until crisp on the top. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly (give it 5 minutes-ish: we don’t want any burnt mouths).
  • Top with nut butter if you desire (almond is a good call), and dig in…

Pear, Chocolate & Hazelnut Butter Porridge

Lets talk winter breakfasts. Winter breakfasts mean something warm and filling, and that can be eaten sat in your living room, whilst watching pedestrians slip on icy surfaces, and dreading the moment you have to join them. I also feel like I want winter breakfasts to be a bit more indulgent around Christmas time. Or at least feel indulgent, whilst delivering maximum nutritional benefits. Because we all know that I would rather tuck into a massive roast dinner than fill myself with a sack full of chocolate coins on Christmas morning.

So, whether you want to make this for Christmas day, or simply as a lovely December treat to lure you from your bed, I have a porridge recipe that will nourish you and your taste buds. Cacao is an ingredient I picked up in the Black Friday sales (and then using the points on my Holland & Barratt’s loyalty card), and is rich in iron and flavour. It also apparently aids digestion, and is a mood booster. If you cant get hold of it, then use unsweetened dark cocoa powder, it will taste just as good! Pears are still in season (conference pears are great right now), and provide one of your 5 a day, plus fibre, and natural sweetness. Oats are a bit of a nutritional powerhouse (understatement), containing fibre, protein for muscle repair and growth, carbs for slow release energy, and some studies have linked them to lowering the risks of certain cardiovascular diseases. Then we have hazelnut butter: again, a great source of protein (especially for veggies and vegans) and fats- which are needed to help keep hair, skin, and nails healthy, as well as (and probably more importantly) absorbing the vitamins A,D,E and K. With all of that out of the way, enjoy making this recipe, and let me know what you think- either in the comments below, or over on my IG account (link to the right)…


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 1/2 cup freshly boiled water (this speeds up the process, as I have little time in the morning- but still want a good breakfast)
  • 1/4 cup alpro coconut milk (or almond milk, or cows milk, or goats milk, or oat milk- or whatever milk you can get your hands on)
  • 2tsp cacao powder
  • OPTIONAL: 1tsp honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar (cacao is a little like dark chocolate, but without the refining process. I like bitter dark chocolate and so don’t always add the sweetener; if you have a sweet tooth then taste the porridge and decide whether to add it in!)
  • 1 large, crisp pear
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 1tbsp hazelnut butter (feel free to use almond instead, it works just as well. I used the Meridian hazelnut butter, which tastes just like Ferrero Rocher as it is…)

Method

  • Chop the pear into chunks, having cut the core out. Place half of the pear into a small pan, and add in the boiled water. Place onto the hob, and turn the heat up high. Bring the water back to the boil, and add in the cinnamon. Poach your pear for 1-2 minutes.
  • Now, turn the heat down as low as possible without turning it off. Add in the coconut milk, and then the oats. Stir. Add in the cacao and the honey/agave, and half of the hazelnut butter (alternatively, save all of the nut butter to top the porridge). 
  • Continue stirring until the porridge is of the desired thickness, and the oats have absorbed the liquid. Pile into a bowl, and top with the remaining pear, hazelnut butter, a dash of cinnamon, and perhaps some berries- if you’re feeling fancy. I love using frozen berries, as they acquire a very Christmas-y frosted looked when they hit the hot porridge…

Very Berry Baked Oatmeal

I recently met with a friend for coffee, who told me that in October this year she is travelling to Thailand, Dubai, and somewhere else that my ever increasing jealousy causes me to forget. She feels the need to tone it all up and get her bikini body ready (she is stunning, and has no such need), but wasn’t sure what to eat in order to achieve her goal. Her main issue was breakfast- what did I eat for breakfast, being a healthy recipe fanatic? Porridge. Unfortunately she isn’t keen on porridge. Or nut butters. Which are two of my diet staples. Okay, well, cereal with fruit was an option, and various things on toast. But what about those days these things just don’t cut it? And you want something new to add a dollop of Nutella to?? Well, we established a love of berries and bananas, and a willingness to try baked oatmeal. So Elle, this one’s for you.
Now, if you aren’t a porridge fan never fear; this recipe is somewhere in between a regular baked oatmeal (think somewhere between the density of thick porridge, and a cookie dough due to the crispy top), and a baked soufflé. What does this is the egg white. It creates a lighter, more airy texture- but I promise you, it doesn’t taste like egg at all. If you want a more densely textured version of this baked oatmeal then leave the egg white out.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup porridge oats (not the instant ones; proper oats)
  • 1/4 cup plant based milk (such as unsweetened almond, soya, oat etc. or skimmed/ semi skimmed cows milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2tsp runny honey (you can double this if you like it a little sweeter)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 medium banana (super ripe; I’m talking yellow skin and brown freckles people!)
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate soda


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190*c
  • Cut your banana in half, and mash one half until creamy (but with some chunks) in a dish. To this add the milk, the vanilla, and the honey. Beat together.
  • In a separate bowl combine the oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and bicarb. Stir together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, and throw in the handful of blueberries. Chop one of the strawberries into chunks and add this into the mixture too. Fold the berries into the oatmeal, and then pour into an ovenproof dish.
  • Slice the remaining 1/2 banana and the remaining strawberry into slices. Use these, and a few more blueberries, to decorate the top of your baked oatmeal, before placing the dish into the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once the 20 minutes are up remove from the oven, and allow the baked oatmeal to cool for 3-5 minutes. When this time has passed you can enjoy your breakfast – without burning your mouth!