OK, so I get the whole porridge vibe. I really do. I appreciate that it’s slow-release, it’s super healthy and fills you up ’til lunch time…but why does it have to be so damn gross?
Any Scot will delight in telling you that porridge must be made with water and salt and left in a pot for days until you can cut it off in slabs. They’re well ‘ard them Scots. But part of me is suspicious that just like to make you squirm. I mean really? I need more love in my breakfast.
So I went on a mission to re-discover porridge as, frankly, I’d only ever really eaten it as ReadyBrek when I was a kid and it was pretty tasteless mush even then.
I tried a few brands – the trust-worthy Marks and Spencer and the authentic-looking Stoats Oats. Lovely and grim respectively and both stupidly expensive for what it essentially an extremely cheap product. I trawled the internet and came accross various intriguing overnight oats recipes. Bleurgh! ‘Creamy’ was the promise and ‘powdery’ was the result. Slow cooker recipes either weld the oats to the pot or a return a sad, sludgy mess. Pinhead oats are gritty, steel cut oats seem to be a bit of a marketing ploy and jumbo oats are only fit for flapjack.
After all that, I think the problem for me is texture. I can’t abide the snotty, glutenous slime so I needed to find a method that worked for me. Thick, quick and ashamedly sweet.
Turns out, that’s the old-fashioned Southern Softie’s method.
I could kick myself.
- 1 cup porridge oats
- 2 cups semi-skimmed milk (really, I prefer whole milk but something’s gotta give)
- pinch of salt (a tribute to the Scots)
- 1 tbsp sugar (don’t judge me too harshly but you could choose honey instead)
I add the milk and the oats to the saucepan, bring the contents slowly to the boil and then simmer while stirring for about 10 mins until all the milk has been absorbed and a spoon leaves a clean trail on the bottom of the pan. No snot to be seen.
Then I add the sugar and serve it plain or with a choice of fruit, nuts, spices, cream, maple syrup etc.
I found the dogs love it so I make a bit more, let it go cold and stuff it into their Kongs. (Sans sucre of course).
Why chase the trend? Stick to the old ways and keep it simple.