AB has made it once again into my breakfast routine, teaming up with an old classic: fruit. Warm raspberries + almond butter = the ‘healthier’ PB&J.
Right, who cares about healthy or not, let’s just eat it ’cause it’d be criminal not to.
A (long) note on the making of porridge:
When I first moved to England I knew zilch about porridge. Water and oats, ok, and er by the way, it looks freakin’ disgusting. But with proper sweetening it tastes very good and warms you up better than anything else on a wintry day. However it took me a long time to figure out what the right consistency of porridge was supposed to be like. I used to make it way too thick and also didn’t know how to much of it to make (the 30g serving you get when you buy prepackaged instant porridge oats is simply preposterous and should be legally banned; I now know 50g is much better, but it’s still a minimum).
Through much trial and error I have now perfected the way I make my porridge,
stealing borrowing tips and tricks from books, TV shows and word of mouth. The illustrious Mr Nigel Slater has his own perfect recipe, of course, and he explains the making of porridge thus:
“Pour three cups of water into a small saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Tip in one cup of medium oatmeal and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the porridge starts to blip, add half a teaspoon of salt. Continue stirring until the porridge has been cooking for a total time of 5 minutes. Tip into warm bowls. Have a bowl of cold milk or cream ready. Lift a spoonful of hot porridge and dip it into the cold milk or cream and eat.” (The Observer, Life and Style)
Now I’ve never added any salt to my porridge, but then again I often forget to add that ‘pinch’ that is required in many, many recipes, and they all turn out fine regardless. To each their own; I encourage you to experiment and discover your own perfect porridge recipe.
What I do is this: I place the oats and liquid ingredients (half water, half milk) in a pan on medium heat and wait. Wait till the first bubble begins to swell, slowly, monstrously, and bursts with a deeply satisfying “plopff”. Then more and more bubbles swell and explode, and that’s when the porridge starts to thicken. You should let it erupt like this for a couple of minutes, then take it off the heat and serve immediately with your topping of choice. Remember that the porridge will thicken as it cools down, so I beg you resist the urge to add more liquid while it still cooks.
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
50g rolled porridge oats (anything but instant, basically)
50ml hot water
100ml almond milk
1/2 mashed or sliced banana
a handful of raspberries
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 generous tbsp almond butter
Combine the hot water, almond milk and oats in a small saucepan. Place on medium heat and wait patiently until, 4 or 5 minutes later, the first bubble appears. Let the porridge gently bubble this way for 1-2 minutes while you stir (clockwise!). Add the banana, mashed or sliced, it doesn’t matter, and stir around. It sweetens the porridge and add a little more bulk. Serve in a bowl and cover with a cloth to keep it warm.
Melt the almond butter either in the microwave or in a pan with a little bit of hot water to keep it from burning. Pour over the warm porridge.
In a small saucepan (this can be the same you used for the porridge, just rinse it out) cook the raspberries in the agave syrup on medium to high heat for a couple of minutes then serve over the porridge and almond butter.
Eat. Savour. Delight.
What about you?
P.S.: For the Americans… porridge is oatmeal. FYI.