Porridge has become my go to breakfast of choice. Sometimes even my go to lunch or dinner of choice. It is foolproof and as I just start exploring food and cooking and all the many ways it can – and does – go wrong, I am thankful for the things that I can’t mess up. What I have learnt is that no two people make porridge the same and that I love this recipe.
My relationship with porridge is new. My relationship with warm porridge is newer still. I think on its own porridge is bland and boring, with each mouthful tasting the same and feeling the same. This is why I have started experimenting with flavours and textures. I am not a traditionalist and for me, porridge is personal. On weekdays I have oats with flax seeds, walnuts, cashews and almonds. Because I am short of time, I just add soya milk heat in the microwave and eat.
I know, I know. The microwave. I do use it because I really don’t have time to heat anything on a stove in the morning. The weekends are a different story. Then out comes the berries and sweet mangoes and toasted coconut.
What I don’t do is change and experiment with the oats I use. The sheer variety of them astounds me. Obviously one type of oats is not the same as another. For me, I have one type of oats which have been in my house forever and those are what I use: jumbo oats. One day I’ll dip my toe into the world of rolled oats, medium cut oats, and whatever else there is but for now I’ll stick to experimenting with toppings.
The recipe I have written below is most definitely a weekend affair. It’s quick and easy to assemble but does need to be baked.
Makes a large tray which should serve 4 or last a good while in the fridge if you are just making it for yourself.
2 large apples
The juice of one lemon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A handful of nuts and seeds of your choice, chopped (I used sunflower seeds, almond, walnuts, and cashews)
700ml of a milk of your choice (I used soya but you can use anything you like)
5 tbsp of maple syrup, with a little extra as optional for drizzling.
- Preheat your over to 200C / gas mark 5
- Line a deep oven proof dish with foil
- Grate one and a half of the apples. Thinly slice the remaining half so that it can be lined on top of the porridge later. Add a little lemon juice to the slices and to the grated apple to stop it from browning.
- In a large bowl mix the oats, baking powder, spices, chopped nuts, seeds, and grated apples. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the maple syrup and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.
- Spoon the mixture into the lined oven proof dish.
- Pour the milk over it and arrange the apple slices. Drizzle a little maple syrup on top.
- Bake until the top of the porridge is golden brown. This is usually between 20 and 30 minutes.
Tip: the amount of milk, maple syrup, and spices is completely up to you. This is how much I like but there are some days when I add more ginger and nutmeg and reduce the amount of cinnamon. Experiment with this recipe and have fun.