Winter can be a little drab, and one simple way to spice up life is to add a little something to your porridge. Porridge is cheap, easy and a healthy breakfast option so having a few different variations up your sleeve prolongs the enjoyment and prevents it from becoming boring. I tend to have a ‘porridge season’ where l let myself indulge in porridge only in the depths of winter, meaning that there is something about the depths of winter that I can always look forward to. Basic porridge is so easy to bake, basically double the quantity of milk/water to oats (for two people I would suggest a little more than 1 c oats and a little more than 2 c milk/water) , heat (either on the stove or in the microwave) and then add whatever you want to supplement it with. Brown sugar and milk is the most basic of basic, yet simply delicious. Here are some of my favourite options:
Stewed apple/rhubarb/feijoa porridge: There is only a small window in the year where feijoas are readily available and with a reliably flourishing tree in my Dad’s backyard, I always go nuts on the stewing. Take any of the listed fruit (in bulk, probably the equivalent of at least 8 apples) and dice into a pot with a small amount of sugar (slightly more in the case of rhubarb) and about 1 cup of water. Over a low heat, stir the pot occasionally so as to prevent sticking. Take two heaped tablespoons and add to the oats mixture and cook your porridge as per normal. Leftover stewed fruit can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen.
Poached tamarillo porridge: Probably my favourite option, especially because I wouldn’t really eat tamarillo on any other occasion. Take a small pot of boiling water and place the tamarillo (skin and stalk included) in for about 4 minutes, or until the skin splits. Remove the tamarillo from the water and as soon as it has cooled enough for handling, peel the skin and add it to the pre-cooked porridge. Tamarillos can be quite bitter so I find that I will commonly add probably a whole tablespoon of brown sugar to my porridge to counter that tartness.
Banana, coconut and turmeric porridge: Turmeric is great because it contains so many health benefits. I was fortunate enough to find some fresh turmeric at the local markets and I just took it home and popped it into the freezer, grating it up when I need it. The coconut brings a little bit of the tropics to you, and of course, banana is just a staple – and a fruit reliably found throughout winter. I would make this one on the stove and just chuck everything in a pot and bring slowly to the boil.
Collect: 1/2 c oats ♦ 1 c boiling water ♦ 1 mashed banana ♦ fresh grated turmeric ♦ 1/3 coconut milk ♦ 1 t cinnamon