Winter can be a little drab, and one simple way I like to spice up my daily life is to add a little something to my porridge. Porridge is cheap, easy and a healthy breakfast option so having a few different variations available prolongs the enjoyment and prevents the meal 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 create, basically double the quantity of milk/water to oats (for two people I would suggest a little more than 1 cup of oats and a little more than 2 c milk/water) , heat for a few minutes on high (either on the stove or in the microwave) and then add whatever you want to supplement it. 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 (adding sugar to taste 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 of the stewed fruit and add to the oats mixture, then cooking 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 don’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 its tartness.
Banana, coconut and turmeric porridge: Turmeric is great because it contains so many health benefits. When I spot fresh turmeric (usually at the farmers market) I will take it home and pop it in the freezer, grating some up whenever I need it. The coconut flavour brings a little bit of the tropics to the dish, and of course, banana is just a staple – and a fruit reliably found throughout winter. I make this one on the stove, chucking everything in a pot and bringing 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