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Adding some ZING to your morning Porridge

Ideas to add some “Zing” to your Porridge

As the mornings become noticeably cooler, many of us are now changing our choice of breakfast to the more “warming” option of Porridge.   Wholegrain porridge oats provide excellent health benefits because they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, of low glycaemic index (providing a steady release of energy).  The soluble fibre helps to reduce cholesterol, whilst the insoluble fibre keeps the bowel moving regularly and prevents constipation. The fibre acts like a sponge (soaking up fluid in the bowel), thus provides a feeling of fullness which can aid weight control and also helps to prevent diverticular disease (narrowing of the gut wall).  Porridge is surprisingly a good source of iron and also provides calcium when prepared using milk or fortified dairy alternatives.

Additions to Try with Porridge:

  • Flavourings: cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, lemon grass, star anise
  • Vanilla: good quality vanilla extract or use the seeds from the vanilla pod.
  • Dried fruit: figs, apricots, prunes, mango or goji berries.
  • Seeds: flax seed, linseeds, sunflower, pumpkin.
  • Berries, purchase frozen when out of season.
  • No added sugar jam e.g. St. Dalfour, Kelkin or Follain.
  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts-  use chopped or ground.
  • Fruit: sliced banana, blueberries, peaches and strawberries work well
  • Cocoa: good quality raw cocoa powder can be used occasionally for a change.
  • Fruit flavoured yogurt
Note:  adding bran is no longer recommended to be used as it reduces the absorption of nutrients such as calcium, zinc and iron from foods.

Tips for Preparing Porridge 

1oz  (3 tablespoons) oats, 1 cup water and ½ cup low fat milk.  Place the oats in a saucepan on moderate heat.  Add 1 cup of water, stirring frequently and after 2 minutes add the milk and continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes.

If you are often short of time in the morning and like myself, prefer less washing up….   place the oats in a cereal bowl, add the water and microwave on medium power for 90 seconds. Add more milk or water as preferred, stir well and continue cooking for a further 90 seconds  – just watch carefully to ensure it doesn’t boil over!

Soak porridge overnight with some water to speed up the cooking process the following day.

Try some of the additions mentioned above for variety.

Enjoy and feel the warmth on these chilly autumn mornings…

Ellen Roche MINDI  Consultant Dietitian
Nutri Vive  Nutrition Clinic

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