Porridge – The Healthy Breakfast Option
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 bowl moving regularly and prevents constipation. The fibre soaks up water in the bowel, thus provides a feeling of fullness which can aid weight control and also helps to prevent diverticular disease (narrowing of the bowel). Porridge is surprisingly a good source of iron and provides calcium when prepared using milk.
Some Ideas to add Zing to your Porridge
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Orange zest, Yoghurt .
- 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 and Follain.
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, use chopped or ground.
- Fruit: sliced banana, blueberries, peaches and strawberries also work well.
- Coca: good quality coca powder can be used occasionally for a change.
- Note: bran is no longer recommended to be used as it reduces the absorption of 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 like me, you are often short of time and 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! Try some of the additions mentioned above for variety.
Published: 31st Oct 2012 – The Kilkenny Reporter Newspaper
Written By: Ellen Roche MINDI Consultant Dietitian
Nutri Vive Nutrition Clinic, No. 49 John St, Kilkenny