At this time of year, porridge is standard breakfast fare in our house. It’s always been a favourite of mine and I still remember when Mum (who was very challenged in the kitchen, but could do porridge) served it sprinkled with brown sugar and a (big) dot of butter. Brown sugar is still my favourite topping and I love the way it melts and runs all over the top.
Despite my love affair with porridge and brown sugar, I have been experimenting with some other toppings to keep things interesting. In particular, the kids get a bit weary of the same old thing and because it is such a great way for them to start the day, I try to mix things up a bit. Anything to keep them from eating cereal out of a box
Before getting into the toppings, my standard recipe for porridge is simply 1 part oats: 2 and 1/2 parts water. I allow around 1/2 cup of oats per person. So if it’s for four people the equation is 2 cups oats, 5 cups water. You can replace the milk with water for a creamier result but I add it to the bowl when serving which adds the creaminess while cooling the porridge down.
On to the toppings…
These are toppings that you are likely to have on hand in the pantry or fridge.
- Brown Sugar/Raw Sugar/any sugar really
- Honey (preferably raw for extra goodness)
- Maple syrup
- Dried Fruit – any dried fruits are great stirred through porridge – sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries, diced dried apricots, chopped dates and prunes. Mix and match to taste and add a little extra sweetener if required. You can also stew them in a little orange juice as a warm topping.
Both of these methods will add a coconut flavour to the porridge. Adjust the quantities to get your desired level of coconut flavour.
Method 1: Stir a couple of tablespoons of desiccated coconut through the oats before cooking.
Method 2: Replace all or part of water with coconut milk before cooking.
Take method 1 or 2 then add a little brown sugar or honey on top with milk and serve.
Method 1: Mash the banana and stir through the porridge.
Method 2: Slice banana over the top of the porridge.
Warm Fruit Saute (pictured)
Melt 30g butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a small frying pan. Add 2 cups sliced winter fruit (apple, pear, rhubarb) – can be a mix or just a single fruit. Saute fruit for a few minutes until just tender. Serve over porridge with milk (enough for 4 serves).
Strawberries & Kiwi Fruit
Sprinkle chopped strawberries & kiwi fruit over the top of porridge, sprinkle with sugar and add milk to serve.
So that’s a few of the flavours we’ve tried and enjoyed with our porridge. If your family doesn’t normally eat porridge, it is definitely something to try as it is a wonderful start to the day for old and young alike. If porridge is a regular on the menu, hopefully there are some new ideas and inspiration for you. You can really mix and match a lot of the suggestions above and create your own ‘gourmet’ porridge. Have fun!
If you have any favourite toppings you would like to add, please leave them below. Plus, don’t forget to share the recipe with your friends (click the buttons below)!