If you've been following me for a while then you will know, it is no secret that I am porridge obsessed. This simple meal can be so packed with nutrients and fills me up for ages. Although I will tell you, if you think you will be filled up by having just a bowl of plain porridge with a touch of milk and a little honey, then you are wrong. To make this breakfast dish a truly filling meal, you need to add to it. Porridge just isn't a filling meal without porridge toppers.
There's a few reasons why it's important to pimp up your porridge with some porridge toppers. Firstly, obviously it is way more filling. Secondly, oats are a vegetarian protein source - vegetarian protein sources need to be combined so that they make a complete protein. This means that you will consume all of the essential amino acids required for good health. These amino acids are used for a whole host of functions throughout the body, including building muscle, boosting the immune system and promoting a healthy nervous system.
Another important reason to add toppings like nuts, seeds, yoghurt and fruit to your porridge is it makes your humble bowl of oats a more nutritionally balanced meal. To have a nutritionally balanced meal you need good fats, protein and complex carbohydrates. Oats provide complex carbohydrates and a small amount of protein, which is great! But you really need to add some good fats and extra protein from nuts and seeds or yoghurt (or both) to finish your breakfast feeling truly satisfied and fuller for longer. This means that there is less likelihood of sugar cravings kicking in not long after breakfast and the desire to reach for some not so healthy snacks to get you through to lunch.
So, how do you pimp your porridge?
Add good fats in the form of nuts, seeds, nut butter or coconut oil. Chia seeds are great as they contain omega 3 fatty acids - an essential fatty acid that most of us don't get enough of. I also love adding coconut yoghurt to porridge as it makes it super creamy and is a good source of beneficial fats.
Add an extra protein source (again, nuts, seeds or nut butter are super stars here). Greek or natural yoghurt also contains some protein.
Add fresh fruit for fibre, antioxidants and added vitamins. My favourites are stewed or fresh berries, pear or apple. Slices of banana are delicious on porridge as well.
Last but not least, add a flavour boost. I love adding cinnamon as it tastes delicious and helps to balance blood sugar levels. If I don't add cinnamon then I will add some vanilla essence, or if I'm feeling truly decadent then I will add some cacao.
That's it! It is super easy to pimp up your porridge, making it not only taste AMAZING but nutritionally balanced as well.
I've given you a quick little recipe below to show you a pimped up porridge combo that is on regular rotation at my house. Or check out my recipe for Warming Strawberry and Fig Oats, or see my Easy Overnight Oats recipe for some more info on the benefits of eating oats.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup plant based milk eg. coconut, almond or cashew
- ¼ cup coconut yoghurt
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp tahini hulled or unhulled
- ½ cup coconut yoghurt
- fresh strawberries
- buckwheat groats
- pure maple syrup or honey optional
- Place oats, water and milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently until porridge is thick and creamy.
- While porridge is cooking, place frozen berries in a small saucepan and place on a low heat. Stir occasionally until berries are defrosted, warm and juicy.
- Mix the coconut yoghurt through the cooked porridge and then divide between two bowls.
- Top porridge with berries, chia seeds, tahini, fresh strawberries and buckwheat groats.
- Sweeten with some maple syrup or honey if desired.