How to make a perfect porridge
July 7, 2014
If you love porridge you probably already know that Kialla has the best rolled oats. And we’re pretty proud of the fact!
Now winter is upon us in the southern hemisphere, nothing beats a bowl of steaming porridge on a cold morning. Otherwise known as oatmeal if you’re in North America.
And gone are the days when porridge simply meant adding milk and sugar to your oats. Or salt, as the Scots used to, back in the days when sugar was a luxurious import from the Caribbean destined for the tables of the rich.
Unlike other cereals, porridge is endlessly variable depending on whats in the fridge and the pantry.
So I like to think of my porridge as a vehicle for lots of other ingredients.
When it comes to cooking it, I always go by instinct – add some water here, and cook it a bit more, cook it a bit less… So it’s always a bit hard when people email to ask the best way to cook the Rolled Oats. Nonetheless, in the interests of people enjoying perfect porridge I decided to give some tips…
It seems simple, but like scones, it can be a disaster if you don’t get the right balance of liquids to oats. We all know people who were turned off porridge for life because of bad experiences at boarding school, or the like!
Because, for me, cooking oats is not a precise science, I thought I’d just discuss how to make the perfect porridge, by instinct, rather than give you a recipe with exact measures etc.
The steps to perfect porridge
The best way to prepare your rolled oats is to soak them overnight in enough water to cover them (half a cup of oats per person). You could add some almonds to pre-soak with the oats. Soaking grains and nuts makes them easier to digest.
In the morning drain any excess water, then pop them into a saucepan with plenty of water (or milk)
– from 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups per 1/2 cup of oats, depending on whether you like the porridge thick and creamy or more runny.
If you want to add fresh fruit like sliced apple or pears put these in now.
Cook on medium heat until they start to simmer, then turn them down low.
Because they’ve been soaked they’ll cook quickly.
When they start to simmer, it’s time to add any frozen fruit like berries. If you like banana with your porridge wait until the oats are cooked, or just before taking them off the stove, before adding.
If you’ve pre-soaked them, oats will take less than 5 minutes to cook.
Forgot to soak? Just allow about 10 minutes for them to become nice and creamy.
You may need to add more liquid as they cook, so check them frequently.
The important thing is to look for the consistency that you like – if you like it thick and creamy cook for longer, if you like your porridge more thin then make sure you keep an eye on the liquid. I never measure liquid I just keep checking them to maintain my preferred consistency.
Remember as they cool, the mixture will thicken, so always err on side of more liquid if you prefer a wetter porridge. Experiment with the liquid – you can always thin them down with milk when they finish cooking.
Once cooked, serve immediately with your favourite toppings.
Some serving suggestions:
- yoghurt and/or milk of choice,
- shredded or flaked coconut,
- superfoods like chia, acai or maca,
- spices like nutmeg and cinnamon (cinnamon is great for maintaining blood sugar)
- a home-ground LSA mix (linseed, sunflower and almonds ground in a coffee or spice blender)
And if you like your porridge sweet try balckstrap molasses for a change (it’s full of iron), rapadura sugar (aka panela), honey or coconut nectar.
I sometimes throw in a handful of pitted prunes, in the middle of cooking. Prunes are a great sugar substitute, and they also have one of the lowest GI measures of all the dried fruits. Surprising really, considering how sweet they are.
If you are using our Organic Premium Quick Oats you can skip the overnight soaking and cook them immediately, for about 5 mins.
Enjoy! And please pop over to visit us on Facebook, where you can post pics of your best porridge mix, and let us know what your favourite porridge ingredients are.
Want to know more about where our oats come from? Read The Story of Our Rolled Oats.
Written by Sheridan Kennedy on July 7, 2014