How to make porridge
Porridge is one of those ‘traditional’ recipes that periodically has a resurgence – it becomes something trendy and instagrammable every few years as we all realise why it’s a food that’s stood the test of time. It feels like it’s been a really good winter for porridge (how many Instagram stories or articles featuring porridge have you seen this winter?), but with the rise of the porridge pot and sachets that just require boiling water and a couple of minutes to give you a brilliant breakfast, the question becomes do you know how to make porridge yourself?
Suddenly noticed something really interesting on your shoe? Shuffling those feet a little awkwardly? Don’t worry, in a world of breakfast cereals and toast, there’s a reason why standing stirring a pot on the hob fell out of fashion. But as we all become more conscious of all the sugar in our diets and those mid-morning snacks, knowing how to cut out the processing plant and make porridge for yourself is a great weapon in your culinary arsenal. And one that’s going to keep you going until lunchtime.
What’s my pedigree in this? Well, I’ve been eating porridge for years. At the risk of sounding like a raging Scottish stereotype, my mum used to make it for my older brother and I on cold winter mornings before school. And I’ve been making it for myself for as long as I’ve had a kitchen.
Now, there are other trendy breakfasts – think overnight oats (my peanut butter overnight oats recipe is one of my favourites, the cinnamon version is good too), granola and cold brew coffee – but there’s nothing like a bowl of porridge on a cold morning.
The best news is that it’s dead simple. You can do it in the microwave or on the hob (my preference). Either way is a realistic option in the morning, and if you then have to go out and defrost the car or wait at a freezing cold bus stop, it’s good to have something warm in you.
You can do it the ‘traditional’ way with a very basic set of ingredients – oats, milk, water, a pinch of salt – but personally I find that a little bit on the ‘unnecessary scrimping’ side. Or you can do it my way with a boat-load of cinnamon, something sweet – think honey, golden syrup or maple syrup – and some fruit on top. If you’re cutting out the dairy you can also use your preferred soy, nut or other milk substitute.
Below there are two ways to make it – on the hob and in the microwave. Pick whichever suits you. Neither require constant attention, so it’s a great time to sort out your lunch. Just remember to pop back to it for a quick stir mid way through.
OK, so it’s simple, warming and delicious, so this is how to make porridge:Print
This is a really adaptable recipe – make it a couple of times the way below, then start to get adventurous! I’d recommend raspberries, banana slices or blueberries, you can also go chocolaty with some cocoa powder or (if you’re feeling sweet) a couple spoonfuls of Nutella. This recipe is for two, but scales both up and down to one.
- 100g porridge oats
- 500ml milk (milk alternative or a milk-water mix, if you prefer)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tsp honey (or maple or golden syrup)
- fruit to finish
On the hob
[Optional step:] Put a non-stick pan on a medium heat and add in the oats. Toast them lightly in the dry heat of the pan. This adds more flavour, but can be skipped in a busy morning.
Pour in most of the milk in on the oats, stir it through. Add in the cinnamon and honey. Stir these through as well.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Stir from time to time to break any clumps and stop any sticking.
Decant into bowls and add a little moat of milk around the edges. Scatter your fruit on top – be quite liberal, it’s a great way to get one of your five a day! Eat and enjoy.
In the microwave
Pour all the ingredients together into a microwaveable bowl. Whisk together.
Cook on full power for 4 minutes, stirring about half way. Let it sit for 2 minutes more. Serve.