With the leaves slowly turning golden it is time to get back into the winter warmers and what better to lift the spirits and get you out of bed in the morning than a good bowl of steaming porridge. My choice of grains for breakfast is oats; packed with fiber, energy and a little thiamin (vitamin B1). The soluble fibre content of oats gives you a slower absorption of glucose, keeps you fuller for longer, assists gut function and may help lower cholesterol. This is also a nice option to use around exercise according to your training goals.
My perfect oats is a cinnamon and vanilla flavoured version. I make it with milk to bump up the nutrient content thanks to the protein, carbohydrate, calcium and riboflavin (vitamin B2) in milk. The most important step is to seive your oats before cooking so that it is not a glumpy, gluey consistency unless you like that!
1 serving1/2 cup oats (50 g) 1 cup milk 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp vanilla essence pinch of salt sugar to taste optional protein powder, blueberries, lemon juice This recipe gives you 360 calories, 48 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein, 10 g of fat (depending on the type of milk and how much sugar you use).
Gently warm your milk along with the cinnamon, vanilla and salt while you sieve your oats. By seiving them you will remove the crushed bits that form an oat flour and will make your porridge sticky and glumpy in texture which I do not like. Once the milk is warm toss in your oats and cook for 4-5 minutes until you achieve your desired consistency. Add a little sugar if you like (1 teaspoon!) or stir in some blueberries for some sweetness and an extra hit of phytonutrients and antioxidants. A squeeze of lemon juice adds a nice acidity and some vitamin C too.
For a higher protein and creamier option you can add a scoop of whey protein powder to your finished product – don’t add it while cooking or you will get lumpy porridge!
Breaking news: add a pinch of ceyenne pepper, chilli flakes and half a teaspoon cocoa powder to blow your mind!