Monday, January 5, 2009

Oat Cuisine

Happy New Year and welcome to 2009! Numbered List

I am very excited about 2009 - my book is coming out in July, I have great plans for two further recipe books, I am signed up to run the London and the Stockholm marathons and I am on target to qualify for Boston in 2010.

This is the week when hundreds of runners start their marathon training schedule...and it is bitterly cold and icy out there. I ran 9 miles yesterday without even taking off my gloves. Running or not, there are few better ways to start the day than with a bowl of hot, steaming porridge.  I have carried out a small survey of a number of athletes, both amateur and professional, and porridge, often with fruit and/or nuts is most certainly the favourite breakfast by far, especially on race day. So why is porridge such a hit?
  1. Porridge oats are low in fat, low G.I. which means that the carbohydrate is released into your bloodstream slowly and will therefore sustain your energy levels and help prevent those eleven o'clock cravings. 
  2. A nice warm bowl of porridge will provide a little internal central heating for your body and make leaving the house for work or for an early morning run that much easier on these cold mornings. 
  3. Porridge oats are also a good, natural way of lowering cholesterol.
  4. If trying to tighten the belt financially rather than physically, porridge is a much cheaper breakfast than any of the sugary processed overpackaged cereals.
Everyone has their own favourite way of eating porridge. Some make it with milk, some with water, some eat it salty and some sweet. In my house, maple syrup, honey or dark Muscovado sugar seem to be the most popular. If I am running, I always make my porridge with water as it is lighter on the stomach.

One thing is really important though. Forget the quick-cook variety - use unrefined porridge oats, as they have an infinitely better flavour and texture and they are more sustaining. My favourite are the Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Jumbo whole rolled porridge oats. Even if you cook them with just water, they give a deliciously sweet, nutty and creamy result.  Cook them on the hob with plenty of liquid rather than in the microwave - it really doesn't take long and if you rinse the saucepan out with cold water immediately it cleans easily.

This is my fail-safe porridge recipe:

Go Faster Porridge, with Blueberries, Toasted Walnuts and Honey

Pop the walnuts in the oven while you cook the porridge and you will be sitting down to breakfast within 10 minutes. The amount of liquid depends on the type of porridge you use. The less refined the oats, the more liquid you will need.

Serves 2


100g porridge

550 ml water or milk or ½ and ½

Pinch of salt

Punnet of fresh blueberries

Handful of walnuts

Good quality runny honey (Manuka is very good but very expensive, Greek runny honey is delicious)



  1. Put the oats, water and/or milk into a pan with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat and then turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The porridge with become thick and creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, pop the nuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven at 160°C for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour into two warmed bowls, sprinkle with the blueberries and nuts and drizzle over the honey.




irunbecauseilovefood said...

Had a quick browse around your blog Katie, and will be coming back for more! Like the look of the recipes, especially the granola.

foodierunner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

f you put the porridge to soak the night before , you not only cook it faster, but save on fuel as well!

Love ,and happy fitness freak.