Put down the cinnamon. Retire your honey. There's a new way with oats in town
Honey, flaked almond and cinnamon-drizzled porridge has got to be up there with the all-time breakfast greats.
But what about topped off with a poached egg? Lavished in sriracha? Served with sliced up avocado?
Yes, savoury porridge is here, and it's time to put down your prejudice because it's really, really good. We're not talking the snail edition dished up at chef/wizard Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, but rather easy, achievable, delicious bowls of comforting goodness.
Spearheading the oat trend is Alex Hely-Hutchinson, a 25-year-old health food entrepreneur based in London. Her all-day porridge restaurant, 26 Grains in London's Covent Garden, deals in nut butters, sweet spices, berry compotes and bee pollen. But there's also poached eggs and kale oats cooked in stock, butternut squash and black sticky rice warmed through coconut milk and grated carrot stirred in with crème fraîche.
"Porridge is such a comfort food. When you work it in with elements like ginger and bone broth, you create a savoury dish that's just gorgeous," she says.
But this isn't a simple case of seasoning a classic bowl with salt and sticking some veg on top. "You need to think about how a serving is going to come together. If you've got a soft, gentle vegetable like pumpkin, make your porridge from a grain where those flavours can still be tasted, like quinoa. If you had say, lamb, you want a grain that stands up to big flavours, like barley.
"Cook them the normal way, covered in a 2:1 ratio with liquid, and stir continually. If you're using oats for your porridge, try to use big jumbo ones, which will stop the mix from becoming too creamy, and give it more of a rice-like feel."
And to mix it up?
"Play with different stocks to cook your grains in, or try spicing coconut cooking milk with turmeric. Chorizo or bacon with maple syrup is a delicious sweet and salty hit."
The best part of all this is that speedy, nourishing porridge steps away from the breakfast table and into your after work repertoire: a bag of grains, some veggie odds and ends, and perhaps a spoonful of harissa are all you need to get started.
Can't say much simpler than that.
Tempted to give it a try? Tag us in your creations on Instagram @homemadebyyou.