Christmas Pudding Porridge
Porridge is making a comeback, apparently – see this Guardian article, but it has never gone away in my household.
When I first think of it it brings back memories of family breakfasts – my dad making the porridge (sweet porridge for my mum and my brother, and salty porridge for him and me – my dad is Scottish and it is traditionally made with salt and water).
It is a fantastic winter breakfast – it fills you up and warms you at the same time. It also is reported to be very good for you, so you really can’t lose!
I have recently deviated from the traditional scottish salty porridge, as I was concerned about the amount of salt I was eating, and actually discovered that sweet porridge ain’t too bad!
This is a seasonal recipe, and while we have it for breakfast I think you could eat it as a desert (it is not that different from rice pudding). Christmas pudding porridge is not as ridiculous as it may seem at first, as before the 16th century porridge was the original christmas pudding (see this article)
We make it in the microwave, in individual bowls, as this saves the washing up. You can, of course, make it on a pan on the hob…
For a 500ml bowl (makes about 400mls of porridge, which is a pretty hefty breakfast):
20g porridge oats
50g of dried fruit (we use two organic dried apricots -the dark ones have a lovely flavour- diced finely, some cranberrys, a very small amount of candied peel, and the rest lots of jucy raisins).
1/4 level tsp of 4 spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, pepper: or whatever christmassy spices you like)
300mls liquid (use Oat Milk or Almond Milk if you you are vegan, or avoid dairy, or use semi-skimmed milk if not).
1-2 tsps brown sugar
Put half the sugar and all the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and cook on full power for 3-5 minutes (the exact time will depend on your microwave and how cold your liquid is, and what your liquid is – almond milk seems to boil quicker than normal milk) until you see the liquid boiling/and or the oats start appearing. Whatever happens – don’t let it boil over!
Remove the bowl from the microwave and give it a good stir and leave for 3 minutes or so (if you are making porridge for other people you can use this time to start off another bowl)
Stir the mixture again and put it back in the microwave and cook it again on full power until the mixture boils up (being careful to watch it to stop it from boiling over). Get it out and stir it again.
Continue doing this until the oats are cooked (the mixture will have thickend, slightly, and the oats will be swollen and soft).
Give it another stir – if it is too thick add a bit more liquid (it depends on how you like your porridge). Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on the top.
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