Basic Porridge Recipe
Oat soup was my first love, I guess. My grandma worked as a kitchen assistant in a holiday retreat in Thuringia. It’s known as the “green heart of Germany” because of its dense forest. Every summer we spent at least a few days there. I remember the dining hall where we had breakfast every morning. There wasn’t a buffet or something like that, just a few waiters who dished out bowls of a hot oat soup, covered with sugar.
I loved that soup. Probably there was other food too, like buns and jam and butter. But all I can remember is this bowl of hot, steaming, sugar-covered goodness. It was so delicious! It wasn’t exactly like porridge, rather like a bowl of soup with a few soft oats swimming in a sea of sugared milk. When finally ate my first porridge, I was already grown up.
Porridge is basically a cooked grain, served with different toppings and spices. Cooked grains are a staple food in most African countries. In English-speaking countries and Northern Europe and Russia, porridge is usually made of oats. But there are a lot of varieties like semolina, rice or millet porridge. According to Wikipedia, they found oat porridge in the stomachs of 5,000-year-old Neolithic bog bodies in Central Europe and Scandinavia. How cool is that??
Ingredients for Porridge
You need only two basic ingredients. But there are a ton of optional ingredients!
- Dried fruits
- Nuts, Seeds, shredded coconut
I use quick-cooking oats for preparing Porridge. They need less cooking time compared to old-fashioned rolled oats. Traditional porridge is cooked with steel-cut oats. These oats are not flattened and need much longer to cook (approximately 40 minutes). I will post a recipe for steel-cut oats soon, but for my basic recipe, I use quick-cooking oatmeal.
Traditionally Porridge is cooked in plain water, but I would highly recommend using any pant-based milk or at least a mix of both. Almond milk is as fine as soy or (my favorite) oat milk. Rice milk tends to be rather thin and is not my first choice for cooking oatmeal.
Use your sweetener of choice. Since I try to eat as less refined sugar as possible, I often use erythritol as a sweetener. But this is totally optional. Coconut sugar is great for porridge, as well as raw cane sugar. If you prefer maple syrup or agave, go ahead. The sky is the limit! Just do not over sweeten it. Cooked beet, baked sweet potato or mashed banana add a natural sweetness that makes any additional sweeteners unnecessary.
It’s not really necessary to top your porridge with fruits, but WHY NOT?? Fresh fruits add many vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are not available in grains. I love to eat my bowl of oatmeal with banana (hence the banana row, that became a signature for my bowls on Instagram).
I can hear you scream “WHAAAT?”😲 but believe me, vegetables work fine with oatmeal. Of course, I am not talking about leek or broccoli or onions, although a savory porridge can be delicious too. I am talking about courgette, carrots, beet or sweet potato. These veggies go extremely well with oatmeal.
There is no better thing than chocolate porridge. Am I right?? Since I have to keep an eye on my weight, I am not throwing much chocolate into my oatmeal. I use a low-fat cacao that is less bitter than regular cacao powder. One heaped teaspoon per serving is perfect. And you won’t miss chocolate at all 😋.
- Dried fruits
Theoretically spoken it is possible to add dried fruits to your porridge. I rarely use dried fruits, but sometimes I add freeze-dried fruits.
- Nuts, Seeds & shredded coconut
There are hundreds of possibilities to pimp up your cooked oatmeal like with nuts and seeds and shredded coconut. Pan-roasted walnuts or coconut flakes are excellent as well as sesame, hemp or flax seeds.
There are various ready-to-use oatmeal spice mixes available on the market, but I prefer to mix my own with vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or allspice. Cardamom is great too. Just experiment a little and adjust spices to your taste.
Basic Porridge recipe
There are different statements how much liquid should be used – for me the triple amount of liquid works just fine. You can add additional liquid at any step of the preparation. Don’t forget to top your oatmeal with fresh fruits.
Porridge - Basic Recipe
No fuss, easy to make basic recipe for oatmeal porridge. Vegan and kids-friendly.
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
- 1.5 cups plant-based milk unsweetened
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cinammon
- 1 pinch vanilla bean
- 1 handful fresh fruits chopped
Bring plant-based milk to the boil.
Add quick-cooking oatmeal and spices. Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add maple syrup or sweetener of choice.
Transfer to a bowl and top with freshly chopped fruits.
Another way of cooking oatmeal is to soak old-fashioned rolled oats in water and cook afterward. I never tried that, but I already saw quite a lot of recipes using soaked oats. You want to give it a try, watch this video by everdaysimplehealth.
Learn how to cook steel cut oatmeal in this video by Thomas Joseph. He also explains the differences between instant oats, quick-cooking oats, old-fashioned rolled oats and steel-cut oats.
My favorite recipes
The second-best Chocolate Porridge
The easiest way to prepare chocolate porridge is to take a bar of chocolate and throw it in. But that’s not the healthiest! I love to use a de-oiled cacao powder for my chocolate porridge, which might therefore not be te best, but the second-best recipe! Click on the picture to switch to the recipe.
Creamy Almond Millet Porridge
Porridge is not only oatmeal. You can make it from other grains too, like millet flakes. The consistency and the taste might be different from the porridge you are used too, but I am really in love with this recipe. My son too, though this goodness is pink and not blue (his favorite color). Click on the picture to switch to the recipe.
Chocolate Semolina Porridge
Have you ever tried Semolina Porridge? It’s addictive! My mother used to cook it when I was a child, and today I am cooking it for my kids. Or for me 🙈. Just a healthier version than we ate at home and with a hint of chocolate (AKA de-oiled cacao powder). Click on the picture to switch to the recipe.
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Carrot Cake Oatmeal is one of my all-time-favorites. Adding carrots our courgettes to your porridge is a great way to reduce caloric density without impairing the taste. I cooked this porridge with oat milk and added shredded coconut, shredded pineapple, cashew butter and a few common spices like ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. Click on the picture to switch to the recipe.