Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Soaked apple and cinnamon porridge

Something magical happens to my bed overnight. It gets more comfortable. By morning it is the most warm and snuggly place imaginable - one I never want to leave.

But the reality is I have a 15-month-old girl who wakes up anywhere between 6am and 7am, and who gets increasingly noisy the longer I leave her in her cot. She is my alarm clock. And one I can't ignore because she needs to be fed.

So I live by routine in the morning. It helps me get all the things done I need to, while I wait for my brain to kick into gear. Most mornings that means L and I eat scrambled eggs and fruit for breakfast. But, in the interest of getting more variety into L's diet, I've started making soaked porridge on occasion too. 

This porridge is so much more than your standard camp dish, thanks to the addition of nuts, seeds and fruit. We love it around here.

The beauty of this recipe, which I have slightly adapted from Passionate Homemaking's soaked oatmeal recipe is that most of the mixing is done the night before, when I'm awake and sentient. So in the morning I just need to get a bit of water on to boil and dump in my pre-soaked porridge mixture, along with a sprinkle of dried fruit and chopped apple.

Healthwise, this porridge is more nutritious than the instant stuff because of the soaking time. Passionate Homemaking has written a wonderful article that explains the benefits of soaking grains. The basic point is that soaking breaks down phytates in grains, allowing our bodies to properly absorb their nutrients. Eating wholegrains is worthless without this soaking step, because phytates left untreated will just bind to nutrients in the grain and take them right on out of your body.

Here's how you make Soaked apple and cinnamon porridge:

  • 1c uncooked rolled oats
  • c warm water
  • 1T acid medium (eg. kefir, yoghurt, whey, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1T wholemeal/wholewheat flour)
  • 2T ground almond
  • 3T desiccated coconut
  • 3T seeds, eg. chia, flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower or a mixture
  • 2T nuts, eg. walnuts or chopped almonds, optional
  • 1t ground cinnamon
  • 1t ground cardamom, optional
  • 2T dried fruit, eg. craisins, raisins, currants
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 1t honey

1. Mix rolled oats, water, whey, wholemeal flour, ground almond, desiccated coconut, spices, nuts, seeds and dried fruit together in a glass jar.

2. Soak at room temperature 12-24 hours.

3. When ready to cook, bring 3/4c water to the boil in a small saucepan and add rolled oat mixture, plus dried fruit and diced apple to it.

4. Turn down to a simmer and cook for around 5-10 minutes, until porridge is your desired consistency.

5. At the last minute, stir through with raw honey. Serve with raw cream or milk. Delicious!

Next I want to try making Coconut Mama's Lacto-Fermented Apple Sauce and serving that with it. But my food processor got broken in our move to Wellington, so I'm pondering how else I can whiz up 6-8 uncooked apples for the sauce.

What's your favourite breakfast food?

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