Tuesday 16th February 2016

By mira

porridgecollage

Porridge is something I crave only in the winter, delicious warmth and morning fuel for the body, and I usually need only a couple of spoons of oats, cook and stir them in water, then add a little nut or other milk at the end. I prefer porridge to be a little more watery than thick, and to make it more filling, interesting and colourful, I add a variety of different toppings. They can be superfoods or simple fruits from grated apples and chopped bananas to pumpkin seeds and walnuts, or indeed a spoon of luxurious nut butter. A healthy sprinkle of cinnamon is a must for me in any porridge or baked dish, and in the winter months, a pinch of turmeric. There’s the option of spicing with a small pinch of saffron and cardamom to give it that touch of decadence. And let’s not forget the increasingly popular chia seeds. Then there’s all the dried fruits from organic apricots and prunes, great for digestion, to goji berries and sultanas. Lastly, ground flax seeds, spirulina, hemp powder, maca powder and any other powder superfoods that can give your porridge that extra boost. Here’s a very quick and brief summary of benefits of some of these garnishings:

– Chia seeds will add a third of your daily fibre in just one tablespoon

– Cinnamon balances blood sugar levels, great for breakfast to help keep you full until lunch and stop cravings

– Berries, especially blueberries, are low in GI, very high in antioxidants, and the flavonoids and other compounds found in berries may help reduce colon cancer risk

– Apples can help keep you full as they have a high water and fibre content

– Hemp powder is an excellent source of plant protein

– Maca powder balances hormone levels and helps your body produce energy

– Lucuma powder is an alternative source of iron for vegetarians and has a caramel-like taste

– Dried fruit contains lots of essential minerals, a tasty and natural alternative to taking supplements

– Pumpkin seeds are one of the highest sources of zinc and therefore important for a strong immune system and healthy skin

– flax seeds are high in fibre and thus great for digestion and lowering cholestrol, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a must for vegetarians

– Peanut butter and walnuts are rich sources of biotin, great for hair and nails

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