Porridge

Porridge

By
From
Lagom
Serves
2
Photographer
Yuki Sugiura

Porridge’s [oatmeal’s] quick (even microwaveable) preparation and long list of nutritional credentials has made it a breakfast favourite the world over. In Sweden, it is often a winter weekday staple, but there is nothing to stop you from having pimped-up porridge at the weekend or taking a bit more time and care with it during the week.

Porridge has played a role in the Swedish diet since the days of the Vikings when it was based on different grains, flours and even an early form of skyr (an Icelandic dairy product similar to strained yogurt). Much later, a luxurious, thick rice porridge dusted with cinnamon became a regular feature at Christmas. To this day, Swedes will leave a bowl of porridge, often topped with butter, out for Santa. I imagine it’s just the thing you need when you’ve got a whole globe’s worth of presents to deliver.

I never grew up with the notion that porridge is always an entirely guiltfree breakfast. While I personally prefer a little more protein and fewer carbs to start the day, it can be the perfect, warming, comforting bowl that sometimes just hits the spot. When I was working in kitchens and would come home late from a long shift, frozen from the night-bus journey home, hungry and exhausted, porridge was all I wanted before hitting the hay.

My range of porridges includes some nice and some naughty and should see you through any of your cravings.

“Better to eat porridge together than beef fillet alone.”

“Better to eat porridge together than beef fillet alone.” with roasted plum & vanilla compote

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g buckwheat flakes
150ml milk or almond milk, plus extra to serve
1 banana, mashed well
2 tablespoons almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, (optional)
maple syrup, honey or sugar, to taste (optional)

For the compote

Quantity Ingredient
6 ripe plums
2 vanilla pods, split lengthways
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil or mild-flavoured oil

Method

  1. Start with the compote. Preheat the oven to 200°C and halve the plums, removing their stones. Use a small knife or a pair of kitchen scissors to cut them free if they are particularly stubborn. Place the plum halves on a roasting tray with the split vanilla pods, scraping out some of the seeds. Toss with the maple syrup and oil to coat completely then bake for 30–35 minutes until collapsing and beginning to caramelize. Scrape into a bowl and stir briefly until jammy.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the porridge, except 1 tablespoon of the almonds, in a small pan along with 150ml water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, then lower the heat and cook until thick, about 5–10 minutes, or until the flakes are cooked through and the porridge has reached the consistency you prefer.
  3. To serve, divide the porridge between 2 bowls, pour over a little more milk and sweeten, if desired. Top with a few spoonfuls of compote and the reserved chopped almonds.

Spiced rye porridge with raspberries

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
110g rye flakes
250ml skimmed milk, plus extra to serve
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch chilli powder, (optional)
raspberries, to serve
honey, to serve

Method

  1. Place the rye flakes, milk and 350ml water in a medium saucepan along with the spices. Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Let the porridge bubble away, adding more water if necessary, for about 20–25 minutes until the rye is cooked through and creamy.
  2. Serve with the raspberries and some more milk, and sweeten with honey, if desired.

Indulgent oat porridge with brown butter & cream

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
100g rolled oats
200ml milk
1 tablespoon oat bran, (optional)
sugar, honey or sweetener, to taste (optional)
single cream, to serve

Method

  1. Begin by melting the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cooking until browned and nutty smelling. This should take a few minutes, but do keep an eye on it as the milk solids will burn if left too long. Set aside 1 teaspoon or so of the melted butter, then add the oats to the pan and stir through, gently toasting for a few minutes.
  2. Pour in the milk and 300ml water and a pinch of salt. Add the oat bran, if using, then bring to a simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes until soft and oozy. Sweeten if desired, then serve drizzled with cream and the reserved butter.

Coconut brown rice porridge with mango, lime & black sesame seeds

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g short-grain brown rice
400 mlg coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, ground
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
or A pinch vanilla powder
1 lime, juiced of 1 and zested of 1/2
sugar, honey or sweetener, to taste (optional)
1 small mango, peeled, stoned and sliced
2 teaspoons black sesame or poppy seeds
1 teaspoon flaked or desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Begin by cooking the rice according to the packet instructions. You can also use leftover rice, as long as it has been cooled and stored properly in the fridge.
  2. Combine the rice, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, cardamom and vanilla in a large saucepan with a pinch of salt. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10–15 minutes until the coconut milk has reduced and the porridge is creamy. Add a splash of water or milk if you take it too far.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick, stir through the lime zest and juice and sweeten with your favourite sweetener, if desired. Divide between 2 bowls, top with the mango slices and sprinkle over the sesame seeds and coconut.
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