The mornings are getting a lot colder now and I'm finding it harder to get out from the comfort of my nice warm duvet! I never skip breakfast and am usually a cereal type of person but when it gets colder I look forward to something warm and out comes my porridge! For me porridge with a bit of honey and fruit is pure comfort food and I find it warms me right up and keeps me satisfied till lunch. All that and it's really good for me too! Porridge oats are very high in fibre, containing a good balance of both soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fibre has been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol when eaten as part of a healthy, low fat diet, which can lower the risk of heart disease.
Over the years I've tried many brands and the one I keep returning to is Flanhaven's Irish Porridge oats. I find this makes the most delicious, creamy porridge. The porridge can be found in the cereal aisle of most major supermarkets, though I have found that generally they don't stock very much so when I spot a packet it usually ends up in my basket! The porridge is in yellow packaging with the Flanhaven's logo emblazoned in red. Although the packet is resealable, I find that once opened it is easier and less messier to pour these into another sealed container.
According to the packed the unique creamy taste and texture is due to the fact that these are grown in rich Irish soil that nestles between the shelter of the Comeragh mountains and the sea and due to the unique processing. Once harvested the unique milling process cooks the oats are cooked twice to give the texture and creaminess. The brand is well established and has been going for six generations!
The porridge can be made on the hob or in the microwave. I prefer the latter as there is less washing up to do! I have tried both ways and can say that I didn't really notice a difference in taste or texture but the hob approach did take much longer! The oats can be cooked in water or milk. I much prefer them in milk as they become really creamy and flavoursome. I did find one day that I'd run out of milk and made them out of water instead but for me they didn't taste quite right.
To make I add half a cup of oats to a bowl alone with one cup of milk. I give this a good stir and then pop in the microwave for 2 and half minutes. At this point the porridge has started to bubble but still has a liquid like consistency. I leave this to stand for around a minute before stirring and then getting stuck in! On it's own I find the porridge a little bland so I usually sweeten it with a little honey. The porridge is very creamy but not particularly rich. It's certainly creamier than all the other brands I've tried and this is why I find myself returning to this!
I often also add fruit, usually going for whatever's in the fridge - this morning it was blueberries, earlier this week it was strawberries and tomorrow it'll probably be tinned pineapple! I find the sharpness of the fruit complements the creaminess of the porridge and taste fantastic not to mention contributing to your 5 a day.
I find that having a bowl of porridge really sets me up for the day. I get hungry very quickly and usually by mid-morning am on the lookout for something to eat. However with porridge I can last a lot longer, often making it to lunch without the need for a snack. A typical serving with skimmed milk contains 237 calories. It will also provide you with 60% of your recommended daily allowance of thiamine and 29% of Iron. All in all very healthy, extremely yummy and at around 79p for a 500g packet it's not too hard on the wallet either. Definitely recommended!