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So with me being a 'little bear' and all that - totally loving my morning bowl of porridge that is not too hot and not too cold but JUST RIGHT - I am always on the look out for great looking bowlfuls and I had spotted this interesting looking brand whilst on my shopping trip to Tesco. It wasn't on offer and isn't the cheapest bag that you could purchase but it also isn't an extravagant buy. You know what appealed to me about this particular porridge? Organic and the fact that I like the more traditionally milled oats that are not sweetened and ultra fine and sometimes padded out with a bit of flour, no I am a natural little bear who is not over keen on all of those added ingredients.
~~This bag has appeal for the little bear~~
As this little bear was padding along the corridor that she had been searching for, the one with the porridge, she was attracted to the bag - yes bag - of Flahavans Organic Oats. What was the appeal of a simple bag on display next to all of the competing colourful and exciting brands that offer porridge in minutes that tastes of syrup or will keep you centrally heated on your way to school ( well little bears don't intend attending school anytime soon, so that don't apply to me). The appeal was that I am so attracted to the eau natural stuff - it is that simple! I just want plain and simple oaty goodness and by goodness those little oats have alot to offer on their own they don't need any help from anything else. The little oaty guys are packed with a slow release of energy and beta glucans and they are soooooo satisfying - fuller for longer dosn't that sound good! Sometimes greedy little bear has eyes that are bigger than her belly and she goes for the BIG bowl of porridge - big mistake! don't underestimate the speed that porridge can fill you up, of course I am talking about this kind of porridge not the sachets that microwave in minutes as they don't do it for me, I am feeling the hunger round about mid morning when I have tried those and they were soooo sweet. I prefer to be able to make my porridge 'just right' and add as much sweety goodness as I want. I don't tend to use sugar though, as I say I love the eau natural stuff and that includes sweet treats too if possible and therefore if I feel the need to add something to my bowl it is a sprinkling of dried fruit (great for iron and energy providing too). I sometimes cook the dried fruit with the porridge or I add when the porridge is cooked, I enjoy both ways - yum. Oh my I am getting so peckish describing my favourite food, I wish it was morning time.
~~Can a bear describe porridge?~~
I can try and I will do my very bestest to help you understand why us bears love porridge - every morning! You can understand winter time porridge and its obvious warming advantages but summer too? Well I can't help it I just have to have it and it does me good too. Oh before I forget to mention I shall have to tell you now as my memory sometimes fails me - do you know what oats can do? they can help reduce cholesterol, yes I know isn't it fabulous - you can enjoy your low fat, high energy that is slow release, satisfying breakfast of oats and it can help to lower and maintain a healthy cholesterol level. It is one of those magic foods, like beans, that grab hold of naughty cholesterol and take it out of the body with it - oats are magic! Oh, sorry I get carried away with my enthusiasm for my oats. Yes back to telling you all about the porridge. I like the bag, it is unusual and stands out from other brands as being more traditional. I like the design of the bag, someone is very creative at Flahavans they make reading what is in the bag easy peasy. And the bag is clever, it is so easy to open and pour some oats out and it fastens back down real easily so that you don't lose your oats - oh don't lose the oats please they are so nice. In the bowl I put a nice amount - you know not too little and not too much, definitely not too much unless you are very hungry indeed and are not intending to eat for the rest of the day. I add non dairy milk as I am vegan - ha ha a little vegan bear, the first you have met I imagine? so then I cook in the microwave for approximately (big word for me) 2 and a half minutes and then I let it cool as it is soooo hot. It can be a difficult time for me to sit and wait whilst looking at this creamy porridge in the bowl and smelling the aroma of lovely oaty goodness, it is a real test but I know it will hurt if I test too soon so I am good, most of the time, and I wait. When it is 'just right' I can have my first mouthful and mmmm this is a wonderful time for me, the taste is creamy and not sweet (unless I sweeten with something) I can detect the oaty taste so well as it is not hidden with any artificial flavours or additives. This porridge has a really nice consistency and if you like to see oats, as I do, and feel them in your mouth then you may like this porridge too - you will have to buy your own though because this bag is mine lol. I don't know if it's because these oats are Irish rather than Scottish but the taste is very different and distinctive and provides a beautiful and yummy oaty treat. When I have finished the bowl I am so very satisfied, it makes me all warm and toasty and full for a long time! I am ready to start my day in a good way doing what us bears do.
~~Little bear talks to Flahavans~~
Who are Flahavans? that is what I want to know? Where have you got these oats from?
Well Flahavan's are Irish and we have been making porridge for a very long time indeed. We have been around over 200 years! Our oats are from a local Irish region call Kilmarcthomas and great care is taken in the production of these oats.
That sounds like a long time, so you sure know your oats by now then! I am very happy that you look after those precious oats too. What other products do you make?
We make a range of oat based products from your traditional oats to oats that are made more quickly and that are finer milled and then we have a range of biscuits and snacks too.
Woah, oat snacks! So in the afernoon I could be enjoying more oatly goodness - this excites me very much.
What is your website?
All I can say is take a look fellow bears and guys and you will not be disappointed - it's grrreeaaat (not only tigers can say that you know).
~~Little bear talks cost~~
Well for a 1000g bag it will cost approximately £2.90
I have got it from Tesco, there is a long list of retailers on the website and you know what? You can order from places online too! Be aware of postal charges though.
~~What more can a bear say?~~
I am really excited to have told you all about my favourite breakfast oats! This make of oats is a darn fine one too. The packaging is great quality and keeps the oats safe and secure and fresh. The oats are really good quality, they come from Ireland you know! You can make these oats into porridge real easily and have options of microwave or hob. These are full of natural goodness and are not sweetened so that you can add your own goodies if you want to - the choice is yours and you are in control. Taste is traditional, creamy and with a nice texture to swirl around your mouth and actually feel like you are eating something - you are and it is so yummy! Finally, the cost is pretty reasonable and you can get it from a variety of stores. What I would say is watch out for a certain little girl with blonde hair trying to sneak a taste.
~~Little bear signing off~~
If you are a porridge fanatic of the traditional kind then I would say 'go for it' you are in for a treat!
Thank you for reading my bear production!
I ran out of my usual Ready Brek Porridge, and decided to try something else for a change. Flahavans Organic Porridge is what I was drawn to, and not because it was cheap or looked particularly appetising, but it came with a free wooden spoon to dispense it with. Yes I am that pathetic to buy a random porridge just to get a free wooden spoon that I don't even need. But hey, I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that kind of thing!
Who are Flahavans exactly? Apparently they are an Irish maker of cereals, which is surprising as normally you associates things like porridge oats with Scotland. But hey, they seem pretty well established, being a family run company which has been making oats for 6 generations of families. And they state they are Ireland's largest producer of oat products. Sounds good enough!
Anyhoo, this porridge comes in a paper bag, and like my work colleague said, looks like a bag of flour. She was pleased to find out that I wasn't in fact having a bowl of flour for breakfast as I escorted this to my work kitchen to prepare.
Now I cleverly anticipated that keeping these porridge oats in the bag at my workplace was asking for trouble (cue vision of work louts on the rampage for food in the kitchen, culminating in my poor bag of porridge being recklessly knocked over and spilt) so I promptly transferred the oats to a suitable cereal container. Good move.
The oats themselves are very hearty and rough looking, just as I expected they would. I never measure my porridge, and instead experiment with varying amounts of milk and timing in the microwave. I made a bit too much of it in my first go, and then perfected it for the second. In front of me was a bowl of steaming, stodgy looking, but nonetheless quite healthy looking porridge.
Now if you're used to quite sweet, easy to eat porridges like Ready Brek, Oatso Simple, PawRidge, etc, then you probably wouldn't like this. This is very traditional in flavour and texture, and I found it a bit bland and had to add some honey and raisins to it to enjoy it. However, I am pretty sure they are much healthier than other commercial types of porridge, especially it being organic, so wouldn't say it's a bad buy. The ingredients seem very pure and of high quality, so it's definitely made with some experience and care.
A 1kg bag of this porridge was approximately £2.20 from Tesco, which I don't think is too bad, perhaps a little more expensive for the usual brands but not extortionate either.
Now would I buy it again? Probably not, as a porridge eater, my taste buds are more suited to the lightweights of the porridge world, and I think this porridge is a little too healthy and mulchy in texture for me to really enjoy it. Having said that, I don't mind finishing the rest of the packet, and at least it's healthy. And hey, at least I can console myself in knowing I got a free wooden spoon with it!