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I never liked porridge, to be honest. The way my family did it - it was gooey and potentially clumpy at the same time, with the sickening taste of milk. However, I came to re-discover porridge oats after I spent a summer in the US, eating steel-cut oats cooked in water everyday and topped with some brown sugar and cranberries. When I returned to the UK, I started to look for something similar but could not find steel-cut oats in the supermarket. After having tried several brands including Flahavans and Quaker's, I finally settled on Jordans Porridge Oats (Conservation Grade).
Jordans is a British brand that prides itself on producing wholesome granolas (those are good stuffs too), muesli and the very popular Country Crisp. I didn't actually know that they had good oats too until I tried it, and I am also at the same time, very impressed at how they use oats which are grown by Conservation Grade farmers around Britain (meaning that these farmers are paid a premium to create nature-friendly habitats on 10% of their farmed land). I believe that they do three main types - the chunky traditional porridge (which this review will focus on), the chunky traditional orgainc porridge (which in my opinion, tastes exactly the same as the former, just that it's organic) and the quick & creamy porridge (never tried that).
The Chunky Traditional Porridge comes in your typical cereal box packaging. The material of the box is harder than others, which is a good thing if you're prone to touching your cereal box with wet hands - it doesn't morph. I typically reseal the box using a food clip, although I think with oats, leaving it open is not a big problem either.
HOW I PREPARE MY OATS
What I typically do everyday is to scoop out half a cupful of oats into a pot, and then a cupful of water into the same pot, cover the pot and turn on the heat. I find that it takes me about 4 minutes to get it cooked - although it might depend on how well cooked you like your oats to be. I recommend you note the time you take to get the kind of consistency that you like - I like mine thick but with sufficient 'juice' so that it's not clumpy. If you overcook it however these oats may char and stick very badly to your pot - in which case, I find soaking the pot in water + soup and just scrubbing it numerous times throughout the day will do the trick. After doing the same routine every morning I typically just let my pot heat up until I see some bubbles appearing - suggesting that it's boiling and then lower the heat slightly and let the oats cook.. it takes quite a bit of guess-work but you can easily get used to it.
My usual breakfast will be to add a dash of brown sugar and some dried fruits, maybe cranberries, or raisins, as well as a topping of sunflower/pumpkin seeds. The reason why I eat oats is to avoid the sugar rush and to keep me full for the morning - so I tend to avoid putting in too sugary stuffs. Sometimes I add in a dash of cinnamon together with brown sugar, and top it with fresh blueberries - the thing about porridge oats is that there can be so many variations that it's hard to get bored! You can also cook your oats with milk, and I find that doing so will require a slightly longer time because my milk is usually cold from the fridge. It might also tend to bubble and foam so you might need to watch the pot.
These are chunky, traditional oats - so don't expect them to be like your instant oats. There's actually quite a 'chew' to it, which is what I LOVE about these oats. You actually feel like you're eating real substances, not just a mush. Also, they taste amazingly healthy to me too - I know healthy doesn't sound yummy to you, but it's a great taste to have in your mouth in the morning, you've just got to try it!
There are no added salt or sugar or flavouring or colouring to these oats - they are pure, wholegrain rolled oats which can be really healthy if you don't add unhealthy toppings. At 33.3 g of carbohydrates but only 10.3 g of sugar per serving, they are quite filling in the morning but they don't cause you a sugar-rush early in the morning (and then you dip down as you approach lunch) - so that's generally better for sustained energy throughout the morning. These are also high in fibre as well as protein, although the fat content may be slightly more than your typical choice of cereals or bread (with spread). HOWEVER, oats are said to be really good for your heart because of all the soluble fibre that they have - so in my opinion the slightly higher fat content is a reasonable trade-off. After all, all of these are natural and pure - nothing artificial!
A box of 750 g costs about 1.10 pounds and it lasts me for about 3 weeks (daily consumption) - definitely very very cheap compared to cereals like Special K or Kelloggs or even compared to their very own granolas. Even as you count the costs of toppings (which tend to be whatever's in your fridge), it really comes up to a very small cost per breakfast serving.
These are the best oats that I've had ever - it's both healthy and cheap. I'm even surprised that Jordans produces such great oats. I definitely recommend that you try these if you're an oat-lover (even if you only eat the instant kind- it's time to change your mind!) and if you don't have the habit of eating oats... let me suggest that you do now because it's really good for you!
Everyone has an opinion about porridge, either from having something resembling wallpaper paste thrust in front of you in a bowl at one time or another, or that delicious creamy incarnation that cannot be bettered on a cold winter's day.
Whether you're a hardcore porridge eater (someone that consumes it in water!) or a posh porridge eater (someone that consumes it in the finest creamy milk!) you won't be disappointed by Jordans Porridge Oats. We all know that these days supermarkets have aisles full of different porridge oats ranging from the top end organic boxes (£3) to own brand see thru bags (10p). The difference in taste and texture is quite remarkable and it is true that you get what you pay for in this competitive market. Although Jordans is not the cheapest, it certainly isn't the most expensive, yet it provides the sort of consistency that you want in a breakfast porridge. I don't think I've ever had a wallpaper paste moment with Jordans!
Preparation time is less than 5 minutes and you'll soon be ready to take on the day knowing that the slow release of energy from the oats will keep you feeling full for some time. The oats are high in fibre too so very nutritious. Highly recommended product for kids and adults.
With snow on the ground and chaos on the roads there is nothing nicer than a steaming bowl of porridge to start the day. Jordans is a favourite of mine because it is made by a family company and all the oats used are from the UK. There are so many breakfast cereals to choose from now it really is quite an array of temptations, but I think simplicity is sometimes what I need.
What is Porridge?
It is quite simply a dish made from oats. I make it with all water to keep the calories down; the Scotch way is to use oatmeal and to add salt. There are so many recipes and you can of course make it with milk or with half milk and half water, but at the end of this review I will give you mine which I think is delicious.
Why Buy Bill's?
For those of you who have never heard of Bill Jordan and his cereal empire, he is the owner of Jordan's cereals based in Biggleswade. The company has an ethical view that it is so important to care for the land and the wildlife around it when manufacturing commercial crops, and so all their fields have hedgerows left in their natural state to allow the butterflies and the birds to nest just as they always have done. They have been farming for over 150 years.
The oats in Bill's porridge are conservation grade; this means quite simply that farmers around Britain are paid a premium to create these nature friendly environments on their farms. They are large jumbo oats with wholegrain goodness.
These really are delicious and more rustic than some other brands. There is none of that dustiness in the box, and the thick and creamy texture they give to porridge is special.
Where To Buy And Cost.
Currently you can pick these up for £1.54 for 750g in most supermarkets. You can't fail to recognise the box in the shelves as it is very decorative. When you buy them you will see the oats are in a plastic inner sachet, which you must keep closed tightly, as oats are one of the foods loved by flour moths, which will invade them and breed if you don't secure the packet. This is important if you are going to keep the box for ages maybe only having it at the weekend.
Why Eat Oats?
Many breakfast cereals are loaded in sugar, salt and calories. Oats are high in fibre which keeps the digestive tract working efficiently; they are a food on the low glycaemic index which means that when you eat them the sugar levels in your blood stay level for longer. They are a simple food which contains nothing artificial. Oats are soluble fibre and they act like little brushes in the intestines removing cholesterol before it has a chance to be absorbed, so they are very good for your heart too!
How To Prepare.
What I do is to take half a cup of the oats and put in a small pan. If you boil some water in the kettle it saves time, and you can then pour a cup of boiling water over them. Cook on high on the hob for only a minute. Then what I do is I add some agave syrup. This is a lovely low gi sweetener made from the agave cactus which grows in Mexico and in Arizona. To make it really special I drizzle over some Alpro Soya Cream. This vegan breakfast is not only tasty, but is cholesterol free, and it keeps you going until lunchtime. Another lovely addition which works very well is to add some walnuts as these are rich in omega three fats, or some dried apricots, which are full of iron. Any dried fruit works so well, and you can even put a blob of healthy jam such as "SuperJam" or a spread made by Meridian in the middle. Fresh fruit of course is a perfect alternative.
I have reviewed Agave syrup, Alpro Soya Cream, and SuperJam on Dooyoo so if you search for them you can find out all about them.
These jumbo oats make a delicious porridge which has some nutty texture to it, quite a lot of bite, making it really sustaining.
When I stayed in a Scottish hotel recently there was the option of serving it with whisky. I wouldn't start that myself but you could do it for a special treat if you like it.
I worked out that each breakfast will cost you only 5p to make so this has to be a really good option in these economically challenging times. You may need to allow a few pennies more for the other additions I mentioned, but not many, as you really don't need many to flavour it, and to make it really special. Many people dismiss porridge because they think it is messy and time consuming- it isn't, you can make it in the microwave if you want, but I haven't got one so always use the hob. If you pop the pan in cold water afterwards it will be easily washed up or popped in the dishwasher and by boiling the kettle first cooking time is so quick. Let's dispel the myth that porridge takes too long-bring it back and have more oats!
By eating these you have the confidence in knowing you are helping butterflies, bees, birds, and wild flower meadows, to be retained as part of Britain's great heritage. We'll continue to see red poppies and yellow corn marigolds blooming in the countryside, and even better we will be helping our hearts and our waistlines!
Porridge has to be one of the purist and healthiest foods you can eat. When you've finished a bowl you feel healthy. It seems our bodies have evolved to be perfect recipients for this food stuff. No doubt oats are something that our ancestors survived on for thousands of years. Overall I find Jordans Porridge Oats a very nourishing breakfast choice.
Jordans Porridge Oats (Conservation Grade) consist of large rolled oaks and is less powdery than some other porridge brands. According to the company these oats are rolled with care in order to retain their natural fibre and nutrients. This produces a porridge that retains a creamy consistency but which also possesses a chunky texture that you can almost chew. Whole grains are associated with a healthy heart and a reduction in blood cholesterol and indeed Jordans porridge oats really do seem to be full of natural whole grain goodness. Like most porridge, these oats are simple to prepare: take one part oats (half a cup) and add two parts water (a full cup). Some people add a pinch of salt and some sugar to taste, but I find these porridge oats are very tasty and quite enjoyable to eat without anything added except perhaps for a few drops of milk. I also like the way this porridge is packaged. It comes in a simply illustrated cardboard box that conjures up rustic sentiments. Inside the box the oats are sealed within a semi transparent plastic bag.
Although they are not certified organic, one of the things that makes these particular Jordans Porridge Oats unique is that they come from conservation grade cereal. This is cereal that has been grown only on British farms that put aside at least 10% of their land for planting wild habitats - wild flowers etc - thereby increasing local wildlife and thwarting the trend towards intensive farming. The oats are at present free of GM ingredients, have no added sugar or salt and no artificial flavourings, ingredients or preservatives.
Admittedly having porridge all the time day in day out can get a bit boring and it is nice to vary your breakfast choice now and again. I know some find it tiresome having to 'cook' cereal every morning instead of just chucking it into a bowl and adding milk. It can also be a pain to clean the pan afterwards. But porridge is definitely a better more healthy alternative to all the horrid sugary flake baked cereals with which our society has, for various reasons, become obsessed. And by eating Jordans Porridge Oats Conservation Grade, you're not only making yourself healthier, you're also making the countryside healthier by protecting wildlife.
They are presently priced at around £1.55 for a 750g box (Tesco).