“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Porridge „
Being a bit of a health freak, I always have porridge for breakfast, espically in the cold winter mornings when I am up at 5am. We all know about the benefits of porridge, and what a great filling, low fat, high energy food it is, and its also relatively cheap.
I first tried Sainsburys Taste the Difference version, as there own normal make was out of stock. For a few pence extra, I decided to give this a go. Now its important to say here that what I'd normally have is very tasty, and is much better than a lot Ive treid, but it wasn't available, so i went for this.
I always cook mine in the microwave, as I find it much quicker and cleaner than on the hob. The thing that struck me first was the oats are slightly bigger than what im used to, althought thats not a problem. I make mine with semi-skimmed milk and drizzle a little bit of honey on the top. After about 5 minutes, my porrdge was ready, and in the bowl waiting to cool slightly to eat. Wow, what a taste. If anyone has ever tried porrdge and said its disgusting, they should try this stuff. Its very creamy and its quite moreish, even at 5am!
The thing I like about this is you know its of a slightly higher quality, and thats reflected perhaps in the texture, which is quite smooth, but you can taste the oats.
It soaks up the milk very well, and the creaminess of that is a delight to taste. For a bag of porridge, it costs around 90p, and will you a while. In other words, for something thats probably the most healthiest thing down the cereal isel, its perhaps cheaper than most products!
I have just eaten a delicious breakfast, so delicious in fact that I am considering having the same meal for my lunch! I have always been one of those people who considers porridge to be porridge; whether you add sugar, salt or golden syrup to it, it's still just porridge.
That was until I discovered Sainsbury's Porridge Oats from their Taste The Difference range - and now I feel I know what 'proper' porridge really is!
This morning I made mine with milk, although you can also use water in an attempt to keep the calorie content down. I tend to use the microwave when making porridge as it's so much quicker and also saves on the washing up as I can cook my porridge in the same bowl as I am going to eat from. This particular porridge does take a little longer than other porridge oats I've eaten and this is simply because the oats themselves are larger than average and therefore take longer to absorb the milk and go creamy and soft for eating.
Once prepared I must say these porridge oats are a revelation. I must confess that the health benefits of eating porridge is somewhat negated by the fact that I have to add other items which are perhaps not as healthy as the basic oats - some are naturally too salty so I have to compensate for this with sugar, other times the porridge is far too sweet so I add salt and yet other times the porridge is so bland that syrup, treacle or even cream has to be included. Gosh, I sound like Goldilocks there don't I?!
These Taste the Difference Porridge Oats need absolutely nothing adding to them as they have such a creamy and very tasty flavour of their own. They have a natural sweetness that is delicate and very moreish, I can also detect a very slight nuttiness which comes and goes with each mouthful although this actually seems to be the basis of the overall flavour whether it's completely apparent or not.
The texture is quite simply the best I have encountered when using shop bought porridge oats (although still not a patch on my late husbands Ayrshire family members who make the best porridge in the world!). This one is creamy but also rather lumpy due to the large size of the oats, there is no stickiness or blandness of either flavour or texture and it just seems like very high quality porridge indeed.
I cannot find a single thing to fault about these porridge oats, which is strange really as as I began this review I thought there would at least be a few negatives as it's still 'just porridge'. It's not though, it's delicious porridge which makes me long for winter so I can eat it more often!
A 750g bag is an extremely reasonable 89p and I believe this bag will last me some time so what's the point in compromising on flavour by buying a much cheaper brand?
When it comes to porridge, people can generally be split into two categories: those who love it and those who don't. Further divides can be made when it comes to preparation and yet more when it comes to serving and eating it.
Everyone has their own favourite type of porridge whether it's the smooth and creamy variety or it's a case of the lumpier the better. Then of course, everyone has their own preferences as to how it's made and served. Whether you like it made with full cream milk or water, served with sugar and milk or adorned with fruit, there's a porridge to suit all tastes.
I've enjoyed eating porridge since I was a child and have tested umpteen brands and types of porridge over the years. And naturally, the way I ate it as a child is the way I eat it now, made with milk then topped with sugar and milk. Hence, it's the way I now prepare it for my children who may well pass on the tradition.
Thanks to the glowing press reports of the health benefits of porridge, demand for and consumption of oats has grown enormously over the last few years. Manufacturers have responded to this by injecting the supermarket shelves with an ever expanding range of oats ranging from traditional to instant microwaveable packets to those ready made up in a microwaveable pot.
So what's so wonderful about porridge? Not only is it nourishing, filling, high in fibre, low in sugar and fat, it has a low glycaemic index whereby it releases energy slowly into the body, helping keep blood sugar levels stable and stave off hunger pains. Even better it's cheap and it's delicious!
The porridge I am reviewing here is one from Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference' range. I'm not always swayed by the 'taste the difference' label as in some cases I've found the regular version just as nice if not better. In the case of these porridge oats, however, they earn their title. They're not just different, they are streets ahead of the regular porridges taste wise.
~~~Packaging and Contents~~~
They come packaged in a waxy, plastic bag with a clear window through which you can view the oats. The label bears a small Scottish flag with the text 'Scottish Jumbo Porridge Oats'. 'These plump oats are gently milled so they stay deliciously sweet & nutty'.
Personally I would prefer a cardboard box type container, mainly for easier storing alongside all the other breakfasts cereals in my cupboard. Once you've cut the top off the packet you need to fold it down and put a clip on to keep the contents fresh and refrain from spilling. Alternatively, you could of course transfer the oats to an airtight container. A label on the back of the packet apologises for it not yet being recyclable.
These jumbo oats are indeed, jumbo sized. They have a lovely golden colour and on opening the packet and taking a deep sniff, you inhale a delicious aroma of oats with a faintly nutty smell.
You can make these oats in the traditional way with a saucepan or in the microwave. I always make mine in a jug or bowl in the microwave depending on how many I'm preparing it for.
Because these are very large oats, they don't cook quickly like those instant, finely milled porridges. For a perfect bowl of this porridge, you need to be prepared to wait. For one person, making it according to the instructions, it takes about 5 minutes in the microwave. Then I take it out, give it a good stir and just leave it for around 10 minutes. During this time it thickens and develops into a really rich, creamy porridge.
As mentioned earlier, these oats are in a league of their own in the flavour department. Even without adding any sugar, they are slightly sweet with a rich and full almost nutty flavour. They make a really satisfying breakfast and due to the lumpy texture, they require that bit more chewing so take longer to eat.
From time to time I've veered away from these oats to try out various new brands that appear on the shelves, but I always return to the Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Jumbo oats. They are superior in taste by far, extremely good quality and value for money.
~~~Price and Availability~~~
Pricewise they are a real bargain. A 750g bag of Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Scottish Jumbo Oats costs only 89p. This will make around 15 single servings of porridge.
They are of course only available at branches of Sainsbury's.
Here's the best bit - they contain 100% wholegrain oat flakes and nothing more.
These oats are ideal for using in recipes such as flapjacks or crumble toppings. They also make a delicious base for making your own muesli.