We love oats. We use them in our flapjacks, we mix them in our smoothies at home and especially at this time of year we're making a tonne of porridge with them.
So then it should come as no surprise then that when the opportunity arose (after four years of being rebuked) to show off what I can do with a pan full of oats at the World Porridge Championships (WPC), that I jumped at it. First off, yes it's totally a thing and it is also as amazing and weird as you're imagining.
As there is nothing better than a piping hot bowl of porridge to set you up for a long run on the blustery and wet trails or just to keep you full till lunch. I've put together my top six favourite porridges (including the two I took to the World Championships) to keep you going this winter.
The first of the two dishes you have to prepare at the WPC is a bog standard traditional porridge. Which despite being a little limited for my tastes with nothing allowed except for unrolled oats, salt and water, it still can be absolutely delicious if done right.
Throw plenty of oats in a container, along with some water (I would do about 75ml of water per tbsp of oats but it depends how you like your porridge), a hearty sprinkling of salt and if you aren't competing a spoonful of chia seeds. Stick it in the fridge overnight to soak and voila a healthy, filling breakfast is just 15 minutes away on a medium heat in the morning.
While the rest of these breakfasts are perfect for setting you up for a big and productive day, this particularly decadent option is the opposite. Save this treat for lazy Sundays and rest days.
Mix rolled oats and jumbo rolled oats together in a pan along with plenty of cream, full fat milk, a little salt and a grating of nutmeg. Cook on a low heat while stirring pretty much constantly. Once the oats are bubbling and starting to look good, it's time to get the toppings ready.
You're going to need
Serve the ultra rich porridge up and add the toppings in the order stated.
Super simple and extremely delicious.
Just mix in 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and a little sprinkle of brown sugar with your oats. Then when it's all ready just add chopped apple chunks and enjoy.
For any of you who have tried our peanut butter flapjacks, you'll be aware of just what a dynamite combination peanut butter and oats can be. It's no different when it comes porridge and while there are hundreds of PB porridge combos this is our current favourite.
Just before you're about to take your porridge off the heat (or with 10 seconds left on the microwave) fold in a teaspoon of peanut butter. Then once you've served up your bowl of oaty goodness, add a sliced banana and eat up.
This is a perfect option for when you want something quick but without the faff.
Throw a couple of dried cranberries and a dash of cinnamon in with your oats. Then when it's all ready sprinkle over a teaspoon of chia seeds and drizzle over a little maple syrup.
This one is a little decadent and a little out there but give it a try and you'll be blown away.
Start off with your oats as normal, mix in a teaspoon of cocoa powder and a scoop of of choc peanut butter. Cook as normal either on the hob in a microwave and then after serving add a couple of slices of ripe avocado.
This is a really simple and convenient way to add more chia seeds to your diet!
The seeds will take 10-20 minutes to hydrate
You are making a real food drink with real food, so it might take a tiny bit of attention and a few extra seconds, but like anything once you've worked out your system, it will become second nature.