Wellbeing with Nutrition
Nurturing the Mind and Body

Porridge for Breakfast

On cold mornings, I like to have a hot bowl of porridge for breakfast. Porridge made with wholegrain oats is a good example of a warm, comforting and filling food which can help to keep cravings at bay.

Wholegrain oats like other grains contain many minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc which unfortunately are locked into phosphorous containing compounds found within wholegrains called phytates. One way to unlock these minerals is to use the enzyme phytase. Oats are low in phytase but buckwheat, rye and wheat are all examples of grains which contain significant amounts of phytase.

I like to use buckwheat as it is gluten free.To release the enzyme phytase from buckwheat I also have ready prepared in my fridge a fermented drink called Rejuvelac. This is made by combining sprouted buckwheat with water and allowing it to ferment for roughly 12-24 hours. The soak water takes on many nutrients from buckwheat and enzymes including phytase. See how to make Rejuvelac

So here's how I make my morning porridge.

Firstly in my fridge, I always keep a tub of porridge oats which have been soaking in water for a minimum of 12 hours. 

To soak porridge, I mix 2 cups of porridge oats with roughly 500 ml of water and store it in a glass or ceramic container. Plastic storage boxes can alter the taste of stored food and may leach plastic compounds into the food, especially if the stored food contains fat or is acidic!

When I initially add water to soak my porridge oats, I usually add 1 teaspoon of rejuvelac for each cup of dry porridge oats. You could add more rejuvelac if you wish but it does add a sour taste if you add more. Upto 1 tablespoon of rejuvelac per cup is probably ok but for my taste I perefer around 1-2 teaspoons of rejuvelac per cup of dry oats.

Soaked porridge stores in the fridge for up to a week. In this way I take out just what I need each day. The soaking softens and expands the oats so that they cook very quickly and more importantly become significantly easier to digest. Oats which have already been pre-soaked will not draw on the body's precious water reserves. This helps to cut bloating and spasms. If you bloat out with porridge cooked in the conventional way, try this method and feel the difference!

By the way we all know that whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are good for us and abundant in many nutrients. However minerals found within wholegrains are difficult for our bodies to extract without proper grain preparation. Not many people including the health experts and dieticians are aware of this important issue. Our ancestors somehow understood this and prepared these foods using techniques like soaking, sprouting and fermentation. Read more about this issue here.

Getting back to my porridge:

  1. I take out what I need from my tub of pre-soaked porridge and place it in a small pan along with 1 tablespoon of sesame seed paste (tahini) and 1 tablespoon of pureed dates.
  2. Next, I add some additional water to get the consistency of my porridge right.
  3. Finally, I warm up the porridge, it only takes a few minutes and has a beautiful creamy texture without the addition of any milk.

By adding the ground up sesame seed paste the porridge oats become a complete protein dish. Tahini has a slight bitter but nutty taste. It contains many beneficial minerals. Pureed dates naturally sweetens the porridge in a way that prevents a blood sugar spike.

Dates also add essential fibre and are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.

I also need to mention that oats are rich in the B-complex vitamins and antioxidant vitamin E. They also contain soluble fibre which helps to keep you feeling satisfied and can help to lower cholesterol, and improve the movement of digesting foods within the digestive system helping to prevent constipation. Soluble fibre also provides a food source for the beneficial bacteria within the gut. This is great as these helpful microbes are simply amazing producing B vitamins, vitamin K and helping to support your immunity.

Tip: Ditch the processed cereals and try some satisfying porridge made in this way.

As you can see, I like to top my porridge with some fresh fruit and enjoy it with my morning cup of red bush tea.

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