Updated: Mar 15
Porridge is normally eaten for breakfast and can be an amazing way to start your day. Made with oats, porridge contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and vitamin E; for minerals you get magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron and selenium. To make the porridge even healthier you can add fruit, nuts, seeds and spices and if you're feeling naughty a little sprinkle of chocolate. Check out the recipe ideas below.
When I make my porridge is always use the same base recipe:
1 1/2 tablespoons of rolled porridge oats
1 heaped teaspoon of ground chia seeds
1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds (linseed)
A large pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon of almond butter
100ml of oat milk
This recipes gives me 32% of my daily fibre, 19% of my iron, 80% of my vitamin B12, 29% of my calcium and 24% of my vitamin E for the day and that's not all, the list of nutrients in this porridge recipe is too long to put here. But, I then add a topping to this porridge, I add a topping that makes the porridge next level.
Fruit Salad Porridge
This fruit salad can be any mixture of fruits that you like. In the photo I used an apple, grapes and fresh blueberries, but you could add blackberries, strawberries, bananas or even mango. I sprinkled ground cinnamon on top of the apple for added flavour and nutrients, cinnamon is very good for you. Adding this topping to your porridge increases the levels of vitamins C, A, B6, B7 and vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus and iron in your porridge.
Banana Split Porridge
This is a healthy banana split; simply take a banana, slice it lengthwise and place on top of the porridge. Fill the banana with slices of strawberry and top with your favourite dairy free yogurt. The nutrient content of this porridge topping includes vitamins C, A, B6, B7 and vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, choline, zinc and iron.
This isn't the healthiest porridge topping, but I don't care. It's made with a layer dairy free yogurt, slices of fresh strawberry and broken digestives. Check to make sure that the biscuits are vegan as not all digestives are made the same. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they also contain flavanoids and they have fatty acids in the seeds that coat them.
For a chocnana you can use any kind of chocolate topping you like. In the photo I've used an Alpro dark chocolate dessert pot, but there is also the Sweet Freedom choc pot and the Vego chocolate and hazlenut spread as well as others. You can make your own chocolate spread, break a chocolate bar into pieces, add a little plant milk of your choice (oat milk is the best in my opinion) and microwave slowly, 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between. When adding the milk add only a tablespoon at first , it's quite easy to end up with a really runny sauce, add a splash more if required. Everyone thinks that bananas are the best for potassium, they do contain potassium but they also have vitamin B6, manganese and fibre.
Strawberry and Banana
This works better if you leave the strawberries to get to room temperature first, it makes the fruit taste sweeter and the strawberries smell stronger. Strawberries and bananas together will really up the vitamin C, B6 and fibre content of your breakfast.
Apple Crumble Porridge
Apple sauce and crushed ginger nut biscuits. This, again, isn't the healthiest porridge topping, but it tastes incredible. You can use apple sauce from the supermarket or health food shop, or you can make your own by cooking some chopped apple in water with a little sugar. If you do make your own apple sauce you can flavour the sauce as you want with cinnamon, mixed spice, ground nutmeg, whatever you want. If you make your own apple sauce you will adding adding lots of fibre and phytochemicals to your porridge, if you cheat, like me, then you won't.
Apple Strudel Porridge
This is like having dessert for breakfast, but it's good for you. This is simply diced apple and sultanas with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Sultanas are surprisingly healthy, adding them to your porridge will give you iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B5.
This basically the same as the strawberry cheesecake, but this time you chop bananas and strawberries into small pieces, layer them on top of your favourite yogurt and top that with crushed digestive. When adding yogurt it is a good idea to use one that is fortified. Many dairy free yogurts are fortified with calcium and vitamin B12.
Jaffa Cake Porridge
This is a lovely chocolate and citrus mix. The porridge is topped with cocoa powder and satsuma segments. For extra chocolate you could add a square of dark chocolate while the porridge is still hot or use a chocolate spread or sauce. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, although broccoli and red peppers have more, but in satsumas you also get fibre, vitamin B1 and flavanoids.
Fruit Loop Sundae
Yogurt with fruit loops on top and a sprinkle of sprinkles. This porridge topping has nothing to do with being healthy, it's just fun. You can add the cereal of your choice to make whatever sundae you want, also most breakfast cereals are fortified so that's a bonus.
This topping is my favourite, I use frozen mixed berries and warm them in the microwave for a minute before using them to top the porridge. I add a little maple syrup for sweetness as the berries can be very tart. Blackberries are rich in vitamins C, E and K and the seeds contain omega oils. Red currants have even more vitamin C than blackberries and contain iron.
Porridge on it's own is an incredibly healthy food, but with toppings you can make it amazing.
Take a look at our Is It Good To Eat Porridge post for the lowdown on porridge and nutrition.