Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Instant Porridge Pots

Breakfast. Quite possibly my favourite meal of the day. There’s almost always time to make something more interesting than a bowl of cereal or toast. Smoothies, porridge, pancakes, yogurt and eggs all feature regularly on my breakfast menu. I’ve even made my own yogurt in the past, which is surprisingly easy and requires little effort. Many’s the time I’ve gone to bed at night full of anticipation for the meal I’ve planned to start the next day with. I always make time for it and try to make it a moment of calm; sitting at the table looking out at the birds and squirrels or curled up in my big wicker chair with hands wrapped around a bowl of something, coffee made in a cafetiere and served in one of my favourite cup and saucer sets.

If I’m not hungry before I have to go to work, I’ll take breakfast with me to eat when I get there, rather than eat before I’m ready as this usually just means I get hungry again about an hour later anyway. What I don’t do is skip it. Ever. Bad things happen when I do.

I recently had a smoothie phase but at the moment I’m in a porridge phase and in particular portable porridge. I expect most people are familiar with the sachets of porridge you can get that just require the addition of milk, bowl and microwave. These are great but these can be expensive and sugar laden and of course require access to a microwave. What’s even better is a porridge that will work with just the addition of hot water. Ok, I know some people make up their porridge with water anyway but I usually like at least half the liquid to be milk, so I’ve been trialling three different “instant” porridges that only need you to add hot water, stir and wait a couple of minutes before eating.

First up are the porridge pots from TheProteinWorks. These individual pots come with a spoon in 4 delicious flavours, plain, chocolate and banana, apple and cinnamon and mixed berry. I've tried mixed berry and banana chic chip are bothvery tasty, not too sweet and extremely filling. It kept me feeling full for about 5 hours – virtually unheard of! They have a very high protein content which accounts for this. You can only order these online and they cost £1.79 each but they’re nutritionally balanced and certainly serve a purpose. You can find similar, lower protein porridge pots that just require the addition of hot water, in the supermarkets.
There were no chocolate chips in this banana choc chip porridge pot
Next up is a porridge pot designed by my OH. Having examined several recipes he came up with his own concoction which he gave me a sample of. He uses old pasta sauce tubs for transport/serving which work a treat! This concoction has a mix of regular porridge oats and rolled oats, some cinnamon, brown sugar and milk powder. It takes a while to soak up the liquid once added and isn’t as creamy as I like. It didn’t fill me up as much as my usual porridge but it was good for a standby with a handful of raisins thrown in. A squeeze of maple syrup would be a grand addition and it did taste fantastic with a spoonful of morello cherry preserve.
Portable porridge with raisins
Finally we have Jack Monroe’s (aka A Girl Called Jack) recipe. I left out the sultanas as I wanted the flexibility to add different things (and not everything goes with sultanas). I found I needed to add slightly less liquid than I would when making porridge normally but the consistency was great although not as filling as TPW pots. I added a tablespoon of apple and blackberry jam on this occasion.
Porridge with apple and blackberry jam - NOM!
The benefit of making up your own instant porridge is that it’s really cheap and the basic mix is plain which provides a great base to get creative. As someone who rarely eats the same thing two mornings running this is perfect. I can add fresh or dried fruits, nuts, seeds, honey, maple syrup… chocolate chips! Some of the fruit and seed snack packs I get in my subscription boxes are perfect for adding interest to a plain porridge pot and add variety without having to buy lots of packets of different things.

What’s your favourite porridge topping or other portable breakfast?


  1. I used to eat oats every morning for breakfast. Sometimes plain, sometimes with blueberries and banana, sometimes with sweetner. LOVE IT! I can't eat it during contest prep anymore though :'( Gluten free for at least 11 more weeks

    1. Oooo that must be a bit tough if you love them so much. You can get gluten free oats these days can't you, or is that still out of bounds? Gluten is in so many things I wouldn't have expected.