Health & Wellbeing

Saturday Recipe: Nourishing Winter Porridge

Amber Sewell-Green teaches you how to make a healthy porridge brekkie when you’re running late.


Cooked oats are a great brekkie option for nourishing and warming you in the winter months. They are super quick, cheap, and simple to make. They are a great way to supercharge your day as oats slow the digestion of starch and sugar, releasing energy slowly to leave you fuller for longer and assisting with weight loss and blood sugar control. Preparing stove-top oats is more economic than packet mixes, and you avoid all the nasty and unnecessary preservatives and seven syllable additives in them. Cooking oats on the stove also helps to keep in the nutrients, starches, proteins and enzymes, more than blasting with a microwave. There are also a myriad of different grains, spices, fruits, nuts and other toppings you can add to the mix, so be adventurous. Look for wholegrain oats for added nutrition and fibre for healthy digestion.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk (cows, rice, almond, soy, coconut or other of your choosing)
  • (optional) top with 1tsp sweetener such as honey, raw maple syrup, raw or brown sugar, coconut palm sugar

Note: you can use 1 cup of milk for a creamier option, or 1 cup of water for a lower fat option if you prefer. I often use 1 cup of rice or almond milk as it acts like a half way point between water and dairy milk.


  • Combine the oats, water and/or milk in a pot, and bring to the boil over medium-low heat.
  • Add any spices, fruits, nuts or juice you desire (see yummy extras for ideas).
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring continuously. You may need to add a little more water or milk as necessary if it gets too dry or gluggy.
  • Serve drizzled with sweetener and alternatively add any of the yummy extras you wish.
  • Note: if you add dried or fresh fruit or juice you may not need to add any sweetener so taste it first and adjust to your liking.
  • Note: if you use steel cut oats, they will take 20-30 minutes to cook, and you may need to add some extra liquid.

Yummy Extras

  • 1 tsp cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp nutmeg or ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp grated or dried ginger
  • ¼ cup sultanas, raisins, cranberries, or 2-3 fresh dates (or 4-5 dried) roughly chopped
  • fruit such as grated apple, diced pear, fresh banana or tinned berries
  • 1 tbs grated lemon rind or orange zest
  • ¼ cup nuts: sunflower seeds and pepitas are great and really cheap, walnuts work well too!
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil
  • Top with 2 Tbs Greek or natural yogurt or coconut yogurt

Great Winter Combos

  1. Apple Pie: while the oats are cooking, mix in sultanas, cinnamon, grated apple and walnut or sunflower seeds and cook. You can also mix all the ingredients including the water, oats and milk in a saucepan or bowl, cover, place in the fridge overnight, and cook on the stove for approximately 15 minutes.
  1. Pear-fection: while the oats are cooking, mix in pear, dates, nutmeg, orange rind and ¼ cup orange juice (fresh is best). This is also nice topped with cranberries! You can also mix all the ingredients including the water, oats and milk in a saucepan or bowl, cover, place in the fridge overnight, and cook on the stove for approximately 5-10 minutes.
  1. Berrylicious: once cooked, top the oats with Greek or natural yogurt and tinned berries
  1. Bananarama: replace ½ the milk with coconut milk, mix in 2 Tbs dried coconut, and once cooked, top with fresh banana.
  1. Sweet-Spice: For a twist on the original, steam/cook ½ cup of sweet potato until soft, puree or mash it, and mix into the oats with ½ tsp each of nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom, and 1 tsp sweetener such as honey, brown sugar or maple syrup, top with raw nuts!




Image: Denna Jones, Flickr, no changes made.

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