Cold autumn mornings call for a hearty, warming breakfast and there’s nothing quite like a bowl of comforting porridge to do the job.
A piping hot bowl fortifies you from the inside out; it’s extra protection against whatever Mother Nature has in store outside, and it will keep you feeling full for hours.
When you add something sweet to your morning porridge, whether that's honey, fruit, homemade berry compote or even a little peanut butter, it can also help prevent sweet cravings later in the afternoon.
But who says porridge has to be boring? Here are 10 ideas to upgrade your breakfast routine.
1. Raid your food cupboard
Stir in a spoonful of lemon curd for a refreshing zing, some peanut butter for some creamy nutty comfort, or a little strawberry jam to sweeten things.
In fact, you could make a peanut butter and jam porridge, or your own healthy snickers bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and some chocolate stirred in.
2. Get inspired by cakes and bakes
3. Use vegetables
Get creative with vegetables and experiment with different flavours. Why not add a cup of grated beetroot to your pan of porridge next time?
4. Porridge pear-fection
Bored of apples and berries? Top your porridge with grated pear, a pinch of cinnamon and nuts instead.
5. Rhubarb crumble
We know that rhubarb and oats work well together for rhubarb crumble, so why wouldn't they work together in a bowl of cooked oats? Try stewing your porridge with rhubarb, or top porridge with a rhubarb conserve or rhubarb in syrup.
6. Naughty and nice
For the ultimate naughty and nice start to the day, swap porridge oats for quinoa for a healthy twist, but balance it out by adding coconut milk and some cocoa powder or a little bit of melted dark chocolate. It's a great way to get kids to eat quinoa too!
7. Porridge smoothie
Can't decide whether to make a breakfast smoothie or a bowl of porridge? Combine the two to make a fruity oatmeal smoothie bowl!
8. Banana pecan pie
Use half a cup of amaranth (similar to quinoa) instead of porridge oats, and combine it with a cup of water, a pinch of salt, some maple syrup, walnut oil, cinnamon, bananas and pecan pieces to recreate the flavour of a sweet and nutty banana and pecan pie or our maple and pecan plait.
9. Coconut porridge
Did you know that you can soak porridge oats overnight with practically anything? You could soak them in carrot juice, beetroot juice, almond milk, whatever tickles your fancy! But one of the best combinations is by soaking the oats in coconut milk, as it gives a sweet, nutty creaminess.
10. Vanilla buckwheat porridge
A delicious and easy porridge alternative for any busy morning, this creamy vanilla and cinnamon buckwheat porridge ticks all the boxes (and even though its called 'buckwheat', it's actually gluten free).
Combine a cup of raw and rinsed buckwheat with a cup of full-fat coconut milk, 1 banana, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup and of course some vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste. Dreamy!