Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Rhubarb Maple Porridge

I do love porridge. It's so warming, so filling, so delicious. I look forward to the winter months and frequent porridge. Happily I've got my 10 year old hooked on porridge too. It took a bit of work when he was younger but now he sees it as a definite treat.

I know some people eat it year round, but I just can't do that. For many years I didn't experiment with my porridge too much. I tinkered with the grains a bit, and occasionally made a dried fruit compote to put on top.  I just love Bill Granger's Banana Porridge- it's magic, but I usually only make it once or twice a year. I generally made standard porridge with brown sugar and milk on top. But now I'm branching out, and becoming more adventurous in my old age. One day I just happened to have some of my famous Baked Rhubarb in the fridge. I'm sure this is how most new recipes are made- you're making something, look around, see another ingredient, and think "why not?".

Porridge is a low GI superfood. Porridge made from traditional rolled oats has a GI of 42. But you need to be wary of the packs of instant porridge- the GI soars to 82. There are many other health benefits to porridge too- lots of fibre, good for intestinal health, it's rich in beta-glucan which is a soluble fibre that helps lower cholesterol re-absorption.

Porridge is so quick and simple to make. You can even pop it on the stove on a low heat, get in the shower and it's ready when you get out, perfect for a getting ready for work breakfast- there is no need to use the instant packets, which never taste as good anyway. This is my current favourite porridge incarnation.

Rhubarb Maple Porridge

1/2 cup oats per person
1 cup water per person (sometimes I put in a splodge more, if you like it thicker or thinner then adjust the fluid)
Baked rhubarb, warmed or your favourite topping
A drizzle of Canadian maple syrup
Milk of your choice to top

Add oats and water to a small non-stick pan. Stir. Put over a low heat (if you want to go have your shower), or a medium heat if you can give it any attention. Stir as frequently as your showering plans allow.

When done to your desired consistency, tip porridge into a bowl, added warmed baked rhubarb, a drizzle of Canadian maple syrup and some milk.

Porridge doesn't photograph all that well, I'm happy to admit, but it does taste delicious
I currently use either soy or goat milk usually, the goat milk doesn't go well with the rhubarb

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Bircher Muesli

On a recent trip to Sydney, The Professor offered to make me some bircher muesli. Now, I've never been a fan of bircher muesli, it's a textural thing mostly, but I haven't really had any for years, and have probably only ever had awful supermarket versions and didn't think I'd ever had any homemade especially for me by a bircher fan. And I must admit to being somewhat intrigued by the process.

What follows is more a process than a recipe. But it is a rather low key way to enjoy a low GI breakfast. No cooking, just a bit of swishing about in a bowl and adding fruit.

Traditional rolled oats are a wonderful low GI (42) source of nutrition. You do need to be careful and generally avoid the instant oats as these are quite high GI.

Rolled oats
Cloudy apple juice
Slivered almonds
Grated green apple
Handful blueberries
Plain yoghurt to blend
A drizzle of pure floral honey (not a blended honey, which is higher GI)

Place rolled oats into a serving bowl. Add cloudy apple juice to soak. Cover. Leave overnight.
In the morning, add fruit, nuts and yoghurt to taste.

Apple juice is low GI (but energy dense). Cloudy apple juice has more antioxidants than regular apple juice. Which is I'm sure why my sister had it on standby.

Grated homegrown apple

The finished result
So. Am I a convert? No. Not really.  It wasn't awful by any stretch, and I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to try it again, but still, I have an issue with the texture of bircher muesli that I just don't think that I can overcome. I think I'd stick with regular muesli or porridge any day.