Saturday, 22 October 2011

Autumn Power Porridge in Spring

It's not autumn, well not in Australia at least, but there I was no way that I could wait 6 months til it was autumn here again to try this porridge. After all it has multiple ingredients that speak to me. Pumpkin. Porridge. Pumpkin pie spice. Delicious flavours at any time of year.

Australians love pumpkin. We have it available fresh year round. And we cook it and eat it year round. It's not available here canned, and the idea seems rather odd to us. Pumpkin soup. Roast pumpkin. On pizza. In salads. I make a particularly delicious pumpkin pasta sauce.  But I'd never heard of or thought about Pumpkin Porridge- til now.

It's difficult finding the GI rating for pumpkin. Butternut pumpkin is listed as 51 in my Low GI Diet Shoppers Guide, and pumpkin generally as 66 on GI news, which is a wonderful go to source for GI information.

Porridge made from Uncle Toby's traditional oats seems to have a GI of 58. The range for porridge is quite vast, but essentially for the lowest GI options you should use traditional rolled oats or steel cut oats (these are difficult to find in Australia). The quick cook/microwave sachets are best avoided as they don't taste nearly as good, and they are high GI.

Quinoa is a low GI (51), gluten free superfood. It's become very available in the past few years, and is a common supermarket item now. You don't need to go searching in dusty healthy food shops to find it anymore. It's available in a range of colours, I used the white one today.

Autumn Power Porridge

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tblsp agave syrup
Dried cranberries
Walnut pieces
Milk of your choosing, I've been using oat milk recently, but have just learnt that it is (high) medium GI of 69

Combine oats, quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Cook on stovetop over low to medium heat until cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Stir through pumpkin and spices.

Serve in bowls, add cranberries, walnuts, drizzle with agave syrup. Add milk.

Serves 2


I simplified the recipe, just cooking the pumpkin before hand, and then cooking the oats and quinoa together. I adjusted the quantities too, as there was noone else at home this day to help me eat it- well, Mr Adventures refused my generous offer to share.

I was anxious about the quinoa in the porridge. I've only made quinoa into a porridge once before, and it was an Abject Failure. Awful. And there was a tonne of it. I ended up feeding it to the dogs! It was much better here, but I'd probably increase the oats to quinoa ratio for my tastes next time.

You could easily put in more pumpkin, and spices- but then I am rather heavy handed with the spices, I'd already increased the quantity from the original recipe. I used some of the pumpkin pie spice I'd made recently.

To me this recipe is crying out for maple syrup instead of the agave, but somehow I had none in the fridge! This situation can not be allowed to continue.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I don't think I have eaten porridge since I was about 8 years old. I am not really crazy about the texture but yours does look good :)

  2. I make oatmeal a lot in the cooler months. Most mornings I add fruit (fresh or dried) and a little cinnamon. I never thought of adding pumpkin puree and pie spices. That sounds so warming, yummy, and healthful. I like quinoa but I would more likely make this with only the oats.

  3. I must say, I find the canned pumpkin so very easy..this sounds like a break breakfast on a chilly day.

  4. I love pumpkin - maybe I was Australian in a prior life, lol! This sounds delicious. Have only used quinoa a couple of times... am curious to try it in porridge.

  5. I love porridege, and would never have thought of adding pumpkin. And why have I never heard of agave syrup when here in Lanzarote we grow the darned things in the garden?

  6. Pumpkin appears in Mexican pastries sometimes, but otherwise pumpkin as a breakfast food had not crossed my mind. Hmmm. Wonder how it would work in a coffee cake. -Fay

  7. I love quinoa! Great taste and great for you!

  8. I love porridge and quinoa. This sounds like a recipe that'll wow any hungry stomach in the morning. Thanks for sharing :) (And I'm slightly envious of you having fresh pumpkin available all year round!)

  9. I make oatmeal a lot in the cooler months but I've never tried it with pumpkin. I'll give it a try but, until I get some pumpkin, I try it with the spices. Good idea.

  10. I'm thinking I am going to be a regular at your blog! Here's my WC

  11. Sounds like a very interesting recipe! I do eat oatmeal porridge in the morning but never had quinoa for breakfast, let alone pumpkin... Gotta get used to the idea first! ;P