I grew up eating porridge, every other winter's morning during the week, a boiled egg and soldiers in between (the weekends were reserved for bagels, waffles, pancakes and French toast). The porridge was savoury, not sweet, made with a combination of peasemeal and pinhead oatmeal, milk and a tiny pinch of salt, so venturing into what the North Americans refer to as simply 'oatmeal' was something of a voyage of discovery. The whole sweet porridge thing has been repulsive to me since I worked as a care assistant in a nursing home at the tender age of 16 and had to serve up this beige slop, topped with sugar, that by the time one came back to collect the empty(ish) bowl had melted (the sugar that is) and congealed to something the colour and texture of rough concrete. It freaked me out even more than the dead body I had to wash and redress my very first day. Seriously. This recipe from Family Fresh Cooking seemed like a good way to suck it up though because who doesn't love blueberries? (well, I certainly adore them)
And here's what I made (sorry, I didn't add the blueberry sauce til I was eating it, this is fresh from the oven):
To be honest I had no idea what the texture of this would be like, I had only had an impression from seeing people eating the instant mixes that it could be somewhat soupy (my mum, incidentally, makes porridge you can stand your spoon up in). This was far from soupy, in fact it was so solid 4 hours after it came out of the oven, I was able to cut it up into its 8 portion slices quite easily (the recipe suggests leaving this overnight, but I don’t like to have to prep anything in the mornings before work, just grab and go) Texture aside, the taste was great, the almond milk contributing its own hint of flavour (I’m not a fan of regular milk that I can taste, I have to admit, mainly due to having lived in sub-Saharan Africa for the majority of the first couple of years of my life, where cows are rare, and milk comes in a tin in a non-liquid state which, when rehydrated, tastes nothing at all like milk milk). I’m not entirely convinced about the need for the dried blueberries I have to say, since I didn’t notice any discernible difference between fresh and dried when eating it (the price difference is quite marked though!) so next time I might just use fresh on their own.
I ended up using oat flakes after mum and I had made an executive decision, when chatting on the phone, that that must be what steel cut oats were. As it turns out, steel cut oats are what you would find here as pinhead oatmeal, and I didn’t have any of that, but it tasted fine, so I’m not fussed! For the blueberry sauce I added a little too much water (the quantity isn’t actually specified) so I chucked in a little arrowroot to thicken it up.
Ease Of Preparation:
Super easy, just mix everything in a bowl, chuck it in a greased oven proof dish and bake for the oatmeal portion, and for the blueberry sauce, chuck the berries in a pan with a little water and cook.
8 good sized portions which easily sees you through a morning in the office.
I would totally make this again, maybe even experimenting with different berries.