09 March 2011

Porridge! masses of porridge!

"Geoff Capes: That's it, I've got it, I've got it!
PC Rupert Leekie: What have you got, Mr. Capes?
Geoff Capes: The solution. What does Supergran have every day to keep up her super strength, 
and what hasn't she been having every day since she got grounded?
PC Rupert Leekie: I give up, Mr. Capes.
Geoff Capes: Porridge! masses of porridge!
Edison: That's it, you're right, Mr. Capes!"
~~Source Unknown~~

I was lying in bed listening to 774 ABC this morning, as I usually do before I get up for the day. The conversation was about generic groceries and whether you can really taste the difference between a branded product and a generic, but that's a topic for another post.

One texter  (is that the right name for someone who uses SMS to send messages?) caught my interest. She was complaining about Homebrand (which is the Woolworths line of generic products) rolled oats. She bought them because they were cheaper and tried to cook them. She gave up because they wouldn't cook and go soft, and she'd had them on the stove for at least 5 minutes.

I guess she didn't know the difference between instant, one-minute and rolled oats.  Having a Scottish mother meant we had porridge for breakfast all year round and we loved it.  Mum would use her big saucepan to cook the oats until they were smooth and creamy and then dish them up piping hot, with a spoonful of dark, brown sugar and a drizzle of milk. Yum.

These days choosing your porridge can be confusing, there is quite a choice on the supermarket shelves.

Instant oats are usually in single serve sachets. Just add boiling water, stir and eat.

One-minute, or quick cooking, oats are usually cooked in the microwave oven or on the stove. You add some oats and water to either a bowl or a small saucepan, and cook for one minute.

Traditional rolled oats are easy to cook too, they just take a few minutes longer and they are my favourite winter breakfast.

If you are time poor in the mornings, cook your porridge overnight in a slow cooker. Then when you get up in the morning, breakfast is ready. Just add a little milk and a drizzle of honey and enjoy.

Slow Cooker Porridge

This method requires a little more water than stovetop cooking.

1 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
2 1/2 cups water
Pinch salt

Place the rolled oats, water and salt in the bowl of a slow cooker. Set on low and cook a minimum of 6 hours up to a maximum of 8 hours. If you turn the slow cooker on before you go to bed you'll have yummy, hot porridge ready when you wake in the morning. Just add a little milk and enjoy.  Serves 4.

Overnight Porridge

This is another easy way to prepare rolled oats and is especially good if you don't have a slow cooker or only want one or two serves.  This makes one bowl of porridge, double it for two.

1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup milk
Pinch salt


Combine rolled oats, milk and salt in a cereal bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. When ready to eat, remove from fridge and microwave one minute on high. Stir, heat another 30 seconds. Add a little more milk if desired and enjoy.

Traditional Porridge

1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water
Pinch salt

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Slowly bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring all the time. Allow to simmer for  5 - 7 minutes or until porridge is thick and oats are cooked, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and keep porridge creamy.  Makes four hearty serves. This is my favourite, with brown sugar and milk.

And don't be tempted to skip the salt! Porridge needs salt, just a tiny pinch. Leaving out the salt is the mistake most people make in this health conscious age  and that is why most of them don't like traditional porridge. Without the salt it is just a thick, bland blob. Add those few tiny grains of salt while it's cooking and it is a warm, creamy, flavourful winter breakfast delight.  Trust me!


  1. I couldn't agree more - nothing beats a bowl of good old fashioned porridge. But besides the salt, I always add a little cinnamon and a handful of raisins for extra yumminess.

  2. Linda have you tried it with chopped dates? To die for! Just chop two or three dates finely, and add at the last minute of cooking so they warm through. Drizzle with honey instead of brown sugar and oh my the decadence!

    I don't know what it is about dates that seems so special, perhaps that they come from a far away, exotic place? Although in this world today nothing is that far away, but they still seem exotic and special.

  3. I hadn't seen Supergran mentioned since I last saw the show in the 80s!

  4. Porridge is good for a lot of things - including face masks, but we're talking about breakfast at the moment. Porridge is filling, it's wholesome, it's nutritious, it's healthy and it keeps you "regular". And it's a proven fact that if you have a healthy filling breakfast, then you don't suffer the slump in energy mid morning (or elevenses as they used to be called). So many reasons to eat porridge for good health.

  5. This takes me back, I haven't had this for probably 20 years. Mum would cook it, put some evaporated milk and brown sugar on top. I must try this again. Yum!!!

  6. Woolies homebrand rolled oats in my opinion are not as nice as Coles homebrand.


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