By Emma Hatcher.
To me, autumn is the ideal porridge season. I’m after nourishment, cosiness and big flavours to help wake me up when it’s getting cold out and these three recipes deliver. I’ve used my go-to base porridge recipe for each of them and then you can stir in and top with your chosen extras - something that works brilliantly if you have different likes and tastes to feed at home.
Up first is pumpkin pie porridge. A great way to use up any leftover pumpkin from all that carving, think silky pumpkin puree, warm spices, fragrant vanilla and a drizzle of sweet maple syrup. The second recipe is for apple, blackberry and hazelnut porridge; tart and juicy fruit drizzled with runny honey for sweetness and toasted chopped nuts for crunch. Last but by no means least, is my recipe for sticky fig and cinnamon porridge. With figs at their prime, pair them with orange, runny honey and bright green chopped pistachios for a deliciously decadent start to the day.
Porridge is a very personal thing. I like mine on the looser side, but if you like it a bit thicker, you might not need to use all of the milk.
Each recipe serves 2
For the porridge:
80g rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
450ml lactose free or almond milk, or other milk of choice
½ teaspoon sea salt
For pumpkin pie:
4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
For apple, blackberry and hazelnut:
2 tablespoons hazelnuts
2 small handfuls of blackberries
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 red apple, grated
For sticky fig and cinnamon:
1 scant teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of ½ an orange
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons pistachios, roughly chopped
Place the oats, milk and salt into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer on the hob. Stir all the time over a medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
For the pumpkin pie topping, stir through the pumpkin puree, vanilla and spices and cook for another minute or so, until combined. Meanwhile, place a small pan over a medium heat and add both of the seeds. Toast until just golden and fragrant, stirring every so often to prevent them from burning. Spoon the porridge into a bowl and top with the yogurt, maple syrup and toasted seeds.
For the apple, blackberry and hazelnut topping, place a small pan over a medium heat and add the hazelnuts. Toast while the porridge is cooking, or until just golden and fragrant, stirring every so often to prevent them from burning. Carefully turn the hazelnuts out onto a chopping board and roughly chop. Smush half of the blackberries in a bowl with a little of the honey, then stir them through the porridge. Spoon the porridge into bowls and top with the grated apple and the rest of the blackberries, then sprinkle over the chopped hazelnuts and drizzle over the remaining honey.
For the sticky fig and cinnamon topping, cut one of the figs into slices and one of the figs in half. Scoop the flesh from the fig cut in half out into a bowl and smush with a fork and a little of the honey. Stir the cinnamon and orange juice through the porridge and cook for a further minute, then fold in your smashed fig. Spoon the porridge into bowls and top with the sliced fig and chopped pistachios. Drizzle over the remaining honey and enjoy.