As the mornings get colder I want to start my day with something warming and hearty. Porridge is a great choice, as long as you choose a porridge made with the whole oat – so not the ground/milled instant porridge packets. Using the whole oat makes porridge a great source of complex carbohydrates – which helps keep you fuller for longer and prevents sweet cravings later in the morning. Complex carbs are wholegrain (brown) carbohydrates like pasta, bread, rice or whole oats. They are more balanced than refined (white) carbs because they contain the whole grain which means more fibre and more nutrients. The fibre slows the digestive process meaning you feel fuller for longer and preventing your blood sugar rising (and then falling) too quickly which can leave you craving more carbs or sugar just a few hours later.
The high fibre nature of oats also means they are great at reducing cholesterol, supporting heart health and keeping your bowels moving regularly! Oats are also a great source of a number of vitamins and minerals, in greatest abundance is manganese – a trace mineral which supports bone and skin health as well as controlling blood sugar levels and phosphorus which is essential for energy production.
So porridge is a great way to start the day, but remember oats and any carbohydrate is ultimately broken down into glucose – sugar in the body so it’s important to balance your breakfast with some protein and healthy fats. There are a couple of simple ways to do this: add 2 tablespoons of nuts and seeds or a spoonful of full fat plain natural yoghurt (low fat or flavoured yoghurt is packed with sugar so actually worse for you than full fat but that’s a whole other blog post!) or coconut yoghurt if you want to go dairy free.
This porridge recipe contains seeds for protein, coconut as a source of healthy fats and turmeric (the golden coloured spice commonly used in curries). Turmeric is currently being hailed as the gold standard of spices (excuse the pun!) as it has high levels of anti-oxidants and the active ingredient curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a key driver for many health conditions including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer and nflammation is driven by a stress and a standard western diet of refined carbs and sugar. So most people would benefit from adding some natural anti-inflammatory agents into our diets. While you may not think of turmeric as an obvious choice for porridge with the coconut (it’s classic partner in many curries) it works really well and as long as you don’t overdo the amount you use, it gives the porridge a light golden colour and a gentle warmth – perfect for cold wet mornings like today!
Coconut & Turmeric Porridge
Dairy Free | Gluten Free | Refined sugar free
Time: 6-7 minutes
Makes: 1 portion
- 40g gluten free porridge oats
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp pumpkin, sunflower or flax seeds (or a mix of all three)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 200ml coconut milk
- ½ an apple sliced
- 1 large spoonful of coconut yoghurt
- Put oats into a small sauce pan, pour over milk and mix well.
- Heat gently for 2 minutes then add desiccated coconut and turmeric.
- Mix well and heat for a further 3-4 minutes until bubbling and hot through. If porridge is too sticky add more milk or some water
- Serve in a bowl topped with seeds, sliced apple, coconut yoghurt and extra desiccated coconut if you wish.
Other great toppings for porridge are cinnamon which contains chromium and is great for balancing blood sugar and reducing cravings for sweet treats later in the day! Banana, apple, pear berries – as long as you have some protein in there too as fruit is ultimately sugar too, or a spoonful of nut butter for a rich and creamy porridge. Have fun playing around and getting creative with flavours for your morning porridge!