I’m swamped with deadlines this week so I’m posting a blog that I’ve had sat in my reserves folder for a while. I think I’ve been hesitant to post it because it’s not the most juicy or interesting post, but I still think it could be really beneficial and educational for some, so enjoy!
For many, the idea of healthy eating or veganism might sound mundane, that we have to eat the same foods all the time, well I’m happy to tell you that they are wrong! Veganism/healthy eating is as varied as you make it, but to give you some help, here’s a detailed post on my favourite breakfast for those cold mornings we keep having to endure, porridge!
Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day, it sets you up for your day at work, university, school or whatever you might be up to. It’s important to make sure you load up with carbohydrates, healthy fats and fruits to give you the best start to the day. You are what you eat and therefore its crucial you fuel your body with the right food.
Active people should eat between 350 and 500 calories for breakfast, but this may vary depending on activity levels, general calorific intake and other factors. However, this is why porridge is so great, because it can be adapted to your needs, wants and preferences so easily.
Up until about a year ago the idea of porridge/oatmeal grossed me out, the texture, flavour and even appearance of it was enough to put me off for years. After becoming vegan, I realised that porridge was one of the best breakfasts I could have, much more nutritious than toast or cereal and also so much more versatile. That’s one of the main selling points of porridge for me, no porridge has to be the same day after day, with all the toppings and flavours you can incorporate into it, you will not be bored anytime soon!
In this post I will be talking you through my favourite type of porridge, what you’ll need, why I use what I use, how much each thing costs and how to cook it and also optional things you can add or remove to tailor it to your taste buds. Most of these items will last a long time, so don’t be put off by the initial prices, compare them to other foods you eat for breakfast and you’ll soon realise porridge is not only delicious, but a bargain!
Another vegan stereotype this blogpost will hopefully squash is that vegans don’t get enough nutrients and that its in some ways, bad for the body! That’s why I’m including the health benefits for each, because porridge really is nutritious!
- Porridge oats, which you could take from a pre-made and pre flavoured sachet from any supermarket, the prices will vary but I personally stock mine from Aldi (89p for 12 sachets) or Tesco (£1.10 for 12 sachets) or for a cheaper alternative you can pick up a 1kg bag of plain oats from any supermarket for around 80p. I personally love the pre-made sachets because it saves you weighing out the oats and if you are really short for time the sachet is pre-flavoured with golden syrup (or any flavour you choose!) and trust me, it’s sweeeeet. Oats are great for loads of things, but the main one for me being that they’re a whole grain, meaning they’re a complex carb and keep you fuller for longer! They’re also great for fibre, anti oxidants and much more.
- Chia seeds, these are good for omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and other nutrients! FUN FACT: they actually contain more omega 3’s than salmon gram for gram! I picked these up from Aldi for around £1.20.
- Flaxseed/milled linseed, it is naturally high in fibre but low in carbs, promotes healthy skin and hair and contains other nutrients such as protein and vitamin B1. Again, I picked these up from Aldi for around £1.
- Macha powder, I find this is great for energy, this can be found in most health stores such as Holland and Barratt but my trustee Aldi stock it for a friendly £1.99.
- A milk alternative, I personally prefer soya and the one I pick up from Aldi has added vitamins such as B12 (a vitamin you get from red meat). If you don’t like soya then fear not, there are so many alternatives on the market so shop around! Soya milk is definitely the cheapest, being around 50p-£1 but there are other options such as almond, rice, oat which all contain incredibly beneficial nutrients. N.B you’re obviously welcome to use whatever milk you fancy, vegan or not vegan, that’s totally you’re call, the recipe works great with all milks!
- Peanut butter, all this talk of food has made me hungry! But seriously, peanut butter is absolutely amazing on porridge, it’s full of healthy fats and is high in protein as well as potassium – 50p.
- Fruit, anything that takes your fancy can spruce up your morning feast, I tend to use mixed berries or banana, but everything works! This is good to get in antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and more. I personally think that peanut butter and banana is a winning combination, so thats my preferred fruit. Banana’s are so cheap too which is good for those of us on a budget, although I do love coming home from uni to a fridge full of fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries…mmm!
So as you can see it’s a fairly dense ingredients list, but only 1 or 2 core ingredients, feel free to add and take away what you please, find what works for you and your taste buds! I hope you can see that this ingredients list is so varied and enables you to pack in so many nutrients, vitamins and minerals in first thing, setting you up to have a great day.
How to cook it
This again, is down to your own preferences. Pushed for time? Microwave. Lounging around on a Sunday? Hob it! For me, the beauty of porridge is that is really is an on the go meal. When I am dashing off to a 9am lecture I simply pour the oats and flaxseed into a microwavable plastic tub, add my soya milk and macha powder and after 90 seconds in the microwave I am good to go. I can eat it on my way to uni and its warm contests in a Tupperware container works as a great hand-warmer! Everyone likes their porridge differently, be it flavour or texture, I personally like mine runny and 1 minute 30 works perfectly for me to achieve that(on a 900W microwave) but adjust the time depending on this preference and the strength of your microwave. Obviously cooking on the hob makes it that bit easier to be in control of the texture you want to achieve, but if you only have access to a microwave then my tip would be to use 20 second intervals in order to check up on your porridge, you can always cook it more but you’ll struggle to undo the cooking (take this from someone who has had a lot of experience of overdone porridge, FYI, it’s like cement.)!!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and you find it helpful and that it inspires you to make your own personal porridge. I would love to see or hear from anyone who uses this post and for you to let me know how it goes!
Until next time,