Late winter to early spring can be a funny time for weather in the UK. In February we enjoyed record temperatures in the UK and for one day were hotter than the Caribbean. The same time last year we were under blankets of snow and had a howling storm nicknamed “The Beast from the East”. Now we’ve gone from bright sunshine to wind and rain and the heating (or in my case log fire) is back on.
On days like this the traditional Scottish and UK breakfast of oat porridge is what you need to warm you up and keep you full throughout the day. Oats are a great whole grain cereal and as well as having a range of vitamins and minerals also have a role in regulating blood sugar, reducing cholesterol. They contain the polyphenols called avenanthramides which lower blood pressure, they are high in fibre and gluten-free. They are a proper super food that don’t get talked about enough. Mix them up with some
- Almonds – High in vitamin E and may also help with cholesterol and reduced risk of heart disease and potentially aid memory.
- Blueberries – High vitamin C and antioxidants called anthocyanidins, blueberries may help your blood vessels stay healthy and reduce your risk of dementia.
- Pomegranates – Contain compounds which may help with heart disease, inflammation, cognitive function and athletic performance.
- Apples – High in antioxidents and their flavenols may help in insulin control. The pectin they contain may benifit the gut microbiome and quercin reducing heart disease.
- Carrots – High in beta carotene , lutein and zeaxanthinwhich is good for imunity and eye health.
- Cinnamon – Anti inflammatory.
- Ginger – Anti inflammatory, especially for those with arthritis, soothing to the digestive system and may have a role in cancer prevention.
- Clove – Anti inflammatory and may have a role in insulin control and cancer prevention.
- Flaxseed – A good vegan source of Omega 3, good for heart health.
All together you could say this is a super as well as a super tasty breakfast and a great start to the day.
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
5 a day: 2
- 30g oats
- 20g almonds
- 20g coconut shavings
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1 large carrot grated
- 1 apple grated
- 2 tsp ginger grated
- 300g almond or coconut milk drink
- Two handfuls of blueberries and pomegranate seeds
- 2 tsp ground flaxseed
On a medium heat, toast the oats, almonds, coconuts and spices in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes until starting to turn golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Serve sprinkled with the fruit and flax seed.
If you need any additional sweetness, use a little drizzled honey.
Ring the changes
You can change any of the below without changing any of the cooking
Substitute almonds and coconut for other nuts and seeds for , for example pumpkin, sunflower seeds or walnuts
Substitute apple for pears
Substitute blueberry and pomegranates for raspberry, chopped pears, plums, dates or prunes
Substitute with normal milk or another vegan milk