Wednesday, 17 October 2018

CRANBERRY + PUMPKIN SPICED PORRIDGE

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 5 mins

Hello lovelies!

Isn't it wonderful that the weather outside it slowly creeping colder and the leaves on trees are starting to brown and crisp - autumn is finally here and I am excited!

Sure it's becoming more difficult to get out of bed in the mornings when it's cold and you're all cosy and tucked up in bed, but now that it is colder I'm feeling much more in the spirit to have porridge for breakfast! Generally I throw in some cinnamon and golden syrup but I wanted to be a little more adventurous with my meals and create my own recipes.
Here's my first breakfast one:



CRANBERRY + PUMPKIN SPICED PORRIDGE
Ingredients:
- 1 cup gluten free oats (you can use regular oats if you prefer, but gluten is difficult for your body to digest and I never include it in my breakfast meals! Gluten-free breakfasts are a kinder way to kick start your metabolism and keep you filled, without feeling bloated or tired afterwards)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup dairy free milk (I prefer unsweetened soya so there's no added refined sugars i.e. the healthiest option. You could always try hemp or oat milk if you are looking for more of a neutral taste!)
- 1 handful dried or fresh cranberries
- 1 small handful pumpkin seeds
- Ground cinnamon (to taste)
- Ground ginger (to taste)
- Agave syrup (to taste)


Method:
1. Add the oats, water and milk to a medium sized pan, stir and put on low-medium heat. (I have an induction hob and put it on temperature 3 or 4).
2. Stir mixture frequently as it heats up to avoid burning the milk or your porridge sticking to the bottom of the pan.

NB: I don't add any of the other ingredients until after the porridge is cooked and served. I'm not sure if the other ingredients will affect how evenly the oats cook, so I prefer to play it safe and mix them in afterwards.

3. For the perfect porridge consistency, I prefer to take them off of the heat when you can see the oats have thickened and become more porridge-like, but are still a bit runny. Generally the oats will continue to cook after you've served them, so if you cook them completely in the pan they may thicken up too much in your bowl and end up being chewy. To keep the moisture make sure before you serve, the porridge is thick with a slight runny consistency.

4. Add your other ingredients! (agave syrup, cinnamon and ginger, pumpkin seeds and then finally the cranberries on top!)

And there we have it! Such a warm and festive feeling breakfast that is filling and sweet with a little spiced kick! This has quickly become one of my favourite porridge combinations as it's naturally sweet, but not sickly! For me breakfast should be filling, give you lots of energy and have a fruity-sweet taste and this recipe does exactly that!



Nutritional information about these ingredients:
Oats are a really important ingredient for natural sources of iron, zinc, protein and carbohydrates. They're good for slow releasing energy, and when made into oatmeal (porridge) they can be really filling! 
Soya milk is one of many plant milks available and a must-have for many vegan diets. Most plant milk providers such as Alpro, Koko and even some supermarket own brands will fortify their plant milks with essential vitamins and minerals.
1 cup (250ml) of plant milk will generally provide you with around 33% of your daily recommended intake for calcium, vitamin D2 and B12. (check the labels of plant milks for individual nutritional information) - (do not solely rely on liquids or supplements for intake of essential vitamins and minerals. The absorption of these is better when combined with foods - especially where these vitamins and minerals naturally occur.)
Pumpkin seeds are exceptionally high in iron and are a really good "just throw it in" ingredient for extra health benefits in your meals.
Cranberries are good antioxidants! (always choose fresh over dried as dried are more concentrated in sugars and not as nutritional. In the pictures I only had dried but fresh cranberries would work perfectly also).
Ginger works to boost your immune system.
Agave syrup is a natural sweetener and a perfect alternative to refined syrups such as golden or maple.

(Disclaimer: the information provided is from a variety of sources. I am not a qualified nutritionist, health expert or dietitian. I am simply a human being with access to the internet and personal experiences with foods.

A lot of information about ingredients I research from the internet, as well as a personal favourite Instagram account: www.instagram.com/plantsforfit  | by Rafael who is a vegan athlete and posts about science based nutrition.)



Hope you all have a wonderful day!


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