Is it just me or does ‘normal’ porridge get a bit samey?
I love, no make that absolutely adore a hot bowl of something squidgy and comforting on winter mornings. There’s something about it being almost too hot to eat that somehow makes it feel much more satisfying than a cold breakfast, at least in Winter anyway.
We all crave stodgy comfort food in winter, it’s a survival thing (of course). But if that to you means pies, mounds of mashed potato and gravy, and heavy pasta dishes like macaroni cheese or lasagne then you most likely fit into the ‘average’ Brit who gains 6lb over Christmas! That food, yummy as it is, is very calorific. It’s easy to overeat too – the combination of fat and starch (carbohydrates) is highly palatable (tasty) and not too filling – you can easily eat a 1000 calorie plate of pie and mash, but nobody I know could eat that many calories worth of steak & vegetables, even if you add a little cheese – like this amazing steak ‘pizza’ I had a restaurant in Birmingham once. It’s just too filling to overeat.
But back to porridge. Aside from the fact that oats + milk is pretty high in carbs and low in protein (see aforementioned discussion about filling foods), mixing it up and using different ingredients means you also get a bigger variety of nutrients. In this example, chia seeds are a great ‘vegan’ protein, plus contain omega-3 fats too. I bit like salmon I suppose; not quite as nutritious as our beloved oily fish, but getting there. Fats (also from the almonds) slow down digestion too, so you’ll be satisfied for longer than a fat-free breakfast.
Chestnut flour is a new experiment for me, after discovering that too much gluten makes me very irritable with terrible brain fog and no energy (yes I did get properly tested to confirm), so finding alternative carb sources, to have in moderation and more on workout days, has been a tasty adventure of late. In this recipe, adjust the stevia and cinnamon amounts to your tastes.
Christmas Chocolate Praline Gluten-Free Chia Porridge
20g chia seeds
25g chestnut flour
15g ground almonds
1 tbsp cocoa
200-300ml water or almond milk
Stevia, to taste
½ tsp cinnamon
Soak the chia seeds in 200ml water or almond milk for 5 minutes.
Bring the mixture to a boil then add the remaining ingredients.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary to your desired consistency.