Porridge! It’s warming, filling and very satisfying to have porridge in the morning for breakfast. A welcomed change from my usual superfood smoothies on chilly winter days too.
About gluten-free oats (for those who need to watch their gluten intake)
Now, I must admit, being very sensitive to gluten I used to find that porridge made me sleepy, slow and swelled my belly. Certainly not a great way to start the morning. Then one day it surprised me to find that oats are actually naturally gluten-free! Hurrah! When I investigated further, I found that farmers normally rotate their crops (i.e. grow different crops in each field every year). This means that oats will typically share fields where gluten grains such as wheat and barley have grown. Anyone who knows anything about growing plants, will be aware that is that it is almost impossible not to have ‘unwanted’ seeds from previous years crops popping back up randomly. So, this years oat crop, will inevitable have some of last years wheat popping back up through the soil (for example). They often also grow these different grains in fields next to each other too, leading to wind-blown contamination. Unfortunately for gluten sensitives, this means a small (but significant) amount of contamination. It has been shown that whilst oats themselves are gluten-free, they are more often than not contaminated with gluten. They have also been shown be contaminated in the factories (which also process wheat, rye & barley) or in transportation containers etc.
The good news is that some companies however offer certified gluten-free oats. These are oats grown separately from gluten grains and produced in facilities where there is no sign of anything containing gluten. Awesome, I thought! But being skeptical by nature I quietly muttered to myself ‘I bet if eat gluten-free oats I’ll still feel sleep and get that swollen gluten belly’.
With my healthy skepticism in tow, I gave it a shot! The result? Absolutely fabulous! No drowsiness. No swollen gluten belly to make me look 6 months pregnant. Bouncy, vibrant and happy as can be ***happy dance***. I LOVE oats again. So now, in some way or another oats make an appearance in my cuisine two or three times a week (more if I am making lots of delicious treats and have guests around).
If you aren’t gluten sensitive then you use whatever oats you like, of course!
Today I’d like to share one of my favourite porridge recipes. I use banana to sweeten, for an extra infusion of healthy goodness.
- 1 small banana
- 50g gluten-free oats (1/2 cup approx)
- 150ml water (2/3 cup approx)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 100ml rice milk (1/3 cup approx)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Slice banana.
- Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
- Once it is boiling turn down to simmer.
- Stir regularly (especially once it thickens), for about 15 minutes.
- The banana should 'melt' into the porridge and it should turn thick. If it doesn't thicken, allow extra cooking time. Likewise, add extra rice milk (or alternative milk) to thin down if desired.
- Once cooked you can leave on stove for a while until you are ready for it - or enjoy immediately.