autumnal rituals + spiced porridge

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Goodness, I’ve neglected this little space of the internet of late. I’m now back in my final year at Sixth Form and trying really hard to keep on top of my work this year so I achieve the grades I know that I deserve. My posts may be sporadic for a little while, but bear with me.

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Summer is a wonderful season. I get that – but there’s something about these crisp and slightly chilly foggy mornings, snuggling back into my scarves and cozy jumpers and eating bowls full of healthy, hearty food in the evenings. Salad is great when the sun’s out but when there’s even the slightest chill in the air I like to revert back to my old ways and fill my belly with warm goodness. I shy away from porridge for breakfast during the summer months and instead reach for the granola, yoghurt, fresh fruits, smoothies and green juices.

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However, since the beginning of September and the start of school, I have made and eaten porridge for breakfast most days (which is pretty evident when scrolling through my Instagram feed) as it’s the only thing that keeps me going from 7am through to lunch without throwing a hunger-induced temper tantrum. Alongside coffee. Obvs.

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Porridge-making rituals range from person to person. When I’m at school, instant oatmeal saves my life (I’m so damn guilty) and if I’m short on time I’ll whack it in the microwave for quickness. There is nothing better for me, though, than the stove-top method; standing over the hob and just stirring to my heart’s content. It’s become a part of my morning ritual; I normally dry-toast rolled oats before cooking so they have a deeper flavour (which fills my kitchen with the most wonderful nutty aroma), add a pinch of salt and just a dash of maple syrup, then almond, coconut or soya milk. Stir. Simmer. Stir. Savour. There’s really nothing better.

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Below I’ve included my recipe for my simple basic porridge, and a fancier way that I love to have my oats in the morning. It’s nourishing, adaptable, fulfilling. So easy. So quick. For me, it’s worth getting up 10 minutes earlier for – and if that can’t convince you to ditch the grab-and-go toast then I don’t know what would.

BASIC PORRIDGE

  • 40g rolled oats
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 250ml almond milk/any milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup, agave, unrefined coconut sugar or manuka honey
  1. Put the oats in a small saucepan and dry-toast on a low heat until they’re slightly golden and smell like baking biscuits (I’m serious – so good).
  2. Add the salt, milk, vanilla and sweetener of choice, turn the heat to medium-high and let the porridge come to a rolling boil.
  3. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and start stirring. Some people prefer to stir it every once in a while but I like to stir pretty regularly – it seems to make for a creamier end result.
  4. Pour the porridge into a bowl to cool for a couple of minutes whilst you prepare your toppings.

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SPICED PORRIDGE WITH BLACKBERRIES, FIG, PECANS & ALMOND MILK

Mix 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, allspice and ginger with the oats whilst dry-toasting (this really enhances the flavour). After cooking top with a fresh fig, blackberries, a sprinkling of pecans and a splash of cold almond milk.

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