Porridge is much more than just a warming comfort on a chilly morning. Because oats are packed with nutrients, protein, fibre and minerals and, as a whole grain, deliver a string of health benefits. But that does not mean that your morning bowl cannot be given even more of a boost, not to mention a tempting taste tweak, by considering some new toppings. The possibilities are endless. So, we have put together just a week’s worth of mixtures. All the toppings are available at Grape Tree. They bring the energy, proteins, carbs and healthy fats of fruits, nuts and seeds and all have the bonus of being happy to wait in the store cupboard until wanted. There is also another joy to be had from mixing and matching your porridge toppers. You can produce pictures and characters (like our reindeer and owl for example) that are natural for encouraging the youngest members of the family to get into the porridge habit. Which does not mean you cannot have a quiet play on your own when no one else is looking of course!

Oat Power

  1. If your usual serving is 40-50g then that delivers around 5g of fibre (15 per cent of your daily target) and 7g of protein.
  2. Oats are an important source of the minerals manganese, molybdenum, copper, magnesium and zinc, the electrolyte phosphorous and Vitamin B1(thiamin) which helps release energy from food and keep the nervous system healthy.
  3. The Whole Grains Council lists the health benefits of whole grains as a reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  4.  The fibre in your porridge bowl includes the form known as beta glucan which not only improves digestion but increases feelings of fullness which is why Oats are associated with better weight control.

The Grape Tree day-by-day porridge topper choices are:

Monday: Toasted pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon. Toast the pecans for 5 minutes at 180°c on a lined baking tray. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Pop on your porridge with maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.

Tuesday: Deglet Noor dates, sesame seeds, chia and raisins. Chop two or three dates then mix with a teaspoon each of the seeds and the chia and a sprinkling of raisins.

Wednesday: Drop on a mixture of banana chips and dried blueberries. Now drizzle with honey.

Thursday: Mix a teaspoon of ground ginger into the porridge and then drop on chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.

Friday: Toast a tablespoon of whole almonds on a lined baking tray for 3 minutes at 180°c. Then mix them with a spoonful of roasted coconut flakes and sultanas.

Saturday: Chop two to three prunes and mix with pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts.

Sunday: Mix a teaspoon of cacao powder into the porridge and top with chopped apricotsand pine nuts.