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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Variation on a theme - 7 ways to spice up porridge

We’ve got a different topping for every day of the week – boring porridge, no more.

PORRIDGE CAN GET a bad rap – from the kids, anyway.

But what do they know?

Once we reach adulthood and have out-grown all those sugary cereals (more or less), porridge takes on new levels of deliciousness.

It’s really quick to make (either on the stove or in the microwave), it’s nutritious, and it keeps you full for longer than a lot of breakfast options out there. Yes, we’re looking at you coffee and croissant.

We’ve rounded up seven of the best toppings and methods of cooking porridge out there – bet you didn’t know your standard breakfast came with such choice. 

Steel-cut oats with dates, cinnamon, coconut and pecan

Faith Durand Faith Durand

Now, you can top your porridge with pretty much anything to be fair – some toppings being more healthy than others. But sometimes you just run out of inspiration, and this is where other people’s tasty recipes come in handy.

Here’s one for porridge with dates, cinnamon, coconut and pecan, and you can probably guess how to make it just from the title,but we’ll give you the recipe nonetheless.

Chocolate oatmeal with egg whites

Skinny Ms. Skinny Ms.

Another porridge craze sweeping the… Internet is porridge with egg whites in it. It’s from the fitness world, and it takes a little to get your head around.

The idea is to have protein in with your oats and of course all sorts of flavours can be added. This recipe is for chocolate oatmeal with egg whites and by all accounts you definitely can’t taste the egg white.

Overnight oats

Wp Wp

This is, at it’s core, cold porridge – so, not the most appealing thing, right? Wrong. It’s got quite the following and a huge variation of recipes – here’s just one.

In the clean-eating world, people make up a week’s worth of these dry (as in only the dry ingredients) and then add the liquid (almond milk, coconut milk – whatever strikes your fancy) the night before, stir and let it work it’s magic overnight.

Don’t judge it before you try it.


Brittany Mullins Brittany Mullins

What is it? It’s oatmeal, with added protein. The recipe comes from the fitness/clean-eating industry but is spreading far and wide across the normal eating world too.

From just tipping a little protein powder into your porridge of a morning to putting slightly more effort in, (like in this recipe, here) there’s a lot to be said for adding protein into what is already a low-GI, energy giving food. Protein will keep you fuller for longer during the day too.


Jenny Sugar Jenny Sugar

Another one you might not have heard of if you’re not in the fitness/clean-eating world – this is oatmeal with… you’ve guessed it… zucchini in it. Guess it would be called ‘Coats’ here (courgette oats) but doesn’t have quite the same ring, really.

Bear with us, it’s really good. Some recipes have egg whites or nuts in them to increase the protein content and help get you to lunchtime. It does take a little more work than just whacking your oats and water in the microwave, but there’s a lot of nutritional gain for not much more effort.

Here’s a recipe to try.

Porridge with Nutella

20120522-oatmeal-variations-nutella Seriouseats Seriouseats

We’re not all about the healthy eating – some days you just need some chocolate wherever and whenever you can sneak it in. There’s no judgements, here.

No recipe really required for this – just grab a spoon and lash some Nutella on top of your hot porridge.


Fried porridge…

Miss South Miss South

Have you heard of a ‘porridge drawer’? Neither had we, but apparently it’s where leftover porridge would be poured to cool before being cut into slices and was then used as a snack or lunch later in the day. For special occasions it was fried in bacon fat or butter. Basically, it’s an old-school flapjack.

Now, it’s been given a fancy upgrade and is fried in a spiced butter. There are claims it’s better than French Toast…  we await your verdict with bated breath.

Have we convinced you to spice up your porridge or is it pretty fancy already? Let us know in the comments below.

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