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Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their recipes for perfect porridge every time

Milk or water? Hob or microwave? Here’s how our readers do it.

Image: Shutterstock/Julia Sudnitskaya

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we’ll be asking readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-dishes. From the secret to quick-and-easy dinners, to the best way to scramble an egg, we’ll have a new question every seven days.

This week, we’re asking…

What’s your secret for perfect porridge?

As usual, our home cooks had lots to say. If you’d like to join the panel (and be in with the chance to win Lidl prizes), send us your name and a bit about yourself to food@thejournal.ie!

Just invest the night before

No need to stress in the morning about having a healthy breakfast in a jiffy. It just needs a little effort the night before. Simply measure your porridge oats into a pot, half a small cup per person to one cup of cold water, and leave overnight.Next morning give it a quick whisk,this will make your porridge even creamier and bring to the boil..and there you have it, perfect porridge every time. Toppings from fresh berries in the summer to compote made from frozen ones the winter are great.Seeds and nuts are an option too. I like to keep it simple and just add honey and a splash of milk. For the ultimate treat give it the Nevin McGuire touch, pour a wee dram of Irish Mist and cream on top…Now who said porridge is boring. 

- Angela Nolan

Always milk, never water

We use microwaveable oats! Two scoops of oats to 4 of milk (half that portion for the children) and into the microwave at full heat for 1.5 minutes, a quick stir and another 30 seconds cooking. Meanwhile chop some banana and strawberries. Once cooked, add a drop more milk and stir. Add a squiggle of golden syrup across the surface, followed by a sprinkle of granola, followed by the fresh fruit and then a pinch of grated coconut to the top and serve. It’s popular. Always with milk and never with water!

- Ross Boxshall

Source: Shutterstock/MariaKovaleva

Stirring makes all the difference

We have two different versions of porridge, depending on who it’s for!  For myself, I used the regular porridge oatflakes and the microwave. I use water to make the porridge, then I put milk on it to cool it down a bit. I discovered the key is to stir it every 30 seconds (I figured that out when it exploded all over the microwave!). I used to love sugar in it but I’m getting a taste for honey on it now, it’s lovely these cold mornings. 

When our son was a baby, I got baby porridge (because that’s what I thought you were meant to give a baby!). I happened to look at the sugar content at it one day and I was horrified – it had about 35g of sugar per 100g. My wife suggested Ready Brek as she used to have that as a child. I didn’t realise that it is basically the same as porridge but just ground up more. Ready Brek has less than 8g of sugar per 100g – a massive difference!  For his porridge, I always use milk to make it. Then add homemade fruit puree for some extra flavour and to cool it down. With any porridge, I find it’s the stirring that makes all the difference to have it smooth. 

- Olly Keegan

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Fine oats for creamier porridge

The basic porridge recipe has to have two things: (1) The correct amount of liquid. So whichever you choose – milk/water or a combo, just make sure it comes to an inch above the oats. And (2) fine oats; the smaller the creamier.

Put into the microwave on high for three minutes, then top with your favourite toppings and/or flavourings – frozen berries/fresh fruit/nuts/seeds/coconut/cinnamon/maple syrup for a great healthy start to your day!

- Jennifer Dillon

And a recipe for quick fruit compote…

My perfect porridge is as my mother makes it – with water and on the hob. I pile it into a bowl and add honey, blueberries (bananas are also pretty porridge friendly) and a pinch of cinnamon. I’ll also add a dash of milk at this point for extra creaminess.

If I’m feeling particularly fancy/not in work, then a quick fruit compote can be made by heating mixed forest berries and a bit of honey or sugar.

- Donna Connolly

Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their tips for marvellous mashed potatoes>

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Michael Freeman

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