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17th February 2016

Champagne and Wholegrain

Food Editor Ellie Gibbs shows us how to make life worth getting up for

If you’re like me, which I suppose most people are in this aspect of life, you hate the mornings. You really struggle to convince your brain that there is any reason worthwhile enough to remove yourself from the warm bliss of the duvet cave. A lecture? No. A meeting? Nope. An exam? Definitely not.

In the sleep-addled mind of the newly woken, it is near impossible to evaluate the importance of any oncoming activity.

Trying to comprehend a mobile version of yourself, outside of the house and fully involved in some kind of task seems absurd and ever-distant. But the thought of food, food that doesn’t take long to prepare, food that is tasty and exciting—that promise of instant gratification is the best way to get out of bed. Thus why I value the importance of having a delicious breakfast.


Photo credit: The Mancunion















Perfect porridge base:




For one serving, I put about 3/4 heaped tablespoons of porridge oats into a saucepan and cover with water about 2cm over where the porridge lies. I don’t have a specific measurement for the liquid because I do it by eye every time and it depends on personal preference. I like mine creamy but I almost treat the porridge like a risotto, letting the oats absorb and adding more liquid as I go along.

It’s normal to do everything slowly in the morning, which is why this porridge takes around 15-30 minutes to make. It is also possible to make it faster simply by adding less liquid and keeping the heat on high with a watchful eye. But I like to take my time and ensure the texture is really soft and as one mouth perfectly requested: ‘tasting as little like oats as possible’.

First, bring the mixture to the boil and add water or milk as necessary. I use mostly water and find that the texture is still perfectly creamy, despite what others might insist on. Once boiled, turn the heat right down and let the porridge cook, almost reducing it. If you’re having a shower or getting dressed, it’s a good idea to leave the lid on while you go and complete some of these tasks. It’s ready to eat as soon as the liquid is absorbed, but if you have the time, it’s preferable to heat the porridge on low for around 15 minutes, frequently adding more liquid to maintain the consistency. I tend to use about half and half water and (almond/rice/coconut/vegan) milk.

The part worth getting up for: The add-ins:

Banana Peanut Cookie Dough

Mash half a banana into the oats halfway through cooking and let melt into a creamy pan of goodness. Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, vanilla extract and a tbsp of peanut butter. Mix, and top with the remaining sliced banana. Add coconut cream, walnuts and maple syrup if you’re feeling especially decadent. Perhaps a ‘birthday porridge’.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Mix in a tbsp of cocoa powder to your dry ingredients, i.e oats. Again with the mashed ‘n’ melted banana. Top with Kahlua or eat alongside a Black Russian. Just jokes, but it’s good with almond butter and a coffee.

Fresh and Fruity

Add plain porridge to the bowl and top with an amalgamation of goodies. Think fresh fruit, strawberries, blueberries, orange segments. Add protein by drizzling on some tahini and raw blanched peanuts.

All of these breakfasts are well-balanced, wholefood and vegan-friendly meals that will help to get your day going. See the difference in how you begin to even look forward to getting up, and how you can actually concentrate in lectures! Breakfast is the meal of Kings.

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