This is one of my favourite breakfasts, particularly during winter! Instant oats are quick to prepare but they won’t keep you as full for as long as plain old oats. Many pre-packaged instant oats also contain preservatives, emulsifiers, milk powder and sugar. Plain oats are cheaper than than the processed instant oats, they don’t contain any hidden nasties and they’re still really easy to cook. I make my porridge with wholegrain oats, also known as traditional oats, which contain more fibre and have a lower glycaemic index. If I’m in a hurry I use plain rolled oats, also known as quick oats – they take half the amount of time to cook as wholegrain oats and their texture is slightly more mushy. Oats are a great source of many vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and chromium.

I make my porridge with a mixture of water and milk. I cook the oats in water first as it doesn’t burn like milk, then I add milk when I reduce the heat for protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and extra creaminess.

Wholegrain and quick oats

Here’s my porridge recipe (made with wholegrain oats)

Cooking time 10 minutes


(Serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Pinch of salt (optional – I personally don’t like salt in my porridge but many people do)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of milk (I use cow’s milk or almond milk)


  1. Mix the oats, water and salt (if using) in a saucepan and place onto a high heat, stirring occasionally
  2. As soon as the mixture starts to boil and the oats are absorbing the water, add 1/2 a cup of milk and immediately reduce the heat to medium/low
  3. Simmer for 7-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oats will soften and the mixture will thicken. Add more milk if necessary and cook until it has reached your desired consistency
  4. Serve immediately.

This is the simplest recipe for porridge but there are many ways in which you can add variety, here are a few examples (quantity guides are per person)… Try combining some of the options to discover your favourite!


Stewed seasonal Fruit

Heat 1 handful of fruit in a saucepan over a medium heat with ¼ tsp honey + 1 tsp water – it only takes about 7 minutes. Add at stage 4


1 tbsp raisins (or sultanas) added at stage 3

1 tbsp natural yogurt, 2 tsp peanut butter + palmful of raspberries

Added at stage 4

Honey and Pistachio

1 tsp honey and 3/4 tbsp chopped pistachio nuts added at stage 4

Quick Fruit Compote

Blitz together 1 handful of defrosted mixed berries with a drizzle of honey or molasses. Add at stage 4


1 tsp drizzled on top at stage 4

Flaked Almonds

Sprinkled on top at stage 4

Berry and Coconut

1tbsp coconut chips + small handful of berries added at stage 4

Raw or toasted pecans

Broken up and sprinkled on top at stage 4

Grated Apple & Ground Cinnamon

Can be added at stages 3 or 4


Small handful added at stage 3 (leave a few whole to put on top at stage 4)


1/2 tsp ground cinnamon added at stage 3

Chia Jam (sugar free)

1-2 tbsp dolloped on top at stage 4


Small handful of blueberries added at the end of stage 3

Walnut pieces + ½ tsp pure maple syrup

Added at stage 4


½ – 1 tsp cocoa powder stirred in at stage 3, 1 tsp low sugar marmalade dolloped on top at stage 4

Tinned fruit

½ tin of fruit (in natural juices, not syrup) added at stage 4

Poppy seeds, desiccated coconut and ground cinnamon

Sprinkled on top at stage 4


1 small / 1/2 a large mashed banana added at stage 3