My journey into the loaded porridge bowls started fairly recently (circa November 2014). Porridge/oatmeal has always played a big part in my breakfastin’ and brunchin’ life and last Autumn, I decided to revamp my morning bowls as the usual honey/agave syrup, almond and banana concoctions were giving me food fatigue.
Since the summer, I have decreased my refined-sugar intake, introducing agave syrup in cereals and porridge, and cutting back on the shop-bought baked goods and treats. Reading about natural sweeteners online led me to many articles (Women’s Health, Vogue and ELLE, to name a few) encouraging readers to try healthy breakfast alternatives to the normcore cereal bowl. Many hours of blog-searching and Instagram stalking later, I was led me to an array of food blogs, online articles and Pinterest boards featuring topping ideas, as well as snacks and tried-and-tested trail mix combinations.
What came after was the inevitable: I signed up to the Holland & Barrett loyalty card scheme and spent the last of my early summer earnings on some goji berries and chia seeds. Rummaging through the bloggers I have accumulated and favourited, I noted down tips for incorporating these novel ingredients to my morning feasts; I made my first trail mix, and the sanctification of my breakfasts begun.
It may be in my nature as a science undergraduate to experiment and practice, but one of my greatest joys in life is waking up early to create a new porridge dish for the day. It is the sense of achievement of producing a nourishing meal to kick-start the day that motivates me to rise early. My friends can vouch for this; they often wake up to my breakfast food all up in their grill.
I’ve created a chocolate + cardamom porridge recipe before, inspired by my recent trip to Paris. Today, I present you with its orange, date + cardamom cousin.
I love incorporating spices and savoury components in my porridge; it highlights the versatility of food and helps expand my palate – I was not a big fan of carrot cake until last year and my whole world has changed since.
I have an obsession for spiced anything – hot chocolate, porridge and candles, to name a few. Even with the summer months approaching, I’d opt for a bowl of cinnamon porridge over any green smoothie. The depth the spices (and herbs) introduce is underrated in traditionally sweet dishes, and they’re likely to be collecting dust in your cupboard, waiting for the autumnal months to arrive – why wait?!
The orange and cardamom combination is tried-and-tested in many bakes so I thought I’d try it; the incorporation of Medjool dates in the mix sweetened the mix a little, without the need to add any sweetener (natural or artificial), which is great if you are trying to limit your sugar intake.
Orange, date + cardamom recipe
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1. Chop the dates quite finely and to a saucepan with all the dry ingredients and mix.
2. Add the wet ingredients and mix carefully. Allow the chia oat mixture to soak for 10 minutes. This will soften the oats for easy cooking later, as well as help the chia seeds absorb some of the liquid and expand.
3. After soaking, heat the saucepan under medium heat and cook to your desired consistency.
4. Top with your choice of toppings – I chose orange slices, flaked almonds and dark chocolate slices as the primary toppings – and… enjoy!
The soaking of the chia oat mixture is vital and an advantage. In the space of 10 minutes you can be topping prepping, showering, napping… so there is no excuse to not have an amazing breakfast before uni/work/school.
As promised, some food ear will also be served here at themorningbowl.
A new track by Tame Impala emerged this week. Their psychedelic vibes remain in ‘Cause I’m A Man, which is a perfect soundtrack for chilled and laidback summer days. This is definitely a song to listen to over breakfast, whilst looking out my bedroom window and watch the by-passers as they start their days.
Julia | themorningbowl.