The cold weather inspires me to nourish myself with warm foods and there’s no better warm, comfort food than porridge.

I love the creamy and chewy texture of steel-cut oats, slowly simmered with warming aromatics such as vanilla bean, cinnamon and ginger. You can also add other spices or fruits such as smashed banana or diced apple.

When serving this porridge, it’s important to have an extra pot of steaming hot milk on the side, ready to pour over. I think serving with hot milk is probably the most important rule in porridge making as it allows all the flavours to come together in perfect balance.

You can serve your porridge with your choice of milk, but I love mine made with almond milk. I normally make a double batch of this recipe so I can just reheat it the next morning for breakfast. This recipe is from my cookbook Purely Delicious.

WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT IT

This is a protein packed power breakfast that’ll boost your energy and sustain you all morning. According to studies, the beta-glucan fiber found in oats can help regulate your appetite as well as help to lower cholesterol.

When cooking steel cut oats, I prefer to soak it first in plenty of water overnight before cooking. This simple process reduces the cooking time and makes it creamier. A light sprinkling of ground flaxseeds contains omega-3s and a drizzle of Manuka honey contains antioxidants.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup (120g / 4 1/4 oz) steel cut oats
  • 4 cups (1 liter / 2 pints) water
  • 2 generous tablespoons roasted almond butter
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, LSA or walnuts
  • Manuka honey or raw honey
  • Hot almond milk to serve
  • Smashed banana to serve (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine steel-cut oats, water, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla into a heavy saucepan
  2. Heat gently and bring to a boil then reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes or until the porridge is thick and creamy. You will need to stir the porridge occasionally during this time to prevent sticking and you may need to add an extra cup of water if required. Your porridge should be silky and creamy, not too thick
  3. Mix in your almond butter until combined and season with a little sea salt to taste
  4. Serve porridge in bowls, topped with flaxseed and a drizzle of honey
  5. Pour over extra hot almond milk and enjoy

NOTES + INSPIRATION: Add other spices such as star anise when cooking. Try folding smashed banana through your porridge for an instant banana bread porridge.

I’ve made the recipe above using un-soaked steel-cut oats, which is the reason for the slightly longer cooking time and amount of water used in this recipe. If using soaked oats, rinse well and combine into a heavy based pot with slightly less water. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until oats are tender, add more water if required. Stir in the almond butter just before serving.

Teresa Cutter, founder of The Healthy Chef, is an author, nutritionist and classically trained chef. You can find more of Cutter’s tips and recipes on her website, app, eBooks and Instagram.

My main goal at The Healthy Chef is to get people cooking and eating healthier. Eat natural foods, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and just keep it simple.” — Teresa Cutter

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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