Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, in fact when we're on holiday we tend to spend half the day eating breakfast. During the week I start every day with a big bowl of porridge with berries or apples and nuts. Oats are used in herbal medicine as a good restorative nerve tonic, ideal for depression and energy deficiency. I'm convinced it works, in fact the very thought porridge lifts my spirits.
I'm really into eating food that keeps my blood sugar as stable as possible, and most of the time I follow a low GL (glycaemic load) way of eating. This porridge comes from one of my favourite GL cookbooks, The Holford Low-GL Diet Cookbook. The only unusual ingredient in this recipe is xylitol, which is a completely natural sugar substitute. Xylitol does not have any of the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it's also good for the teeth, stabilises insulin and hormone levels, and promotes good health. There are two problems with xylitol, one is that it cannot be used in yeasted doughs (the yeast does not react with it), the other is the cost; at about £11 per kilo it doesn't come cheap. I think it's worth it though, but of course you can substitute ordinary sugar.
Porridge for 2
100 g (250 ml) whole porridge oats
300 ml skim milk
300 ml water
4 tbsp frozen berries or 1 apple, cored and cut into pieces
6 tsp xylitol
cinnamon to taste
Simply mix all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring occassionally. Let simmer until the porridge thickens (continue to stir) and the oats soften. Pour into bowls and top with chopped nuts (I like to use almonds). Delicious!