Cinnamon & nutmeg baked oatmeal with plums & toasted hazelnuts

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Porridge divides our family. On the one side, mum adores it. On the other, my dad thinks it’s the foodstuff created by the devil (I’m really not exaggerating). As with plenty of other things, such as coffee versus tea or even rainbow trout, I sit firmly in the middle. I don’t love the stuff, but I don’t hate it either. A little bit of sugar, milk and a sprinkle of raisins is good enough for me, but I only eat porridge a couple of times a year, mostly in the winter.

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That being said, I adore baked oatmeal. Why? Well, if you’ve never had baked oatmeal, you’re missing out, even if you despise it as much as my dad. Baked oatmeal is basically the child of a flapjack and a cake. Take a slice and warm it up in the microwave, add a bit of milk or even a bit of caramel sauce, and it’s probably one of my favourite sweet breakfasts (but not too sweet, cause that’s not my thing (unless we’re talking caramel, of course…)). On top of that, it’s super customisable; don’t like hazelnuts? What about almonds, pecans? And the plums? I love raspberries and blackberries in my baked oatmeal, but apple and pear slices are always a great substitute. Nutmeg and cinnamon could be swapped to cardamom or allspice — or even everybody’s seasonal favourite, pumpkin spice!

The handy thing with baked oatmeal, is that it’s delicious fresh out the oven, but it keeps well in the fridge for a few days. However, my favourite method when I’m making baked oatmeal for myself at university is to slice it up when it’s cold, wrap it in greaseproof paper and place in a container in the freezer. Then all I have to do is take out one slice in its paper, place it on a plate, defrost it in the fridge overnight and microwave it in the morning for a few minutes — tastes good as new (seriously)!

Makes about 6 large servings.
Adapted from here. Read More

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Spiced Coconut Milk Porridge

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I woke up super late this morning, at around 1 o’clock. Ooops! No more late nights for me apparently, not if I actually want to see some daylight. I woke up pretty hungry, but a bit disappointed–I’d already decided that I would make this lovely porridge the day before, and then I woke up too late…!

That is, until I decided I was an adult and could have breakfast for lunch if I wanted 😛

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I hated the taste of rose when I was younger, but now love it (I realise I love a lot of things I hated as a kid, apart from peas, and tomatoes–no change there!) in a number of ways. Rosewater/essence, edible rose petals, rose-flavoured Turkish Delight…that last one used to be a real object of my hatred when I was little.

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This is like a bowl of comforting luxury. The coconut milk makes the porridge creamy, almost like a dessert, and the pistachio nuts and rose petals add a lovely crunch and sparks of flavour. Agave syrup adds a little bit of sweetness. And the cardamom pods and cinnamon make it smell like Christmas. I’m in love. Yeah, with porridge, I know. But love does work in mysterious ways…
Serves 2-3, generously Read More