You don't need to be a dietician to know this is good for you, but that's not all it has going for it. Food, for me, has to be delicious first and foremost and I love the more complex, nutty flavours you get here in contrast to plain oat porridge. Porridge, of course, can be made from any grain, and you could certainly substitute your favourites here, some brown rice, for example, would be lovely. I happen to love this combination and I hope you do too.
Approx. 150g, or 3/4 cup dry weight is sufficient for two adults, depending on appetite. On that calculation, this quantity will yield around 9 serves.
200g rolled oats
100g steel-cut oats
100g pearl barley
100g whole buckwheat
100g cracked (bulghur) wheat
100g amaranth (substitute quinoa)
Apple cider vinegar (optional, substitute lemon juice)
Sea salt flakes (optional)
Combine grains and store in an airtight jar. The night before you want to make porridge, measure out the required amount, and put in a glass jar or jug with half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per person and enough water to cover by about 2cm. Cover with a lid or cloth and leave on the kitchen bench overnight.
The next morning, place porridge, the soaking liquid and more fresh water (enough to cover) into a saucepan. Add a pinch of sea salt flakes if desired. Stir over moderate heat, adding more water if necessary, for 15-20min or until you have a porridge consistency to your liking. Serve with whatever you like.
If so inclined, I encourage you to add some live yoghurt and fresh or stewed fruit for sweetness to your bowl, which makes for a pretty awesome, power-packed, and gut-friendly breakfast. I am not so virtuous as to eat this every day, and I only eat it because I love the flavour and texture, as well as the slight smug feeling of having made something from scratch, as basic as it may be. I use the rolled oats to ensure the final product is lovely and creamy, so although I have six grains listed, it's only five different grains in total. I consider porridge a winter breakfast exclusively, and I think this is the perfect foil to all the delicious poached or baked fruits you can have at this time of year - quinces, pears and apples especially - but any fresh or cooked fruit would be delicious, I like this combination of soft, sweet-sour quince with the crisp apple matchsticks. Not something I would bother with every day, but when you feel like being a little bit fancy…But really, the classic brown sugar and cream, or milk and honey are also sublime. Add cinnamon for good measure.
I can't recall where I read the tip on adding vinegar to the soaking water (and it was such an excellent website!), but from my cursory reading since, I know that the acid helps to break down the phytic acid in the grains. It is this phytic acid which inhibits the bioavailability of key nutrients. I am certainly not trained in nutrition, and am not presuming any expertise, but it is widely accepted that soaking grains both improves the uptake of essential nutrients, and increases their digestibility. It also has the obvious benefit of making the cooking time shorter, and as long as you remember to soak them the night before, this porridge couldn't be simpler. I hope you try it, do let me know how you go if you do!
A quick and simple snack for your little and your big people. The apple provides ample sweetness, no need for sugar at all. I usually give them to my daughter plain but a little bit of butter wouldn't go astray. After the recipe, I have some suggestions for variations and tips on storage.
Pat of butter, for greasing (about 10 g)*
1 medium free-range egg
1/4 cup (60 g) Greek yoghurt
1 T milk
1 medium apple, preferably unwaxed, coarsely grated
1/2 cup (65 g) self raising wholemeal flour (substitute whole spelt or another all-purpose flour plus 1 t baking powder for lift)
1/2 t cinnamon (optional)
Warm a fry-pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Meanwhile, crack egg into a batter jug or small mixing bowl, add yoghurt, milk, and apple and mix with a fork until just combined.
Add flour, baking powder, if using, and cinnamon, and mix again until you have a well-mixed but still lumpy batter. Pour in the melted butter from the pan and mix gently. Wipe out the pan with some kitchen towel so you are left with just a thin film of butter. This creates a non-stick surface for the pikelets.
Return the pan to the heat and drop in dessertspoofuls of batter, spreading them slightly with the spoon if needed. Don't overcrowd the pan as you need to be able to flip the pikelets with ease.
Wait for some bubbles to appear on the surface and then carefully flip the pikelets with a spatula. They should be nice and golden on the underside. They are cooked when the surface springs back. Remove to a kitchen towel-lined plate and continue to cook pikelets until the batter is used up.
NOTE: I find I have to adjust the heat as I go as the pan tends to get too hot after a while, meaning that the pikelets overcook on the outside while remaining undercooked in the middle. If this starts to happen, turn the heat to medium-low. You may find you have to alternate between medium-low and medium heat in order to maintain an even cooking temperature. You can always return any undercooked pikelets to the pan at the end and finish them on a low heat.
*If you have one, use a non-stick pan and you can omit the butter and the greasing step.
These pikelets, or variations thereof, have been a staple snack of Ingrid’s ever since she started on solids (she's just turned two). I make them by eye, as I know the batter consistency I'm after, but I finally made myself measure the ingredients so I could share them at last! Sometimes I use all yoghurt, sometimes all milk, or like this recipe, a combination of the two (which produces the best result, I think). Apple is my preferred fruit, but I have also made these with berries (though these can cause the pikelets to catch in the pan, so be careful), and even make savoury versions with zucchini, carrot and so forth. It's a very versatile, basic recipe that can be adapted pretty much endlessly, so feel free to make it your own. I haven't done so, but I'm sure it would work well with a gluten-free all purpose flour and of course you can substitute a vegetable oil for the butter, and a non-dairy yoghurt and milk if you are dairy free. These pikelets freeze really well, too. I interleave them with small pieces of non-stick baking paper and seal in a zip-lock bag. Then I can easily take out one or two at a time and defrost as needed. They are ideal for packing in lunch boxes. If you make these often enough, soon you'll be making them by eye as well. There's nothing fancy here, just a simple, useful family recipe. I hope you find it so, and do let me know if you have any questions or feedback, it's always a great help for this novice blogger!
Breakfast. Sorted. This is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for busy (or extra lazy) mornings, when even thinking of what to eat, let alone the effort of making something, is beyond you. Having a jar of this on standby makes life so much easier, and tastier!
Makes: a lot!
3 cups rolled oats (see note)
1/2 cup buckwheat
1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 1/4 cup mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds)
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 tahini (hulled or unhulled)
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup olive oil
I apple, grated (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Combine the tahini, honey and olive oil in a microwave safe jug or small saucepan and gently heat either in the microwave or on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until the tahini and honey have softened and the mixture has combined.
Add the tahini mixture and the grated apple to the dry ingredients and stir well, or use your hands to combine thoroughly. Spread the mixture over the two baking trays, trying to achieve an even layer with few gaps.
Bake for 20-30 min until toasted and golden. If desired, halfway through the cooking time, push the outer edges of the granola into the middle of the trays, and the inner parts to the edges. This will ensure a more even toasting, but is not absolutely necessary.
Allow to cool completely on the trays (this helps the granola to clump together), before breaking up and storing in airtight glass jars. The granola will keep well for several weeks, but it probably won't last that long!
Serving suggestion: This granola is delicious simply served with natural yoghurt and fresh fruit, but it is also a fabulous ingredient in cookies and muffins, or just as a snack on its own.
Note: I haven't provided gram weights as this recipe really depends on ratios. It doesn't matter what measuring vessel you use, as long as you follow the ratios above.
I've been making granola (or toasted muesli for the people at the back) for ages now. I've made it so often that I just wing it when it comes to how much of this or that I put in. However, I finally got around to paying attention to what I was doing and have hit upon out the ideal ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Hurrah! This recipe yields a super crunchy yet chewy, not-too-sweet, biscuity granola that is SO satisfying to eat, and obviously, is very good for you. As long as you have half the quantity of wet ingredients to oats, and then chuck in various nuts and seeds as desired, you can't go wrong. I'm forever varying the nuts and seeds depending on what I have to hand. I love linseeds and poppy seeds in this too, but if I stick to the ratios above, it always works out.
There are a couple of things that make a difference to the final product, however. I do recommend chopping your almonds a bit, so that some are left whole, but you also have some smaller shards and dust. This helps the granola clump together later. The apple also helps with this, as well as adding a bit of sweetness, but the granola is also very successful without it. The most important thing to achieving those toasty clusters is allowing the granola to completely cool before handling it. The only problem is, it's pretty hard to resist having a sample or three as you break it up for storage. It's not only good for breakfast, either. I've been known to take a small bowl of this to my desk to snack on as I would nuts. The recipe can of course be upsized or downsized as necessary, but as it keep so well, I find it more useful to make a big batch less often. Let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear your feedback!
About The Daughter's Table
The Daughter's Table is a living archive of recipes and stories. It is inspired by my daughter, and the desire to create a food legacy that connects us to what we eat and why.