Sunday, 12 February 2017

SUPER GOOD BREAKFAST GRUB

Recipe of the week ...
ChefBeHere Super Good Porridge


Ingredients: 50g oats, 200ml guava juice, a big handful of dried cranberries, a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries.

Time taken: 5 minutes.


Hi readers,

How it going this weekend??

Have you had much snow where you are? Very disappointing here in Sheffield! We checked the weather forecast last night, while cosied up with wine and Shaun of the Dead on TV (yasss), and we were promised ‘Heavy Snow’. For at least an hour of the day today. Read: snow is puthering down, settling on the ground, children are sledging past the house, we build a snowman in the garden.


But no, readers. No. Instead, the weather today so far seems to swing between sleet and drizzle. With the odd bout of hail. Nothing has settled on the ground, other than litter. Children are, presumably, indoors and bored. As we are, too.

BUT.. it’s not all bad. It’s not bad at all, actually, just slightly disappointing. As Sundays go – today’s pretty good! I have hot chocolate, plenty of books to read, baking to bake. No major hangover from last night. Sunday TV is wonderfully poor. Today is a good day, I think.


How about you, readers?? How are you getting on? Are you having a weekend at home or a weekend away? Spending time with old friends, new friends, flatmates, or family? Doing a lot or doing not-a-lot?? Ticking things off the to-do list, or shelving stuff for tomorrow?

However you’re spending your weekend, readers, I hope it’s a good one. That you feel good and you do good – whether big or small. I read a quote yesterday that said ‘Everyone is just trying to be happy, so give people a break’. Is there someone that you could, maybe, go easy on? Or someone that, perhaps, could do to bear this in mind before talking to you next? Either way – you’re both just trying to be happy. And I hope it works out.


My recipe for you this week, readers, is one that hopefully will brighten up your breakfast-time over the week to come. As amigos of mine will know (especially those who have has the pleasure of living with me!) I’m a lover of a big bowl of proper porridge. Call me Goldilocks but whether it’s winter or summer, regardless of the time of day, I often bank on porridge as a warm, filling bowl of food. Tasty, wholesome, oaty goodness. Love the stuff.

And I sort of frown upon the ready-made sachet version of porridge. Simply because I think such sachets cost too much and they aren’t big enough. And they don’t have enough topping stuff inside. I don’t mean to be hypocritical though as, on many a weekday, I can be found munching on breakfast biscuits on the train to work. A sad replacement for cereal.


So I understand that porridge sachets help time poor people out, on their weekday mornings, enabling them to enjoy a bit of porridge before they run out the door. Something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do, if they had to spend time preparing porridge from scratch. I get it, I do.

Yet, I maintain that proper porridge – made from scratch – is a wonder of its own! It’s in a whole different league of breakfast. Not to be confused with, or likened to, its sad sachet cousin. If you’ve portioned up your oats in advance, and you’re at least 50% awake, then it only takes a minute or two more of your time. And tastes wondrously better.


For reasons unknown, I haven’t shared a porridge recipe in a while, though I’m often here raiding the cupboard and trying out new toppings. You can check out the BreakfastChapter of my Blog Recipe Book for previous posts on porridge, with assorted ideas for wonderful tasting porridge recipes.

Today, though, I give you a whole new porridge recipe created just this week – for ChefBeHere Super Good Porridge. You’re going to love it! This new recipe has come about, readers, thanks to the mysterious wonder that is targeted advertising. Would you believe.  Facebook, in all its wisdom, would seem to have clocked on to my love of oats. Big style. And so, readers, all this week I’ve been swiping past the same advert for a well known UK brand of breakfast cereal – which has launched a range of Super Goodness porridge sachets.


To quote them: "Super Goodness has been conceived, designed and developed by our experts to deliver a unique breakfast experience with specific nutritional benefits that work in harmony with your body, so you can start the day feeling full of vigour and vitality. The delicious range is full of wholesome* ingredients and absolutely no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. This Super Fruits^ Blueberry, Cranberry & Guava porridge not only tastes delicious but has added nutrients to provide you with the nutritional benefits you need to super start your morning. We’ve combined wholegrain rolled oats with real fruit pieces and Vitamins B6, C, D and Zinc to support the immune system. *Contains oat beta glucan, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. ^Vitamins B6, C, D and Zinc help support the normal function of the immune system."

I’m no nutritionist, readers, so they could be talking utter rubbish – but I’m going to believe them on the science here. It sounds great! If breakfast can lower your cholesterol and boost your immune system, all in one bowl, then this is fab. Especially in winter when it’s cold out and we all need a bit of a helping hand to keep fit and healthy!


HOWEVER. My problem, readers, is with the pic on the box. Dear lord. It looks like something you might see on the pavement. Or like something an astronaut might convince them self to eat, as they’re millions of miles away from any better food source. Unappetising goop with images of real fruit photoshopped on top. If the porridge (porridge?) looks like this on the box, then what it’ll look like when it actually comes out of a microwave in real life, I do not know. And I worry.

So – inspired by the idea on the box, and despairing over the picture on the box, I set about making my own. A real life, non-disappointing version of this porridge. And the ChefBeHere Super Good Porridge was born! Using only 4 ingredients: porridge oats, guava juice, dried cranberry, and fresh blueberries.



I googled and it would seem Vitamins B6 and C, and Zinc, are all naturally found in blueberries, cranberries and guava anyway. So I’ve upped the amount of fruit included in your bowl versus in the commercial version (instead artificially adding extra vitamins and minerals) to cover these nutritional benefits. And Vitamin D is the one we get from the sun – so, I’m not giving you a supplement, you can step outside you lazy bugger.

Fancy treating your immune system to a breakfast-time party in a bowl?? You do? ‘Course you do! Here’s how to do it in just 7 easy steps…

1.     Pour your oats into a bowl.
2.     Pour your guava juice into the bowl, until your oats are swimming, then stir together for a mo.


3.     Safely transport your bowl into the microwave and set microwaving for 4 minutes.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Use the next couple of minutes to get the news or Lorraine on the telly, and pour yourself some juice or get the kettle on.
4.     After 2 minutes, stop the microwave and tip the cranberries into the bowl. Stir your porridge, and then set the microwave going again.


5.     You leave the porridge microwaving now until it starts to rise in the bowl and you can see it threatening to overflow. When this happens, cancel the microwave and leave your porridge for a minute, to reflect and sink again.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: In the second stage of microwaving you need to keep a careful eye on your porridge – you don’t want to miss it rising or you’ll soon be scraping it off the top of the microwave.
6.     Your bowl will now be warm to touch, so use oven gloves or a tea towel to carefully remove from the microwave and set down on the side.
7.     Tip your blueberries into the bowl and stir everything together. When the porridge has cooled a little you can tuck in!

A champion breakfast
And that, readers, is all there is to it. Really, the only steps that you’re adding on, by not using a ready-made porridge sachet, are the two steps where you chuck fruit into the bowl and stir. Every second counts before work in the morning, I know, but if you have literally a minute or two to spare you can do this.. surely.

Having not tasted a commercialised version of ChefBeHere Super Good Porridge, I can’t really compare, in order to claim that my version is better for you / more filling / significantly tastier / more of a boost for your immune system / prettier in the bowl. So, such assertions are totally unfounded. Based on no evidence. But..

C'mon

Isn’t this a beautiful bowl of food to wake up to?? And tasty! A tropical porridge in the middle of winter! So much fruit – the ChefBeHere Super Good Porridge is a breakfast that will power up your batteries and set you on course to blast through the day. Through snow, rain, bad news, hold ups, delays, office bullshit.. I guarantee it!

Start the day right, readers, and treat your insides with this recipe. Give it a go and please let me know your thoughts! Did you find the porridge easy to prepare? Did it cook well in the microwave? Did you enjoy the taste of all the fruits? Did it set you up for a powerful morning??


Whatever your thoughts on the recipe, please do let me know. If you had any hitches – what were they? You’ve thought of improvements – suggest away. You didn’t like this porridge – how come?? You’ve tried the commercialised version – how did they compare? Fill me in with your feedback, readers, I’d love to know!

And, whether or not you find the time to make up proper porridge this week, I hope you blast through your mornings none the less! Channel your energy for the powers of good, kick arse in the office, take no bull shit. And have a fab week, readers.

Microwave safely,


Hayley



To the single gals facing Valentine's this week :
You can do it.



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