I love showing you how to take your favourite family meals and pimp them up for optimal nutrition.
There are so many different, creative ways you can pack a punch of nutrition into all your kids’ and family favourite meals, and, at the same time, curb their constant nagging for more food.
Take a humble bowl of porridge for example…
There are lots of reasons it’s already good: Oats are rich in the B-complex vitamins which help convert our food into fuel, keeping our bodies energised throughout the day and help us have great hair and skin. They’re loaded with antioxidant vitamin E which protects our cells, organs and tissues from free radicals, warding off illness and disease. Oats contain soluble fibre which helps to keep us feeling satisfied as well as help our digestive system along. Soluble fibre also provides a food source for beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Even though oats are awesome on their own, there’s no reason you can’t take that classic bowl of porridge and supercharge it!
Here are some of my favourite way to bump up the nutrition of oats
Soak oats overnight in warm water and yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk to neutralise phytic acid. Phytic acid is found in the outer layer of grains and blocks the absorption of essential mineral which can lead to deficiencies. Rinse off the oats in the next morning before cooking if you don’t like a sour tang to your porridge. If you are dairy-free you can use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead. Adding in a small amount of whole wheat spelt flour or rye flour will also help to reduce the high levels of phytic acid as they contain phytase, a natural enzyme which works to break down the phytic acid and release the beneficial nutrients.
Grind up some flaxseeds and mix through the porridge. This provides a good ratio of Omega 3s which are great for our brain health and behaviour These are relatively tasteless. You could use chia seeds as well.
Mix in some butter or cream. Once oats are cooked add these whose fat-soluble activators provide the catalyst for mineral absorption and they make it super tasty!
Top with blueberries. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and research suggests that in addition to protecting against heart disease and diabetes and improving brain function, they may also help reduce visceral “toxic” belly fat—a type of fat that has been linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Add cinnamon. Cinnamon can help to stabilise blood sugar and add extra natural sweetness.
And voila, there you have it, a delicious, satisfying bowl of goodness which makes the perfect way to start the day.
Want to know how to make my perfectly pimped porridge? Try this easy recipe.
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min
1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon whole wheat spelt or rye flour
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons whey, yoghurt, buttermilk, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1 small pinch salt
1 tablespoon of linseeds
1 heaped teaspoon butter, ghee or cream
1 teaspoon your sweetener of choice – pure maple syrup, raw honey, rapadura or coconut sugar, brown rice syrup (optional)
Slices of banana
Blueberries or mixed berries
1. Place oats and spelt flour in a small saucepan.
2. Mix together the warm water and acid medium in a separate bowl.
3. Pour over oats and mix through.
4. Cover and leave to sit overnight at room temperature, for up to 24 hours
5. Rinse oats in the morning to remove the sour tang of whey, yoghurt.
6. Add oats back into saucepan with 1 cup of filtered water and pinch of salt.
7. Simmer porridge until cooked, around 5 minutes.
8. While porridge is cooking grind up linseeds.
9. Once cooked mix through linseeds and swirl of butter, ghee or cream.
10. Serve topped with sweetener ( optional – I find the fruit adds enough sweetness), banana, berries, nuts and seeds and a good shake of cinnamon.