Thrifty Deskfest #5: Porridge Three Ways

Miss Thrifty8 January 20, 2013

Well, I couldn’t really run a series on thrifty breakfasts without including porridge, could I? Not only are porridge oats a low-cost option (a 500g bag of oats costs around 65p), but my trusty tiffin allows me to make three bowls at a time. I get to be Goldilocks.

 porridge recipe

There are lots of porridge recipes out there. The purists point to the original Scottish version, made with water and salt instead of milk or cream. I thought about going there but in truth, when I make porridge I plump for compromise: half water, half milk.


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

  • 1 cup porridge oats
  • 2.25 cups liquid (water, milk, both - your choice!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Brown sugar or honey, to sweeten (optional)
  1. Add the oats, liquid and salt to a saucepan.
  2. Simmer for five minutes.
  3. Sweeten to taste.

Plain porridge suits me fine but is a devil to photograph: even with the nicest lighting, it looks like boring beige gloop. Fortunately porridge takes five minutes to make and five seconds to dress up a little.

porridge three ways

Here we have:

Plain porridge with fruit and brown sugar. I added a few redcurrants, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, from the £1.50 tub of frozen summer fruits I opened earlier in the week, for the Homemade Honey Nut Granola breakfast. Even if you don’t have brown sugar, do be sure to use granulated: such a satisfying crunch. I have read porridge recipes in which the cook spoons sugar on top of the porridge and then nukes it creme brulee style, with a blowtorch or grill. I wasn’t going to try that with a handpainted metal tiffin bowl, but I bet it tastes delicious.

Almond and banana porridge. A revelation. I made this porridge for the first time, using some of the Alpro almond milk I was sent. When I was on an enforced dairy-free diet I tried almond milk in coffee and in pancakes, but never porridge. Now I know I missed out! I hadn’t tried almond milk in porridge before, but it worked well: it tasted surprisingly creamy. All I would say is, this porridge was thicker than porridge made with regular milk or water, so if you make it with almond milk I’d add an extra slosh. I used sweetened almond milk but unsweetened is available too, depending on your preference.

Just before serving, I stirred in some small chunks of banana, and topped with some banana slices and also a few flaked almonds, which I had toasted in a heavy-bottom pan on the hob.

Apple and cinnamon porridge. Chopped apple stirred in just before serving; sprinkled cinnamon and sliced apple on top.

I couldn’t eat it all, but I was at home today, so I had some help from Baby Bear:

baby bear porridge


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8 Responses to “Thrifty Deskfest #5: Porridge Three Ways

Angie Wootten says:

What a beautiful child!
I got a big bag of porridge oats with my Nectar points the other day for free! We make batches up – with a teaspoon of castor oil – for our chickens. They love it, lay us tasty eggs some of which we sell to our neighbours for £1 a half dozen. ‘Do the Math’ as they say.

January 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

I love porridge and have it every day – I just use water though and it tastes fine to me… I always add a little bit of cinnamon, ginger and chopped up bananas. Lovely!

January 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm

James Barton says:

I will try this, looks better than my usual muesli bar! I will use the just water/no milk version as am moving towards veganism. I had to look up what a tiffin was, they look really useful. 🙂

February 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Jackie says:

I like to add the contents of a couple of crushed cardamom pods to my porridge before cooking it!

February 15, 2013 at 12:24 am

Miss Thrifty says:

Oooh, that sounds nice!

February 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Marek says:

Thanks for these great ideas to change up porridge! Will help me get thru these winter months brrrr!!!

February 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Darren says:

I bought a bag of porridge oats only the other day!

I used to have it very frequently and always used milk. It never occurred to me to use half milk and half water to save money. I have some bananas too so I;ll give this a go.

March 16, 2013 at 12:42 am

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