As we are in the midst of January, I find it's always nice to start the day off with something warm and satiating. Let's save the smoothies for warmer air, ay? In the winter, porridge is my go-to breakfast (second runner-up next to PB & banana toast, of course), as oats provide filling fiber and protein, whilst the many optional add-ins can keep you going with new flavors for weeks! I can't believe I haven't thought of doing this porridge combo sooner, but I'm so glad I discovered the magic of a simple berry compote! The compote is made up of only 3 ingredients, yet it tastes like you bought it at a gourmet cooking shop. More to come below on that.
Before we get into whipping up this warming breakfast, let's talk a little bit the main component: OATS! I get asked by clients a lot about oats and the differences between rolled, quick, and steel-cut. Let's get down to business.
What are the major differences between each? Different versions call for different cooking times. Quick oats are pretty much done just after adding boiling water; over-cooking them leads to mush. Steel cut oats need much more time to cook, upwards of 20 to 30 minutes. I prefer using rolled oats, which take about 5-7 minutes on the stove to cook, and leaves you with a soft but still somewhat textured bowl of goodness. The major difference between the three is the amount of processing; quick oats are the most processed out of the three, which is why they are so quick to cook! Though all have the same relative content of calories, protein, fat, and fiber, the major difference is the GI, or glycemic index. This measure indicates the effect that the carbohydrate containing food has on your blood sugar; the higher the GI, the more it will spike your blood sugar. Quick oats have a GI of 66 (which is on the cusp of high), whereas rolled has 55 (considered low). For more sustained energy, go for the rolled or steel cut variety!
And last little tidbit, how 'bout them teeny tiny golden morsels you see pictured above? Those are the gems of bees-- bee pollen, to be precise. Bee pollen is a surprisingly high-energy food, providing every single nutrient the body would need to survive. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids... you name 'em! The protein content is relatively high as well, consisting of 20-35% and includes all 22 amino acids. Some studies have also shown that daily consumption of bee pollen may also help with seasonal allergies (just make sure you buy it from a local source).
Now with that all in mind, let's get to cooking!
Porridge with Bee Pollen & Berry Compote
3/4 C. rolled oats
1/2-3/4 C. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 C. berry compote (see below)
1/2 sliced banana
1 heaping Tbsp cashew butter (I love Trader Joe's brand)
1 tsp bee pollen
for the berry compote
1/2 bag frozen mixed berries
1 tsp maple syrup
queeze of fresh lemon
Directions: Pour oats and nut milk into sauce pan. Heat on high until mixture starts to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until tender/desired consistency. While the oats are cooking, pour frozen berries into another pot. Heat on high until berries start to sizzle, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes and then add in maple syrup and lemon juice at the end.
Transfer cooked oats to a bowl. Top with berry compote, cashew butter, banana, and pee pollen. YUM!