It is strange that some of the best alkaline porridge recipes derive from the Caribbean. This one in the picture is a Tesco fruit super-topper. Porridge’s image as a subsistence food – which sustained huge tracts of northern Europe through the middle ages before the advent of bakeries and yeasted breads – was invariably from plot to pot for many smallholders.
This gruel was improved not just with the very non alkaline brown sugar that was popular with hotels through the ’50s and ’60s – in parallel also geographically ironically with the very alkaline grapefruit. But recipes attributed to the West Indies are often valiantly alkaline bringing in important spices. This one is from LatinFood.com. The two stage cooking here is achieved by soaking the oats first for five minutes…
Soak the oats in 1 cup of water for 4 minutes. Bring two cups of water and the cinnamon stick to a boil.When the water begins to boil, add the soaked oats along with any residual soaking liquid. Stir in the raisins, reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 5 – 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes very thick. Remove from heat, stir in nutmeg
along with sugar and milk to taste.
Porridge offers plenty of other alkaline foods a route to breakfast – a compote of stewed dried fruits – apricots, figs or prunes – or as a disguise seeds like linseed or nuts, especially almonds. If you don’t smother it in sweetener the oats have a distinct, friendly flavour which stems from the magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B. They also large amounts of soluble fibre including beta-glucan, which is thought to lower cholesterol.
There are myriad variations:
Yoghurt and honey porridge – just add a spoonful to smooth and sweeten
Cinnamon and rhubarb porridge – poach the rhubarb with the cinnammon and add a spoonful
Fruit and nut compote porridge – with your own mix of almonds, banana, berry, soaked apricots
And of course you are not confined to porridge oats – other cereals like quinoa and polenta make equally alkaline porridges, but that is another post…
What is on the label?
Oats have a tough outside shell that has to be removed to eat and become groats. Rolled oats are steamed, toasted groats while oatmeal is ground grouts.