So here is a little bit about my middle son.
He was born fussing. When he was a newborn, we had to drip feed him breast milk hourly, as he refused to wake up and feed. Introducing solids was a challenge and as a toddler, he would take one look at his dinner, and storm off crying if it wasn’t what he expected. To say the least, it has been a challenge finding out what he liked and making sure that he still maintained a balanced diet. The funny thing is that he has now developed an eclectic taste. He absolutely loves garlic! As well as anything spicy. He loves curries and Pesto Pasta. And raw vegetable. Along with all the ‘plain’ foods, like white rice, pasta, bread and porridge. He will not eat sliced cheese, butter, tomatoes and eggs. Most of these things, I can hide in a variety of ways.
So every meal is a balance between serving up something everybody likes and challenging him just enough to keep exploring new tastes.
Porridge has been the one constant throughout his life. I don’t think he has missed a day without his oats. While I love for him to keep having oats of course, I see it as my job to keep introducing him and challenging him to a greater variety of tasted and textures. It is not so much for his taste buds, but also to soften his tendency to be a bit rigid in his views. And for my opposing need for variety. Call it mini life lessons from mum. Life does’t always serve you porridge the way you want it….or something like it.
So this morning called for a variation on the theme. And a sneaky way to increase protein by adding one egg to the mix.
Baked Porridge with Nuts
- 1 cup of toasted nuts and seeds. I used walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds
- 2 cups of oats (I sourced gluten/wheat free oats)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger and ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of your chosen milk. Nut milk works well
- 2 tbs maple, rice malt or honey
- 2 apples (pear, peaches or berries are great too)
Prepare a small baking dish by greasing it with butter or coconut oil. Chop up your fruit and cover the base with it. Mix the nuts with the oats, coconut and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg and sweetener. You could leave out the sweetener here and add it individually after serving.
Spread the oat mixture over the fruit, then slowly pour the liquid evenly over the oats. Drizzle some coconut oil over the top and bake for 20 min in a moderately hot oven (ca.150C).
Variations: surplus summer fruits like plums and nectarines, mixed with some frozen berries make for a pretty, juicy change. Add warming spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves are not not only warming for the body, but make the house smell lovely.
For a nut free version, substitute the nuts with seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower, linseed and sesame are awesome. For a vegan version, leave out the egg and just add some chia seed to the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before pouring over the oats.
DF, GF if using sourced oats