My favourite porridge condiments
I recommend oats porridge to so many of my clients that in order to make it sustainable for them, and keep it interesting at the same time, I have come up with a list of condiments I suggest them to try with it.
The trick is to keep it savoury (most people struggle to stop having sweet stuff as their first meal), healthy (nothing too fatty or oily), and make the overall dish more interesting and tasty.
Another trick is to have this condiment ready to use and not something that also requires cooking (people are busy and don't have time to get up earlier to cook).
Toast sesame seeds until golden brown, set aside once cooked and allow them to cool down before storing them in a glass jar.
Gomasio (see here for full recipe)
Toast sesame seeds until golden; add to mortar; toast salt (ratio 1 to 20) 1min; add to mortar; pound seeds and salt until 4/5th is powdery. Store in a glass jar as well.
Sunflower seeds with tamari
Toast seeds in pan until they start to colour. Once cooked to your liking (don't burn them they become toxic), take pan off the stove and sprinkle with tamari. Mix seeds quickly with wooden spoon to get the tamari to coat all your seeds. Let seeds cool down in pan, and store in glass jar.
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Same process as the sunflower seeds. These seeds will "pop" when ready. Make sure they are all toasted and popped by mixing frequently with wooden spoon. Adding the tamari is optional. I suggest you try with and without to see your preference. I personally prefer pumpkin toasted as it is.
Roast almonds in an oven at 180ºC for 5 to 10min (depending on your oven, be careful and keep an eye on them as they burn very quickly). Take them out to cool down. Here you have 2 options: sprinkle tamari on top or leave them as it is. Store in a jar when cool.
No need to roast or toast. Tip: don't keep your walnuts too long after they've been cracked open from their shell as they can go rancid quite quickly. Store them in an air tight container or glass jar.
I haven't included other nuts as they are a lot stronger and have a bigger impact on our bodies, and people tend to abuse them if they're told that these nuts are healthy (which they are if consumed from time to time and in small quantities).
Mix a teaspoon of dark miso paste with 3 tablespoons of tahini until mixture is homogenous, and add 1/2 a teaspoon of grated ginger.
2 options here: either put mixture in a pan and cook it for about 10min until the texture changes (mix frequently with spatula), OR add hot water slowly to the mixture until it becomes more liquid rather than a thick pasty aspect. You can make a big batch of brown much and store in the fridge. The cooked version is medicinal because you have "cooked" the miso and activated it with ginger. You can use this spread on all your dishes (rice, veggies, etc.).
I use the "hulled" version and just add a teaspoon to my porridge to make it more creamy. Don't abuse this stuff, it can be very addictive!
I love almond butter and if it is added to your porridge once in a while and in reasonable quantity then you have nothing to fear, au contraire!
Umeboshi plum (medicinal)
Very strong if eaten on their own. Only add a half of a pickled umeboshi plum to your porridge to make it more "yang" and salty. Before adding it try to cut it into small pieces.
Chinese dates (medicinal)
You will fin these in your Chinese herbs/medicine shop. They are medicinal (like the plums) and usually dry. Therefore add them at the start of the cooking with the uncooked oats. Usually 2 or 3 for one person is enough. Cut them into small pieces and take out the pips (or be aware that they're in your porridge to not lose a tooth). These will make your porridge a little more interesting!
Fresh grated Ginger
try it to add a little bit of spicy to your porridge. Be careful as a little amount will add a strong flavour.
Mix in a teaspoon or less of miso paste in a bowl with a bit of hot water in order to dilute. And then add to your porridge while it is still cooking (towards the end of the cooking process).