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Food & Drink

Autumn, Food & Drink

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organic porridge with cinnamon roast plum

porridge with roast plum

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What makes you happy?  Right now I’m enjoying the early autumnal walk back from school as I drop my eldest off for the day.  The journey there is always a rush to get out the door and to get to school in time, but the journey back is a much more placid affair.  My youngest and I can take our time and wander slowly home, saying hiya to all the neighbourhood cats and dogs,  and watch the leaves go plip as they fall from the trees.   Because autumn is happening, whether you like it or not.  I found my first conker today.  Just saying.

Once we get home it’s my time for breakfast.  I never have time before school to eat so I make a point of taking time to eat a hearty breakfast once I get home as that morning walk always works up a serious appetite.

I love porridge, particularly when the seasons transitions from summer to autumn, and a cold breakfast just doesn’t quite cut the mustard anymore.  On those chilly mornings when you feel like you need something warm and comforting for breakfast, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of porridge to fill you up and warm your cockles.

As good as porridge is, I quite like to add some variation to my porridge depending on what’s in season.  This month, it’s all about the plums.  While fresh chopped plums are pretty good in porridge, for a little extra treat when I’m feeling fancy I will roast my plums with honey and cinnamon for a sweet and spiced healthy breakfast of kings.

organic porridge with cinnamon roast plum

We have a huge plum tree on our allotment and have an abundance of them right now.  What makes me extra happy is that our plums are grown organically – we don’t use any pesticides or anything on our allotment.

I also try to buy organic foodstuff where possible, where budget allows, as there are myriad reasons to buy organic, not least because it’s better for us, better for the environment, better for wildlife and better for farmers and farm workers.  My daughter so sweetly used to describe fairtrade as “something that makes the farmers happy”, which I think could definitely be applied to organic food as well!

This month the Organic Trade Board are inviting you to feed your happy by experiencing the unadulterated joy of organic food.  As part of this I thought I’d share with you my organic porridge with cinnamon spiced roast plum recipe in the hope that this delicious healthy and organic breakfast makes you as happy as it makes me (and the environment)!

Organic Porridge with Cinnamon Spiced Plum

organic porridge recipe

Ingredients

Makes one portion

I’ve put links of where to buy the ingredients organically in case you can’t find them locally.

Approx 30g organic oats

Approx 250 ml water

Pinch of salt

1 organic plum

1/2 teaspoon organic honey or maple syrup

Pinch of cinnamon

Splash of organic milk or vegan milk (optional)

Handful of organic walnuts

Method

Preheat your oven to 170°C/150°C fan oven.

Slice your plum in half and remove the stone.

Place your plum halves cut side up in an oven dish and drizzle with the honey and sprinkle the cinnamon on top.

Place in the oven for around 15 mins.

After 10 minutes of roasting time, prepare the porridge as per the instructions on your packet of oats.  I find that adding around 30ml of oats and 250ml water, with a pinch of salt, and bringing that to the boil, and then stirring vigorously for one minute does the trick for me but you might have your own preferred porridge technique that I don’t want to get in the way off!

Add a splash of milk (if you want to make creamier porridge) and stir well, and top with your honey roast plums and a few chopped walnuts and sit back and enjoy!

As well as my recipe, there’s a really delightful video with Feed Your Happy ambassador Sara Cox (I love Sara!) on the joy of eating organic food, and the Organic Trade Board are inviting you to share why organic food makes you happy with the #feedyourhappy hashtag.  You can also follow along with the campaign on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram too.

feed your happy

The content of this blog represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made from the information it contains.

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

Vegan Milk That Doesn’t Curdle

vegan milk that doesn't curdle

I’ve been on the hunt for vegan milk that doesn’t curdle for years. Years. For me, personally, it’s been the biggest barrier in switching from regular milk to vegan milk.

I don’t drink coffee that much, but I like a cup in the morning to fire me up for the day. And yet with every vegan milk I tried, and I tried them all, every single milk curdled in my morning coffee.  See exhibit A.  A cup of milky coffee is an indulgence of mine, and curdled milk was not cutting it for me.

I tried rice milk, soya milk, oat milk, almond milk, sweetened almond milk, coconut milk in the quest to find vegan milk that doesn’t curdle.  Heating the milk. Waiting for my coffee to cool.  Pouring the milk into my coffee over the back of a spoon.  You name it I tried it, and yet the milk still curdled.

I had given up the vegan milk quest (although I was reducing dairy in other parts of my diet), until the other day when I was in a shop and stumbled across Oatly Barista Milk.  Made from oats, it’s marketed at baristas who want foamable milk for making latte art (how hipster!).  I’m no latte artist, but I figured at £1.95 a carton it would be worth a try to see if it wouldn’t curdle when just poured straight into coffee.

vegan milk that doesn't curdle

I got home and made myself a coffee, and lo and behold, my hunch was right – Oatly Barista Milk is the first vegan milk that doesn’t curdle that I’ve come across!  I’ve also found I much prefer the taste and texture of this milk over the standard Oatly oat milk I tried before, or any vegan milk for that matter.  It has a nice thick, non watery texture unlike all the vegan milks I’ve tried before, and a pleasant taste that doesn’t overpower the tea or coffee.  And it tastes nice in breakfast cereal and porridge too!

It is available in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, and may be available in some organic/natural food shops.

The Oatly Barista Milk has a long date on it (unopened it can store un-refrigerated for a year) so I want to buy it in bulk as it’s not available in my local area.  It’s been hard to track it down as a bulk buy available for postage.  The best price I can find it online in bulk is £11.21 for a pack of six* with free delivery from Healthy Foods Online, a third party seller on Amazon.  If you don’t mind shopping directly with Amazon, I have found it for £7.20 for a pack of six* with free delivery.

If you want to avoid Amazon altogether, it is available for £11.21 for a pack of six with a £2.99 delivery charge from 123 Healthshop.

vegan milk that doesn't curdle

ps: you might like this post on is there plastic in your tea?