FOOD & NUTRITION
Six In The City - London’s Best Porridge Picks
Your expert guide to the best porridge in town...
MOVE OVER LUMPY GREY GRUEL, POSH PORRIDGE HAS ARRIVED AND IS HERE TO STAY!
Who would have thought that we could simply pop to our local and leave with a pot of quinoa and buckwheat porridge? Never have there been so many porridge varieties to choose from and we can now even ‘upgrade’ with super food toppings!
There’s no doubting the magnificent health benefits that come along with these tasty oats. From boosting heart health and lowering cholesterol to balancing blood sugar - you can’t go wrong with this warming breakfast.
This one is for you, porridge fans - we’ve asked Caroline Palmer, founder of naturallypeachy.com to give us a low-down on the best porridge picks in the City:
Coconut Milk Porridge with Peanut Butter and Blueberries
Oats, coconut milk, peanut butter and blueberries
Base options – wholegrain porridge oats
Top me up – great variety: granola and cranberry, banana and sultana, honey, jam, peanut butter & blueberries
Milk it – coconut milk, cow's milk
Price - £1.59 (plain) £1.89 (with topping)
Tossed call this porridge ‘The Tasty Tropic’ and claim it is the best around, and we agree! The porridge is the absolute star of the show here; thick and creamy, and would be just as delicious without toppings, which speaks volumes! I had peanut butter and blueberries, which elevated it to a level out of this world! A few extra blueberries wouldn’t have gone amiss but I really can’t complain. It was also the cheapest! This is an absolute breakfast bargain – and you can upgrade to a 'porridge and coffee' deal for just £1 extra! The peanut butter on top makes it a winner post–workout with 11 grams of protein in a small pot. Add in the Vitamin C, K and Manganese sprinkled in blueberry form and you have found yourself a great start to the day!
Oats, coconut milk, toasted coconuts and almonds, goji berries and blueberries with cinnamon sprinkle
Base options – wholegrain porridge oats
Top me up – Coco’s classic (strawberries, banana, blueberries, toasted almonds, decadent (chocolate, honey, pecans, cinnamon), super foods (coconut, almonds, goji, blueberries and cinnamon)
Milk it - coconut milk, cow's milk
Price – £2.25 (plain), £2.50 (with topping)
This hearty winter warmer was a mouth-watering winner, just what you need to get you out of bed on a cold winter morning and set you up for a busy day. Coco di Mama’s porridge gives a healthy twist on the traditional option with the coconut milk, making it really creamy and moreish! I loved the additional dash of cinnamon, which gave it a seasonally festive taste. Portion size was perfect and there was a great ratio of toppings to porridge – and the goji berries, full of antioxidants and nutrients offer a great alternative to banana – it’s good to mix it up a bit! This porridge was so delicious and I can’t wait to go back for more!
Almond Milk Porridge with Blueberries and Manuka Honey
Oats, almond milk, blueberries and Manuka honey
Base options – rolled oats, almond milk
Top me up – golden syrup, banana, super fruit, energy crunch, blueberries and manuka honey
Milk it – organic skimmed milk
Price - £2.25 (plain) you then pay for each topping: blueberries – (70p) / Manuka honey (40p)
Whilst Pure was the most expensive of all porridge tested, the portion size was big, and they are very generous with their toppings. I loved the fact they offered Manuka honey as it is renowned for being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory – a spoonful of this every morning should keep the doctor away in the winter months! The blueberries tasted fresh and juicy and added a zing to the overall flavour. It felt like ‘real porridge’, one that Goldilocks herself wouldn’t turn her nose at – creamy and delicious with big oats giving it a real hearty feel - I'd definitely get this again.
5 Grain Porridge with Super Seeds
Jumbo oats, quinoa, barley, rye, buckwheat, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, cranberries and honey
Base options – jumbo oats, quinoa, barley, rye, buckwheat
Top me up – the classic (banana, blueberry and honey), magic porridge (plum, apricot, mandarin compote, coconut), super seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cranberries and honey)
Milk it – 1/2 semi-skimmed cow's milk/ 1/2 water, cow's milk
Price - £1.95 (plain or with honey or cinnamon) £2.45 (with topping)
The toppings on this porridge blew us away, you get a generous serving and you can taste the flavour of the seeds rather than them just being decorative. The toppings are so fresh and textures work great together. The seeds and the 5 grains contribute to the 13.9 grams of protein packed into the pot, making it fab post workout, or busy day if you don’t fancy eggs. The seeds provide a plethora of vitamins and minerals and will make you feel very smug that you are well on your way to your RDA! This porridge offers a good middle ground – being more of the traditional creamy porridge that grandmother would make, thanks to the cow's milk. The toppings were the best bit of this porridge though, and have definitely tempted me back in for more.
Quinoa and Buckwheat with Banana
Quinoa, buckwheat, brown linseeds, honey, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond, golden linseed, chia seeds and banana
Base options – quinoa & buckwheat, wholegrain oats
Top me up– honey, berry compote, banana
Milk it - coconut milk, cow's milk (only with wholegrain oat version)
Price - £2.25
This quinoa and buckwheat porridge offers an alternative to the traditional oat base, and although it’s still a super healthy version, let’s not forget that the simple oat is a nutritious delicious superstar in itself. Yes, it might be a trendy breakfast, but I would prefer to stick with the retro oat. This is certainly not shy of toppings – piled high with antioxidants and super nutritious goodness, including; banana, honey, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds and golden linseeds. Be warned though, it is pretty sweet - and possibly relies too heavily on the toppings for flavour as the base is a little watery and lacks punch. We love all the healthy ingredients, but can’t help but think this one is a bit of a porridge pretender!
5 Grains Porridge with Mango and Seeds
Seed mix (oats, quinoa, amaranth, flax seed), coconut water, seed and fruit mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sultanas and mango)
Base options - 5 grain (oats, quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds), wholegrain oats
Top me up – fruit compote, honey, fruit mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sultanas and mango)
Milk it - coconut water (only with 5 Grain porridge), or cow's milk (only with wholegrain oats)
Price – £2.65 for 5 grain or £2.35 plain oat
Pret offers an exciting dairy-free alternative to the traditional oat porridge with their 5 Grain Porridge, using a mix of pinhead oats – which are naturally gluten-free, mixed with amaranth – a protein-rich grain, bursting with vitamin B6, flax seeds and quinoa. It’s packed with vitamins, with a light and nutty flavour, but as much as we love anything containing copious amounts of quinoa, it’s missing the all-important comforting creamy texture, so we aren’t so sure that the Three Bears would approve! Although it’s good to mix it up and a great one to grab and go from the shelf if you are in a rush, there are also only 3 toppings to choose from so are lackingin rich flavours. If you prefer your porridge in a more traditional serving, you would be better to reach for their all-oat option.
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