Whilst I try my best to avoid all refined carbohydrates, every runner needs a good base of carbs to power (or recover from) any form of long distance running. Oats are one of the best and readily available source of slow releasing carbohydrates, as well as antioxidants and soluble fibre.
I was never a huge fan of porridge, apart from on cold winter’s mornings, but it’s simple to turn regular porridge into something really delicious and packed full of other great nutrients from seeds, bananas and maple syrup (which the Daily Mail claimed last year was the new superfood to match blueberries and broccoli… but I’m never one to believe the Daily Mail!)
Ingredients (for two good size bowls, or one huge one!)
7-8 heaped dessert spoons of porridge oats
Pinch of sea salt
Few drops of good quality vanilla essence / ground vanilla powder
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
Half a mashed banana
Almond or dairy free milk of your choice
Pinch of sea salt
I put all the above into a saucepan, with a decent amount of milk – maybe a centimetre or so above the oats. Warm this through gently and stir with a rubber spatula to ensure nothing sticks, then keep adding more milk as the oats absorb the liquid until it looks like the right consistency for you. Reduce to a super low heat until the oats are all absorbed and you’ve got a nice porridge.
It’s all about the toppings! I top with a mixture of nuts and seeds, depending what I have – pumpkin seeds and flaked almonds are the staple, sometimes some pistachios or walnuts or hazelnuts which I crush gently with the end of a rolling pin. I pop the seeds in a dry frying pan and then heat on a medium heat until the almonds toast and the seeds pop. This is essential to open up all the flavours rather than have a cold tasteless crunch. Take these off the heat and pop in some goji berries or mulberries so they warm gently without burning.
Serve up the porridge (maybe add a splash more milk first to open it up) with a topping of sliced banana (the other half…) the seeds and some high quality maple syrup.
This is so good it often beats poached eggs, grilled tomatoes and avocado to the breakfast table!