Foodie Friday: 3 Ways With Porridge - Quinoa, Barley and Polenta (Vegan & Dairy-Free recipes)

Friday 8 February 2019

3 Ways With Porridge - Quinoa, Barley and Polenta (Vegan & Dairy-Free recipes)
Stuck in a porridge rut? Bored of having oats every morning? Why not try out some different ingredients as the base to jazz things up a bit - all three of these comforting bowls are healthy, wholesome and filling!

Porridge ranks very highly as one of my favourite breakfasts to enjoy during Winter. In fact, I often eat it throughout the year, but there's something extra comforting about wrapping your hands around a steaming bowl of porridge on a cold Winter's morning; it's the food equivalent of a good cuppa when it's freezing outside.

However, porridge can get a little boring, especially if you eat it every day so I like to raid my kitchen cupboard and try out some different ingredients to keep things interesting. The best thing about porridge is how wonderfully customisable it is - from the toppings, to the consistency (just add more or less milk/water to suit your Goldilocks preference), and the actual base ingredients - you never have to get stuck making the same recipe over and over again if you don't want to.

To give you some porridge inspiration, here are three of my favourite ways to make it, all of which are vegan-friendly and dairy-free.

Creamy Quinoa Porridge with Agave Syrup, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds
Creamy Quinoa Porridge with Agave Syrup, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

Quinoa is one of the most versatile gluten-free pseudo-grains around, and if you haven't tried it as a porridge yet, this is the perfect recipe for you! It's much lighter and easier to digest than regular oats, and to make it have a creamy consistency, simply pair it with a plant-based milk such as Cashew or Coconut, which also gives it extra flavour. Packed full of protein, B vitamins and minerals, it's a super healthy way to start your day and will keep you full until lunchtime.

Ingredients: (for one)
  • 40g White Quinoa
  • 200ml Water
  • 200ml Cashew or Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds (to serve)
  • Drizzle of Agave Syrup (to serve)

  • Rinse the Quinoa well and then add to a small saucepan with the Milk and Water
  • Bring to the boil, partially cover with a lid and then reduce to a simmer. 
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes until the Quinoa is soft. Add the Vanilla Extract and Cinnamon and give it a good stir.
  • Add a splash more water or milk if desired to get the right consistency, and transfer to a bowl.
  • Sprinkle over the Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds, and add a generous drizzle of Agave Syrup. Enjoy!

Cacao & Barley Flakes Porridge with Sliced Dates and Flaked Coconut
Cacao & Barley Flakes Porridge with Dates and Flaked Coconut

If you don't want to stray too far out of your porridge comfort zone, give Barley Flakes a go instead of your regular oats. They are incredibly similar to oats, yet have a slightly denser, nuttier flavour and a chewier texture, so if you prefer a 'chunkier' type of porridge, like I often do, Barley Flakes are a brilliant alternative. They're full of beneficial fibre and minerals too. I love going all out with this recipe and making the most indulgent porridge ever with gooey sliced Medjool Dates, Cacao Powder to give it a rich chocolate flavour and a plentiful amount of Flaked Coconut on the top - simply heaven in a bowl!

Ingredients: (for one)
  • 40g Barley Flakes
  • 120ml Water
  • 160ml Almond or Soya Milk
  • 1 tsp Cacao Powder
  • 2-3 Medjool Dates (pitted and sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Flaked Coconut (to serve)

  • Add the Barley Flakes, Water and Milk to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the Cacao Powder, Dates, Cinnamon and Vanilla Extract and give it a good stir.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on how chewy or soft you want the Barley Flakes to be. 
  • Check the consistency, adding more water or milk if desired and then transfer to a bowl.
  • Top with the Flaked Coconut and dig in!

Sweet Polenta Porridge with Cardamon, Sesame Seeds and Maple Syrup
Sweet Polenta Porridge with Cardamon, Sesame Seeds and Maple Syrup

Polenta is rather underrated and overlooked here in the UK, but it's very cheap and filling, plus it's low-fat and provides a source of protein and fibre, so it's a good base ingredient to use if you want to lose some weight. Add some Cardamon for a delicious twist, a splash of Maple Syrup for sweetness and Sesame Seeds bring some additional nutrients and nutty flavour. Ready in just three minutes, it's perfect for busy morning people so there's no excuse to skip breakfast.

Ingredients: (for one)
  • 40g Polenta
  • 110ml Water
  • 110ml Rice, Almond or Soya Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamon
  • Sprinkle of Sesame Seeds (to serve)
  • Drizzle of Maple Syrup (to serve)

  • Add the Polenta, Water, Milk and Ground Cardamon to a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook for three minutes. You'll need to stir it continuously to prevent it from sticking.
  • Check the consistency and add more water or milk if desired. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle over the Sesame Seeds and finish it off with a generous drizzle of Maple Syrup. Enjoy!

What's your favourite way to enjoy Porridge?

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