Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo (almost) Porridge.

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This is a delicious alternative porridge for anyone that’s diet-restricted or just interested to try a different type of hot, ‘in a bowl’ breakfast. It doesn’t taste like you’re being restricted as there’s plenty of good fats and flavour in there to satiate.
My dad discovered he was a coeliac about 30 years ago when I was still living at home and has been on a gluten-free diet ever since to control it, alongside trying to help an auto-immune condition called ankylosing spondilitis, that he also has that over time fuses your spinal joints together making it very painful and immobile. He seems to benefit from the diet on both counts, and from an early age watching my parents cook, I subsequently got quite a good understanding of different ingredients that could be beneficial for someone on a restricted diet.

More recently, I have experimented with gluten-free and paleo diets in an effort to get on top of feeling healthier myself and having more energy etc. I know, I know, another person harping on about gluten intolerance. It is a bit boring and not completely founded in proper science but it does annoyingly make sense for a certain proportion of the world’s population to not be completely at home with neolithic or grain-based foods. The ice age, when agriculture kicked off properly, was only about 300 generations ago. That’s not long from an evolutional standpoint, and could explain why some people don’t get on with certain foodstuffs. Who knows. There does seem to be a lot of anecdotal evidence (if you can call it that) to explain an incompatibility between some foods and some people. I know it’s become fashionable to be gluten-intolerant these days and if you are actually experiencing physical problems and can put up with the ridicule from your friends then all credit to you for the self experimenting. On another level, it’s great as a lot of research is being done in this area and eventually someone will arrive at some proper scientific conclusions. Or not…

I quite enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes that are restricted in their ingredients and have built up a few staples that work for me. One of these is a porridge that I regularly love to start the day with. It feels really hearty and keeps me going until a late lunch. You can improvise with this quite freely once you get the gist of proportions etc. Adding cashews, almonds or ground almonds to the mix, seeds on top instead of within….you get the idea.
Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll get a feel for it and just chuck it all in. I hope this is a useful recipe idea for some of you.

INGREDIENTS

40g desiccated coconut
30g dried fruit – whatever you have to hand – dates(my favourite), sultanas, raisins, goji berries, or a combination of these.
20g seeds – also whatever you have. I use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame or combinations again.
1 dessertspoon of coconut oil (optional)
100ml of Coconut milk – (Koko – the milk in a carton – rather than the coconut milk in a tin which is much thicker and creamier)
20g gluten-free oats, (or regular oats if you prefer) quick cook polenta, or rice flour.
1 desert spoon tahini
Honey to taste (regular sugar, stevia or maple syrup for example if vegan)
handful of flaked almonds or broken-up pieces of walnuts.

METHOD

  • In a small pan add des coconut, dried fruit, seeds, koko milk, coconut oil.
  • Turn heat to low and allow to simmer and bubble away for around 5 mins until desiccated coconut is soft.
  • Add the oats, rice or polenta to create a smooth consistency
  • Add more milk or water from kettle if you like a thinner mix
  • When all heated throughout – should take about 3 minutes – serve into a bowl.
  • Spoon on tahini and honey then add nuts.

(Matthew)

 

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