When 26 Grains, a breakfast destination specialising in porridge, recently popped up in Covent Garden, Instagram went on porridge over-drive with reposts of oats almost too beautiful to eat.
The concept is based around the Scandinavian ritual of ‘hygge,' a word all about getting cosy and bedding in for the winter. Why porridge? It's full of slow releasing healthy carbohydrates to keep you content till lunch, plus it’s packed with fibre and you can top it off with all sorts of goodness to maximise the health factors. There’s a reason athletes swear by it.
With all this in mind, we spoke to the experts at 26 Grains for their top tips for sorting your winter breakfast.
Soak your oats
We soak our oats overnight to remove the protective phytic acid layer that can cause all sorts of uncomfortable cramps and bloating. This also increases the vitamin and mineral availability that would otherwise be blocked by that very same coating.
Top quality sea salt
No matter which grains you're using, we find that salt is the best way to bring the liquid and the grains together to make a well rounded bowl of porridge. My favourite sea salt is Halen Mon.
You got to have the real deal, the little fleks of vanilla not only make it look amazing and earthy but also taste so much better than any vanilla essence or even extract.
Homemade nut milk
So easy to make, a super source of good fats and taste so wonderfully creamy and delicious
Instead of reaching for a sweetener, try playing with different spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger – these will sweeten naturally.
Carrot and Beetroot Juice
When iron rich foods are combined with foods high in vitamin C, they enhance each other's properties. Oats are a particularly high source of iron and carrots and beetroots are a wonderful source of vitamin C. Try using half water, half juice, and maybe throw in a bit of ginger for some heat.
Enjoy and then get creative with toppings! For inspiration, check out their menu here.