This past week has been ‘National Breakfast Week’ – shouldn’t every week be National Breakfast Week? I’ve written a few times about my love of breakfast from Autumn Coconut Porridge to Rhubarb Pistachio and Almond Bircher Muesli and how could I forget Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes! And as difficult as it is to vary your breakfast when it’s eaten on the go, just adding different flavor toppings to oats is an easy way to keep things interesting.
I’m always taking any opportunity I have to tick off an ever increasing list of cafes round town that I’d like to experience and I’ve had the chance a couple of times to visit a fantastic tiny little café in Covent Garden called 26 Grains, hidden away in Neal’s Yard just meters away from another favourite place of mine Wild Food Cafe which is a raw and veggie establishment.
26 Grains is like an oasis of porridge heaven but it’s not just your usual kind of porridge. They don’t just stick to oats but instead use various whole grains including oats, buckwheat, quinoa and spelt to name but a few. As expected they mix these with a variety of milks but where they really come into their own is their use of spices and toppings. The flavour is just outstanding and it takes all your will power to take the time to snap a quick picture of the most beautiful bowl of creamy porridge before you have to dive in head first.
They don’t just stick to sweet porridge but also have a selection of savory options; including oats with kale, egg, avocado and sriracha. I know I’m going to have to make it back for lunch soon.
On my last visit, I asked which was the most popular and favourite of the staff at the moment and they declared the ‘Hazelnut and Butter’ Porridge – get me a bowl asap!
Every mouthful was just magical. Full of gorgeous cinnamon spice, rich with butter and a hit of freshness from the grated apple adorning the top. Simply divine.
On realisng I’ve never actually written a pure porridge recipe on the blog and in honour of ‘National Breakfast Week’ I thought I’d have a stab at recreating the recipe at home.
I’m sure the recipe creator would correct me on proportions and the sequence of the creation of probably a more complex dish than I realize, but I’d say this was a decent stab at it and it was delicious in my opinion. How can it not be with such a beautiful combination of flavours; decadent crunch hazelnuts, fresh tangy apple, creamy almond oats, a touch of cinnamon and a good sprinkling of coconut sugar. Errr… what is there not to like?!
A great way to fire up your metabolism in the morning or fuel your muscles after a workout in the gym. And if you happen to find yourself in Covent Garden, make sure you take a detour to 26 Grains, you won’t be disappointed.
Hazelnut and butter porridge topped with grated apple
50g organic porridge oats
1 tsp hazelnut butter
1 tsp unsalted butter
½ grated apple
Good handful of hazelnuts chopped up
½ tsp cinnamon
250ml almond milk (I like Rude Health Almond Milk)
1 1/2 tsp coconut palm sugar
Place your oats in a saucepan with your almond milk on a medium to high heat and stir. You want to get to a gentle simmer, not boiling.
Cook your oats gently for 5 minutes before adding your hazelnut butter, cinnamon and teaspoon of sugar. Stir to dissolve the hazelnut butter and sugar.
Take off the heat and pour the porridge into a bowl before adding the butter in small chunks so that it melts on the top giving a golden sheen. The porridge should be quite creamy and not cloggy!
Sprinkle on your hazelnuts, your remaining sugar and top with grated apple.