No oats and no dairy porridge


  • 125g cooked quinoa (I used half a pack of Merchant Gourmet pre-cooked quinoa)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 150ml almond milk
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • Handful of raisins
  • 2 tbsp coconut yogurt (I used COYO Vanilla Bean)

Put the quinoa and chia seeds in a pan. Add the milk. Leave it to sit for at least half an hour. You could let it soak overnight in the fridge if you like. Chia seeds work well when they have been able to soak up the liquid they are in. 

Put the pan on a hob and heat on a low heat until hot. Takes about 5-10 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan – not what we’re looking for here. 

Take it off the hob and as it’s slightly cooling, chop up the banana and pear. Stir in the yogurt and raisins. Top with chopped fruit. Eat.

Oats don’t agree with me. Which is really sad as it’s such a healthy and filling start to the day.  Plus there are all these wonderful recipes with oats in nowadays. Overnight oats are truly a “thing”.

When I first tried quinoa as an oat alternative for porridge, I followed recipes that cooked the quinoa in the milk and it just turned into a sloppy mess. I have found that using already cooked quinoa results in a much more pleasing consistency. And what makes it even more straight forward is buying a pack of per-cooked quinoa from the supermarket. I generally do an online shop with Ocado and like the Merchant Gourmet packs, I can get two servings of porridge from one pack so that suits me for two porridge breakfasts a week.

Why do I add chia seeds? Mainly because they are super good for you and in terms of taste they don’t really change anything. So why not! Chia seeds are rich in fibre, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Apparently Aztec warriors would take one spoonful of chia every day to give them strength and energy.

They are meant to be good for skin, blood sugar levels, stronger bones and improving your metabolism. Personally the benefit that is my main motivation for adding them is that they are rich in fibre, which helps with healthy bowel movements. Having suffered from IBS symptoms on and off for the last six years, I will do anything to keep things regular and “normal”. Happy gut, happy Claire.

Speaking of which, I eat dairy free as much as I can.  About five years ago, I realised that my digestive system was struggling to deal with dairy. Whilst it hasn’t eradicated all IBS like symptoms, as oats and whole nuts can also have uncomfortable consequences, going dairy free has definitely helped A LOT. That’s why I use almond milk and coconut yogurt in this porridge. I imagine soy, coconut, rice alternatives would all work fine too.

You can go anywhere with the toppings. I mean literally put whatever you have/fancy on the day: seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit, M&M’s, hokey pokey – go for gold!

17 January 2018


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