Cooking healthily and happily is easier said than done. If one was just catering for one’s self the balance would be simple to achieve. For a family where one child has a severe nut allergy, another baulks at soft fruit, a husband who is becoming dairy intolerant and is not sure that seeds agree with him, misery tips the scales big time.
Porridge is the number one healthy breakfast right? Easy all in one meal with only a messy pan to wash up at the end?
2016 began with an edict: this house will no longer tolerate cardboard cereal in any shape or form. Eyes rolling and resigned sighs of family members clearly read as, “Here we go again. How long will this last: two weeks or, if we are really unlucky four?”.
I felt confident that mine would be the unluckiest family on earth and that never again would Mr. Kellogg or friend Nestle find their way into my larder. (Not so) Secret Agent Thermomix would ensure this was the case.
After all, 7-10 minutes at 98 degrees on slow speed is all it takes in the Thermomix to make delicious porridge. A quick self clean of the TM bowl soon after, makes for a muck free sink and easy clear up. Win, win no excuses. I felt safe in the knowledge that even my general laziness would keep this healthy breakfast plan from going into self-destruct mode.
Then the rumblings: number one family complainant (yes, the daughter) started with the “gloopiness”. She had a point but, refusing to give in, I glowered with a “just lump it” glare and said in no uncertain terms, “You are having porridge for breakfast.”
I was adamant but I have to admit that the amount of liquid called for does make the porridge sticky. I am guessing the liquid content is necessary to stop the porridge catching on the base on the TM Bowl which would make washing up the same chore as cleaning a saucepan (if not worse).
Other complaints began surfacing: I like mine with just milk; I like mine with whole milk; my preference is just water; can’t I have half milk half water; those seeds give me a tummy ache; that quinoa you added really doesn’t agree with me; I hate salt in my porridge; why no salt in my porridge? Can one dish be more difficult?
Guerilla tactics were escalating. I felt nutrition-less cereals trying to push their way in again. I was being battered by food junkies suffering from Cheerios withdrawal. All out war was imminent. I remained resolute. My secret agent would not let me down.
Major Google research began in earnest. This morning I found the solution in Simone’s Thermomix Essentials Blog. If it is at all possible, my love of my TM5 has grown!
Problem solved by steaming the porridge in individual bowls in the Varoma Tray for 10 minutes at Varoma on speed 2 with a litre of pre (kettle to save time) boiled water in the TM Bowl below. Each bowl is customised, starting with 50g of porridge with the addition of salt or seeds to suit each individual. Here’s the best bit: each bowl is filled with whatever liquid each person prefers: coconut milk, almond milk, water, whole milk, half milk half water…..Perfect consistency, perfectly customised porridge and no washing up of the TM bowl to boot!
One issue remains. Simone’s blog is porridge for one and she puts in 3/4 cup (180g) of oats for one portion – that seems a huge portion to me). I got 3 small bowls in the Varoma tray. The addition of a banana or other fruit and/or seeds and/or nuts once cooked makes it a substantial breakfast although you may have to transfer the porridge to get a whole banana in. My daughter could only get through half the bowl this morning. My son (home for reading week) is still asleep so I don’t know if it is enough for him. A full portion was just right for my husband. Mmm… this is sounding unintentionally Goldilocks-ish!
I have since made a pleasant discovery: the set of Japanese ceramic goblets given to me by a friend many years ago are the perfect size and fit for making five 50g portions of porridge (6 would work but I broke one two years ago). Not only will it make breakfast an aesthetically pleasing experience, it looks like the extra portion would suit my son if one bowl doesn’t cut it.
And there’s more: for variety, applesauce, raspberry or blueberry sauce made in advance and bottled make for variety as toppings. Breakfast won’t be just boring porridge.
It’s a win win excuse-proof experience. Kellogg’s and Nestle held at bay and porridge rules supreme. Secret agent TM5 now a five star general.