“Oh madam, when you put bread and cheese, instead of burnt porridge, into these children's mouths, you may indeed feed their vile bodies, but you little think how you starve their immortal souls!”
Lowood Porridge - Good for the Immortal Soul
In the 1800s when Jane Eyre was written, porridge was a nutritious meal which would set hard-working men and women (and orphans!) up for a gruelling day ahead of them. Packed with whole-grain goodness, protein and fibre, it’s still a wonderful breakfast idea for the modern family. Oats also have a low GI, and naturally contain beta glucan, B vitamins and antioxidants - not bad for a humble bowl of porridge. Try it before school or work, and it’ll stop you from reaching for the vending machine at break, and help you concentrate in those early morning lessons. Creamy, yet healthy, I’ve chosen to put some seasonal figs on this bowl, with some sweet cinnamon for a real taste of autumn. Eating seasonally is something which many people have stopped doing, but it’s better for the environment and everything tastes better when it’s fresh from the tree! Back in the Brontes’ time, figs would only have been available for a few months a year, making them a special treat. Here’s my recipe for Jane Eyre Porridge - not just for orphans!
Ingredients (serves one)
50g porridge oats. I use a combination of normal and jumbo oats for texture
350ml milk or water. I use milk for a more wholesome breakfast
One fig, sliced finely
Cinnamon sugar, one sprinkle
1: Put porridge oats in a pan with your milk or water on top.
2: For depth of flavour, you can add a tiny pinch of salt.
3: Bring to the boil gradually, then simmer on a low heat for up to fifteen minutes, stirring constantly. Stirring is the most important step for porridge. I never used to stir my porridge and always wondered why it wasn’t as creamy as a liked. Stirring actually helps to break down the oats - some people have a porridge spoon with a pointed end to do this - and is vital for a good creamy porridge.
4: When porridge is thick and velvety, pour it into a bowl.
5: Add sliced fig and cinnamon sugar, or your chosen toppings.
6: Feel your immortal soul be nourished!