the best breakfast dish – scottish porridge

In my constant quest to healthier eating I recently discovered the most awesome breakfast dish ever – porridge.

I first had porridge on my Scotland holiday two years ago and loved it. As with so many holiday treats we enjoy and promptly forget again I never thought to try and make my own until a few weeks ago. It takes no more than a few minutes to prepare and once you get into the habit porridge is seriously addictive.

I wonder how I lived without a warm breakfast before. There’s something incredibly comforting and satisfying about starting the day with a warm bowl of oats with a burst of flavor and vitamins from fresh berries.

scottish porridge for breakfast. little home by hand blog.scottish porridge for breakfast. little home by hand blog.My recipe (serves 1):

Berry porridge

  • 1/2 cup fine oat flakes (I believe they are called oatmeal in the US)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (cow’s milk is the usual, but I use oat milk)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a bit of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (or more to taste)
  • fresh or frozen berries (I like blueberries best but you can use any kind)

Combine oat flakes, water, milk, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring, until a thick consistency is reached (this happens very quickly, be careful to keep stirring to prevent burning the porridge). I like to add the cinnamon at the very end actually because it just makes it all smell divine.

Put the berries in a small bowl, pour porridge on top, add the honey and mix well. If you use frozen berries the porridge will thaw them and the whole mix will be cool enough to eat nearly right away.

Actually I would recommend thawing the berries first but I never seem to find the time for that in the morning.

scottish porridge for breakfast. little home by hand blog.There are nearly endless variations of this dish – you can vary the berries or try chopped apples instead, add nuts and seeds or a bit of linseed oil if you want to go super healthy. In Scotland it was often served with cream (yum).

Speaking of Scotland – wow, what a week! I freely admit to being only moderately interested in politics. I hardly even read the news. It feels like there are so many terrible things happening in the world, it would take more caring and thinking and feeling horrified about than I can muster in my life. Does that make one a bad person? To consciously decide not to become emotionally invested in all the suffering going on in the world?

Anyway, back to Scotland. Maybe it’s because my next Scotland holiday is already booked (yay!) or that I’ve fallen head over heels for the Outlander book series (there’s a TV adaptation, too!) but this week leading up to the referendum had me all excited. I’m a sucker for history and it felt magical watching history in the making. I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t go through with it in the end, but it is reassuring in this violent world that decisions of such importance can still be reached peacefully, democratically.

Did you follow the scottish referendum? Is porridge the greatest breakfast dish ever invented?

scottish porridge for breakfast. little home by hand blog.

28 thoughts on “the best breakfast dish – scottish porridge

  1. lealacoste

    Porridge has been my new go to breakfast for a month or so and it was so funny to start reading the Outlander books and hear Jamie speak about it ^^ I’m super obsessed with Scotland (and Outlander!!) lately too, hoping I will be able to go as well soon!

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Yay, a fellow Outlander fan! They do talk about it quite a lot! I haven’t enjoyed a book series so much in a long time – the characters (Jamie especially) are so complex, they feel like real people. I’m on book 5 right now๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Inge

    Love this post Kristina. I don’t think I’m a porridge person, but your post almost has me wanting to try! And I’m with you on the news. I don’t think it makes us bad people, I think in a lot of these situations there’s not a lot you can do about it. So it’s my theory that what you can do is spread positive energy to balance out all the negative. And it’s pretty difficult to stay positive if you get emotionally invested in all that goes on in the world.

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    1. Kristina Post author

      I love the thought of spreading positive energy to counteract the negative! It’s hard sometimes but I absolutely agree. Let me know if you do decide to try porridge๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Lindsay

    I don’t think it makes you a bad person either. The world is really big, and sometimes the only thing we can do is focus on what’s in front of us. I really admire people who go out of their way to make a difference outside of themselves, but I’d like to think that the little positive choices we make in daily life have a big impact on others too.

    That oatmeal looks delicious! I had some for breakfast this morning, too. Frozen berries and all, though I never thought to cook it with water AND milk. Gonna have to try that next time.

    Adding the Outlander series to my to-read list, too.

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Thank you! I believe that’s true, every little bit of happiness and positive energy we can spread daily counts. Let me know how you like your oatmeal with milk and if it tastes different! I haven’t tried mine with cow milk but I really like it with the oat milk. I think almond milk would also be very nice.
      Yes, do read Outlander!! I’m trying to convince everyone I know of the books and the series, I’m enjoying the story so much๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Martha

    It looks so yummy! I love porridge in the fall and winter. I make mine very similar to your version. But instead of adding the cinnamon at the end I use a cinnamon stick and cook it in the porridge (and discard it before eating) and top it off with golden raisins or dried cherries.
    I have some fresh berries I got from the market I need to try your recipe.

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Mmh, golden raisins and dried cherries sounds lovely too! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to try that and the cinnamon stick๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. lvaletutto

    We frequently had steaming bowls of hot oats for breakfast when I was growing up as it was cheap and easy to prepare in the mornings before school started and could feed an army (6 kids). I hated oatmeal as a kid and would hardly ever be able to finish mine… As an adult, however, I’ve learned to like oats quite a bit but prepared in different ways. For example “soft” or quick oats soaked in cold water with a tsp of lemon juice and served with warm fruit on top or for cooked oats I really prefer the steel cut oat variety from Ireland that you can buy in the United States (and throughout the UK I’m sure) but I haven’t yet seen here in the German supermarkets: http://www.mccanns.ie/
    You should really give them a try if you can find them, they really take breakfast porridge to a whole new level!

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      1. Kristina Post author

        Your way of making it sounds very interesting (and different) as well, I think I’ll try the overnight method sometime! That almond brittle from your recipe looks so good๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think I’ve seen McCanns oats anywhere in Germany, but it might be possible to get them from the english supermarket in Duesseldorf. If I’m ever near there I’ll have a look!

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  6. Heather-Joan Carls

    Bob’s Red Mill here in the US makes Scottish Oatmeal. I have tried it and I really like it. It is made straight from the package either in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. It is made differently, just a little, from our oatmeal, and it is made from a meal rather than whatever our traditional oatmeal is made of. I had made it in the microwave, only because I am not entirely awake at 5-6am๐Ÿ˜‰
    Btw, on another note…it seems I am not getting your posts anymore. I have been thinking of you lately and wondering how you had been and why I hadn’t received a post from you lately so I went to my dashboard and clicked on your blog and saw you had posted this on the 21 September and saw that you had been posting regularly. Is it because I had deleted my blog and created a new one perhaps? But I don’t see why it would make a difference because I get everyone one else’s posts, here on WordPress and beyond. ??? Strange…. I wonder what happened…

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Hm, that’s strange that you haven’t been getting my posts! How did you subscribe to my blog? I use a feed reader (feedly) and I know for sure they have been showing up there. Maybe you just need to subscribe again?

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  7. Cooking with Manu

    I agree that porridge is the best breakfast ever!!! I only found out about it when I met my boyfriend who is scottish and I admit that, despite my best efforts, I am not very good at making the creamy goodness that is real porridge… But I will try your recipe and let you know how it turns out!

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Do let me know if it works – though with a scottish boyfriend I’d let him manage the porridge, he’s supposedly the expert๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Stephanie

    Stumbled upon your post while looking for new ways to eat my porridge. I’ve had porridge almost every single morning for breakfast for years, but put brown sugar on it and am trying to find a different way to make it more interesting sans sugar. ๐Ÿ™‚ This sounds awesome and so easy so I’ll give it a try! I, too, am obsessed with Scotland and Outlander!! My friends have started rolling their eyes when I talk about how great the books are and my husband adamantly refuses to read them. Haha.

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Let me know if you like it the way I make it! Have you read all the Outlander books? I’m still reading, just started book 7. My boyfriend refuses to read them too๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Stephanie

        I will let you know! Excited to give it a try. As for the books, back in January, I asked on Facebook for recommendations of books set in Scotland (I may have a wee Scotland obsession) and Outlander was recommended. I bought it but it sat on my shelf unread until I saw the ads on tv for the series! So I’m actually just in the middle of the first book. Can’t wait to see what happens! (I’m settling for the Outlander Book Club forum online since my husband won’t read the books with me.๐Ÿ˜‰ At least he watches the tv show with me!)

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        1. Kristina Post author

          I’m right with you with that Scotland obsession! I can’t wait to go back, hopefully next year. Wow, you have SO much story yet to go (slightly jealous) – you’re in for a ride, promise. Though some parts will be tough to read!

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          1. Stephanie

            Someone else said that same thing to me (about being jealous) last week! Makes me even more excited to see what happens – but I’m trying not to read it *too* quickly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m hoping to spend the full summer in Scotland next summer (by myself as it’s my husband’s busy time at work). Fingers crossed! If only I could figure out how we could get visas to spend more time there…

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    1. Stephanie

      I can’t wait!! My last two weeks will be travelling around because my husband will be flying out to join me. But the first 4 weeks… I don’t know!! I’m starting Scottish Gaelic lessons here in Vancouver in January so I’m considering taking a 1-week Gaelic intensive at the university on the Isle of Skye. I also have recently started playing the fiddle so another thought is a 1-week fiddle camp with Alasdair Fraser (who I *love*) at the same university. I’ve travelled Scotland extensively in the past so I’d love to really get to know the local culture in one place… though there are a few towns I have yet to see!! Ahh, what to do?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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