Paleo Porridge

 

Oats are supposed to be very good for us, so when I first learned of the Paleo diet I was sceptical about cutting them out of my diet. But I did often feel tired, sluggish and bloated after my morning porridge.  So first of all I made  Chia Porridge which I found left me feeling much less bloated and also fuller for longer. Yippee!! I then decided to see if I could make a porridge that was completely grain-free, and this is the result!

This is my go-to breakfast which I adjust to whatever I have in the cupboard. I make enough for 2-3 breakfasts at a time and keep in the fridge for a super speedy breakfast. I would describe it as a cross between Bircher muesli and porridge and it is DELICIOUS!  My daughter often requests this, she loves it so much, and it’s lovely sending her off to school knowing she has a tummy full of omegas, amino acids and protein to keep her going through the day. 10 reasons to eat chia seeds

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My secret ingredient is…. Baby food! Yep. Toddler apple purée. I buy Hipp or Organix purees in bulk when they are on offer so I can have different flavours and always have them on hand to make this.

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You are only heating this to speed up the soaking of the chia seeds, so leave it on a  low heat whilst you shout at the kids to get dressed/make packed lunches/referee fights, etc.

RECIPE (serves 2-3 depending upon greed levels)

I tend to really just thrown things in the pan when I make this so it is a recipe in the loosest sense. Feel free to adjust accordingly.

1 100g tub fruit purée (my fave is Hipp Apple and Pear)

About 2/3 mug full almond milk/water

About 1/4 mug full chia seeds

V. small handful raisins/chopped dates/apricots

2 tsps cinnamon

1 large or 2 small apples, grated

pinch salt

2 tbsp (ish) ground almonds

Ground flaxseed/pumpkin seeds/chopped walnuts

METHOD

1. Warm first 5 ingredients in pan for 5-10 minutes until chia seeds soak up liquid and produce a frog-spawn like texture 😂  The heat speeds up the soaking of the chia seeds. Alternatively, you can soak them for an hour or overnight and skip straight to next step. If soaking rather than cooking, you can have this like a Bircher muesli and don’t need to heat it at all. Add splash more milk or water if texture too thick.

2. Grate your apple and mix with pinch salt. I don’t know why but I just think it tastes nicer this way.

3. Take pan off heat and stir in ground almonds, this instantly thickens the texture. Add grated apole and stir well.

4. Stir through 1 tbsp flax/ handful seeds/chopped nuts if using and top with raw honey or almond butter.  It is AMAZING with almond butter.

OPTIONS:

If I have no apples or I am in a real rush, I make this with 2 tubs baby purée and skip the grated Apple.  Just add a few more chia seeds/ground almonds to thicken it up if necessary. This option is particularly DELICIOUS with the almond butter stirred through as it gives it some texture.

This is gorgeous with Apple and Raspberry or Apple and Mango purees too, swap the cinnamon for some vanilla essence or some desiccated coconut and add extra fresh raspberries or mango on top. YUM!

Let me know any other combinations that work for you, too.

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Why am I so intolerant?

It probably means different things to different people, but, to me, it means I don’t feel great if I eat it. It manifests itself in different ways, it might be tiredness, headache, skin breakouts or bloating. To put it another way, when I avoid these triggers I feel pretty good, and when I have wheat or dairy I tend to feel run down, achey and bloated. But what it also means is I’m very lucky that I’m not allergic. If I fancy a cake or bread every so often I will try to make it organic and unprocessed and I go for it, and I really enjoy it! I find if I avoid lactose and gluten 90% of the time, then I seem to get away with the odd indulgence. Hurrah!  Picture below not organic or unprocessed, but seriously tasty.image

Intolerant Me

Nearly 20 years ago (that makes me feel old) I was diagnosed with an intolerance to wheat and dairy and advised to cut sugar from my diet.  Thus ensued several miserable years in my late teens and early twenties where I ate cardboard alternatives to bread and felt like a social pariah.  Remember, this was way before it was trendy to be ‘GF DF’ and there were very few alternatives tucked away in dark, dusty health food shops. Your university years are not quite so much fun when you are the boring one who can’t eat a kebab at 3am or share a pizza for lunch. A student budget doesn’t go far with free-from foods, either. Food became a source of anxiety, embarrassment, and somehow both an obsession and a chore.  Then, I met my future husband.  He laughed at my faddy intolerances and basically told me to man up. So, I started eating bread, and milk, and ice cream, and pasta.  It was so liberating, and my health seemed fine.

Several years, two kids later and a little squidgier and heavier, I was constantly tired and run down and decided to stop living on cakes, biscuits and toast just to make it through the day and to clean up my act. Out went processed and sugary foods and, having read about the paleo diet, I cut back on all grains, not just wheat. The prospect of going back to a life of deprivation was scary, but things have moved on so much. Cauliflower rice, courgetti, chia seeds, coconut yogurt, millions of recipes on the Internet, it was actually pretty easy. This time around, I also wasn’t too strict.

Having eaten like this for over a year now, I decided it was time to try and inflict some clean eating upon my family. In between healthy meals, we can be found munching on takeaways and dunking the odd biscuit and I am known to bribe my children with ice cream on a regular basis.