Traditional Scottish Porridge Recipe

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Bowl of Hearty Porridge. GettyImages
    12 min
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Discover the healthy and nutritious breakfast dish of Scottish porridge. The use of oats in this dish is one of the healthiest starts to the day. Long slow-release carbohydrate will sustain from breakfast through to lunchtime, making Scottish porridge a real "Super Food".

True porridge should be cooked in a pan and stirred with a wooden spurtle (stick) but don't worry, you can use a wooden spoon.

What You'll Need

  • 110g/4oz pinhead or rolled oats
  • 275ml/9½ fl oz water or milk or a mixture of both
  • Tiny pinch of salt (optional)

How to Make It

  • First decide whether you want your porridge made with all water, with all milk, or a mixture of the two. If in doubt, if you like a creamy porridge, all milk works best.
  • Place the oats in a heavy saucepan and add the milk or water.
  • Gently bring the oats to a slow boil, stirring all the time until the porridge begins to thicken.
  • Once thickening has begun, lower the so as not to burn the porridge. Allow the porridge to simmer for approx 7 mins (sooner if the porridge is thick enough and heated all the way through) remove from the heat and leave to stand for 1 min. Leaving the porridge to stand helps to cool it slightly; eating straight away can sometimes burn the mouth.
  • Serve the porridge in warmed bowls with either maple syrup, brown sugar, golden syrup or a teaspoon of jam as preferred.

Types of Oats for Porridge

Goldilocks knew what she was doing when she ate the porridge from each bowl, finally choosing the tastiest. This traditional Scottish dish has many tastes and textures. Some like it thick and sweet, some with salt. Instant porridge (frowned on by porridge purists) is often smooth and a lighter consistency.

These variations are all a matter of personal choice and rely on the oats used and the cooking method.

The oats used for porridge determine how hearty the final dish will be and how long to cook; the finer the oats the quicker the cooking time. The oats used for porridge are usually rolled rather than crushed and Scottish oats, also known as "pinhead oats" and are the ones used for Scottish porridge.

Choose rolled oats if you want a smooth consistency and a porridge that cooks quickly. Rolled oats have a medium grain and are used for oatcakes, biscuits and stuffing.

All oats have the same nutritional value so by choosing them guarantees you a hearty, comforting, breakfast to see you through to lunchtime.

Oats are a slow release carbohydrate and perfect for a low G.I. diet. Research also shows they are also useful for lowering cholesterol.