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A Bear’s Breakfast

April 26, 2012 by Dean Simmons, Registered Dietitian

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A Bear’s Breakfast

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? In the story, Goldilocks tries each bear’s bowl of porridge and finally decides to eat the little bear’s bowl which was “just right.” I know it’s a children’s story, but surely a more typical bear breakfast would have been a bunch of berries, some insects and a bit of some dead animal or fish.

Even so, porridge was a great breakfast choice for Goldilocks—and makes for an easy to make, low-cost, satisfying and nourishing breakfast for the rest of us humans. My family starts the day with a bowl of hot porridge most days of the week. A bowl of hot cereal with fruit, topped with some nuts and milk gives me the energy to get through the first part of the day.We usually make our porridge at home with oats, but other grains like corn, rice, wheat or quinoa can be used too. Different cultures from all over the world have been making porridge using local staple grains. If you’re looking to switch up your breakfast routine, why not try using a grain that you’re not familiar with and put it into your breakfast porridge? Here’s a basic method for making porridge.

Did you know? Research shows that breakfast eaters tend to have healthier lifestyle habits than breakfast skippers.

How to make breakfast porridge  
1.  Bring water or milk to a boil In a pot, bring the required amount of water or milk to a boil. I use 1 cup (250 ml) of fluid per adult.

2.  Add in the grain
Add in your grain of choice. For my rolled oats, I use ½ cup of rolled oats for every 1 cup of water or milk.


3.  Add in dried fruit  (optional)

I like to soften some raisins, currants or dried apricots in the cooking liquid for some added texture and sweetness.

4.  Simmer until thickened and cooked

Reduce heat and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

  • You can shorten the cooking time of whole grains like wheat berries, brown rice or barley by soaking the grains in water in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Rolled grains like rolled oats, barley, spelt or quinoa cook faster.
  • Milled grains like corn meal and semolina wheat cook even more quickly.
5.  Top and serve

Top with your choice of:

  • roasted nuts or seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds or walnuts
  • fresh cut fruit
  • plain yogurt or milk
  • ground cinnamon
  • honey or molasses

Time Saver Tip: Make a batch of your favourite porridge, portion into smaller bowls and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Then reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes for a quick healthy breakfast on the go.

If you’re a porridge lover, let us know how you make your daily bowl. If you’re new to the world of porridge why not try it and share your experience with us?

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