Winter Warmer Apple, Date & Almond Porridge

It’s blooming freezing outside but joy of joys it’s been snowing. So before heading out into the winter wonderland a warming, hearty breakfast is a must.

This porridge is a triumph. Apple cubes partner perfectly with earthy, warming cinnamon. And all topped off with chopped nuts and deep amber maple syrup. Heaven.

This will have you warmed through and ready to face the chilliest of days.

Winter Warmer Porridge

Serves 2


  • A big cup of porridge oats
  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 6-8 dates, chopped
  • A big handful of almonds, chopped
  • Maple syrup


  • Pop your oats into a pan and pour over enough milk to cover them. Cook over a medium heat, stirring every now and then. Add more milk if it’s getting too thick.
  • Meanwhile chop your apple and pop them, along with the dates, into the pan so that they warm through with the porridge.
  • Once everything is nicely cooked, pour or dollop into bowls, sprinkle with the chopped nuts and drizzle with maple syrup.
  • Feel the warmth radiate.

Instant Brekky Oats

If you like overnight oats, you’ll definitely like Instant Brekky Oats. I do enjoy waking up to a bowl of overnight oats, there’s something so satisfying about knowing you’ve thoughtfully prepared your breakfast the night before, it’s a real act of self love. That is if you remember to assemble your oats before heading off to the land of nod. I usually get into bed before I remember that I forgot.

So Instant Brekky Oats are for people like me, people who promise their family that there will be delicious overnight oats for breakfast, kiss everyone goodnight, then slump in front of the TV for a bit and then stagger off to bed exhausted. You and me, we need those oats, like now.

This is made not with whole oats but with oatbran, which is why you can scoff this breakfast instantly with no soaking or cooking required. And like over night oats you could add anything you want to this. Any fruit (fresh, dried or pureed); any nuts or seeds; even naughty but nice additions like chocolate chips, jam or syrup.

This recipe just happens to be the version I made this morning but here are a few other combos to try:

Peanut butter and crushed strawberries

Banana and honey

Dates, grated apple and maple syrup

Toasted pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds with honey

Coconut yoghurt and mango

Chocolate spread and cinnamon

Pecan nuts and maple syrup

Instant Brekky Oats

Serves ,1 so just multiply by breakfast eaters


  • 4 level dessert spoons of oat bran
  • 2 dessert spoons of milk
  • 1 dessert spoon of peanut butter
  • 4 level dessert spoons of plain yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons of raspberry jam
  • 1/2 a banana, thinly sliced


  • In the bowl you are going to eat out of mix the oat bran, peanut butter and milk
  • Then mix in the jam and yoghurt
  • You can add more of any of the ingredients depending on whether you would like this thinner / thicker / sweeter / nuttier etc etc
  • Finally, scatter, or artfully place, the banana slices over the top

Banana Breakfast Smoothie

Bananas are perfect for delivering that much needed energy boost first thing in the morning.

My kids are going back to school soon and I predict a struggle in the morning. They’ve not had to rise from their beds before 9am since March! So a quick and easy smoothie will be just the ticket for a quick brekky before bolting out the door.

All of my children have hearty (that’s putting it mildly) appetites but if there are any first day back butterflies it might be easier to stomach a fruity drink than a hearty meal.

You can use any kind of milk for this: coconut, soya, cows milk, whatever you have in the fridge really. I added about a tablespoon of honey but to be honest it was a little too sweet for me. Just go with what you fancy.

I would hugely recommend a teeny bit of cinnamon and if I was using cows milk I might add a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract.

Banana Breakfast Smoothie

Makes 4 glasses


  • 500ml coconut milk (or whatever kind if milk you favour)
  • 2 ripe yellow bananas
  • A tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract (optional)


  • Put all of your ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth.

speedy berry & nut porridge

We needed breakfast in a hurry this morning so a quick whirl around the kitchen led me to this wholesome yet speedy porridge. It’s basically oats, milk, frozen raspberries and peanut butter. You could finish it off with honey or raspberry jam if you like a little more sweetness.

Of course you could use fresh berries, I just didn’t have any. And don’t feel it has to raspberries, that just happened to be what I had in the freezer.

And finally, don’t be constrained by my measurements. I never weigh out my porridge ingredients. I simply use a small cup to ‘measure’ the oats and pour over enough milk to cover the oats. As the porridge simmers away I often add more milk, if I’m in the mood for a runnier porridge.


Serves 2, generously

  • About 100g porridge oats
  • About 200ml milk of your choice (I used coconut milk)
  • 2 handfuls of frozen raspberries
  • 1 dessert spoon of crunchy peanut butter


  • Pop the oats, milk and berries in a pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Now that the porridge is warm you can stir in the peanut butter.
  • Keep simmering away and stirring every now and again until it has reached the consistency that you love. Remember you can adjust the texture by adding more milk at any time.
  • Serve immediately. If you’re going for the sweeter option, drizzle over honey or add a dollop of jam.