Sunday morning– The end of a (hopefully) well-rested weekend is one of the only days you can justify spending thirty minutes making breakfast, and another fifteen, washing up all the pots you used to make it. I for one, enjoy the extra sleep on a regular weekday and will make a simple smoothie or quick chia pudding for breakfast instead.
But chai porridge. It’s worth the luxury. Creamy, wholesome and slightly nutty steel cut oats marry sweet medjool dates and dance with Ayurvedic spices. There’s a hint of turmeric too, which gives this porridge that earthy colour, lifting porridge from its regular uninspiring tone.
(This is Maisy, she loves leftovers!)
Turmeric and I first became friends just last year. My college lecturer dedicated an entire lesson to this mild yellow-coloured spice and raved of its antioxidant potential.
Turmeric is rich in a phytonutrient called Curcumin. A phytonutrient is an active compound found in plants that helps them defend themselves when under attack (being nibbled on by an animal, or attacked by a pathogen). The presence of phytonutrients in plants is depicted by their vibrant colour. When we eat phytonutrients, we consume these active compounds and reap their health benefits.
Antioxidants are crucial for good health because they fight the free radicals we are exposed to almost every day– air pollution, cigarette smoke and toxins from things like deodorant and cleaning products. Free radicals are singular molecules which look for pairs amongst our healthy DNA. Antioxidants bind with these free radicals and create a stable a pair, protecting our bodies from replicating unhealthy cells.
Other than providing antioxidants, turmeric is also a great anti-inflammatory. Apply turmeric to a burn, a pimple or a cut and despite the fact it might dye your skin a shade of yellow, it quickly helps to reduce the expected red, angry and inflamed qualities of these ailments. Turmeric has also been shown to be incredibly effective in the treatment of inflammatory diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and Chron’s disease.
In this recipe, I’ve added a tablespoon of turmeric to boost the nutritional profile of the dish. It pairs nicely with the chai-spice blend– the hero of this porridge recipe.
- 1 Cup Steel Cut Oats, soaked overnight
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 thumb-size piece of ginger
- 1 piece of turmeric– add as much as you like, I usually add half the size of the ginger
- 1 Cinnamon Quill
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Piece Star Anise
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder or Vanilla Extract
- 1 Pinch Salt
- Add all ingredients into a saucepan. Heat slowly, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and a creamy porridge consistency is achieved.
- Serve into bowls and add your favourite toppings. I used banana, coconut, bee pollen and black sesame seeds. If you like a sweeter porridge, add some honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar to serve.