Apple & Cranberry Baked Porridge

Porridge! It doesn't really get much more comforting on a blisteringly cold winter morning. Endless combinations to suit your mood and, to kick it up a notch, baking it! 

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Baking does something incredible to regular ingredients. It lifts them to places you could never imagine they could go, making a sprinkling of cinnamon and a handful of pecans fill your house with warmth, making you feel as though you've just walked into a bakery. I mean, who doesn't love that smell? Combined with the fresh, sweet and tangy apples that somehow transport you into memories of winters past where you're mum would rustle up something special for dessert on a weeknight, like crumble or stuffed apples, making home feel even homier. That's exactly what this breakfast feels and tastes like!

'I'd like a bowl of porridge please.'

'How about a side of nostalgia with that?'

How could one possibly resist?!

 

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 cups Oats

4 cups hot water

1/3 cup Coconut milk*

1/4 cup Maple Syrup/Honey

1 Apple

1 cup Fresh Cranberries

1/2 cup Sultanas

1/2 cup Walnuts/Pecans

1tsp Cinnamon

Vanilla*

a pinch Salt

Pumpkin Seeds (for sprinkling)

You can also add other things, like flax seed and chia seeds

*I used coconut milk because it's what I had, but you could just use a splash of any milk you have at home, usually i'll use almond milk. You could even at a tablespoon of coconut oil as the addition of the milk/oil is just for added creaminess.

*I use vanilla powder, so only need a sprinkle, but you could just use a tsp. of vanilla extract ,or flavouring, if you cant find alcohol free extract. Equally you could just scrape the inside of a fresh vanilla pod.

Method

Preheat your oven to 180ºC Fan/200ºC

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the oats, cranberries, milk and hot water, and leave to soak as you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  2. Start chopping the apple into cubes, keeping the skin on as a source of extra fibre, deliciousness and pretty colour.
  3. Then chop the nuts and mix together the rest of the ingredients apart from the maple syrup and pumpkin seeds.
  4. By now you should be able to see the cranberries' skin split and the oats having soaked up most of the water.
  5. Add everything, including the maple syrup, into the oat mixture and give it a good stir
  6. Pour it all into a baking dish, sprinkle with the Pumpkin seeds and bake.
  7. 30 minutes is all it takes and it's ready to eat! 

To serve, if you're like me and like everything sweeter, drizzle with a little more maple syrup, splash in a little more milk and enjoy. You can even jar it up and take it with you to eat later at School/Uni/Work!