Monday, November 14, 2011

Guest blogger: Sabrina in London

When I started this blog I asked a few like-minded, long-distance friends to join me as regularly featured guest bloggers. One of the people I asked is my lifelong friend Sabrina. We met in Kindergarten, grew up together in Dunwoody and went our separate ways as adults. While I was moving from Atlanta to Rhode Island back to Atlanta; Sabrina was moving from Atlanta to Florida to New York City to London. Despite the distance she has remained the kind of friend that never feels far away and is always easy to talk with no matter how much time has gone by. When Oliver asked me to marry him I knew it had to be Sabrina who officiated our ceremony - so off to the Internet sensation Universal Life Church she went! Suffice it to say, Sabrina is an incredible person. Sincerely beautiful both inside and out. Her first guest post follows:

This porridge is tooooo hot!
Before I moved to the UK, my opinions on porridge were grave at best.  To be fair I didn't know much about it - aside from the fact it was something Goldilocks ate.  I certainly believed the consistency was better suited for plastering one's wall.  That was before I met Dave.

My boyfriend Dave, Film Exec turned Acupuncturist, natural food enthusiast and over-all well being guru handed me a cup of tea our first morning together and exclaimed, "I'm making porridge, would you like some?"  Knowing I couldn't be rude I responded with a begrudging yes. Minutes later he handed me the steaming bowl of porridge, only this time it didn't look like prison gruel.  It was colourful!  It had berries in it!  And almonds and bananas and a little swirl of agave nectar on top.... this looked good!  Sure enough, one bite and I was sold.

Dave swears by porridge's nutritional qualities, namely a sugar free breakfast option that has a low GI and will keep you fuller longer.  Before I started eating it, I would be hungry and looking for snacks by 11am - now I start feeling hungry at lunchtime and have cut out the snacking... another bonus!

We have porridge every morning, but try our best to change it up as much as possible.  Fruits of all seasons make an appearance in our morning bowl of goodness - anything from the usual apples (with cinnamon mmm!) to the extraordinary pomegranate.  We've even started to add flax seeds and chia seeds for added texture and health benefits :)
We're a dairy-free house, so we use all kinds of milk when we make it (water's ok too but then I advise adding an extra teaspoon of honey).  Soy Milk is our usual favourite but we've also used Oat Milk, Almond Milk and even Hemp Milk!

One tip to cut down the amount of time it takes to make in the morning: Dave and i always have a bowlful of fruit in the fridge, already cut up in small bite size chunks which we toss on top of the porridge in the morning.  Slice up a banana and voila, breakfast!

Sabrina's recipe (serves 2)
1 cup rolled porridge oats
1 banana
1/4 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon agave nectar
handful of mixed nuts / seeds (we use almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
large pinch of dried coconut
Dump all of the above into a small saucepan and pour in enough soy milk to cover.  Turn heat on low and stir continuously so the porridge does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  The porridge will soak up a lot of the milk, so you can add a few splashes of water at this stage to thin out the porridge if it's too thick for your liking.
Serve piping hot with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy! :)

Thanks again Sabrina! We're all looking forward to your next post. Sabrina documents her fabulous European travels on her blog - click here to read it. 

P.S. The photo is from Halloween 1985. We're dressed up as Cabbage Patch Kids. 


  1. Hi Christy. I wanted to add to the wonderful rolled oats porridge that Sabrina & Dave cooked for me and her Dad when we visited the UK last winter. I discovered Bob's Red Mill High Fiber Oat Bran hot cereal & another 7 grain cereal they carry at Big Lots. It's about $3/$4 for a 1 lb bag. I am mixing the 2 cereals together. I found that if I measure out the cereal & add preferred liquid to pot and just leave in pan without cooking while I take my shower, the porridge swells, cooks in less time and is creamier without much effort or burning. You may have to add more liquid but I add water at this point. I add my yum yums like cinnamon, honey or agave etc like Sabrina, I add dried cranberries to the porridge from a 4 lb bag at Costco for under $10 when you consider a few ounces at the big box stores is about $4. In my investigation, adding whole flax seeds is undigestible and should be crushed & then sprinkled on porridge for extra fiber if desired. I use the small coffee ginder to grind the flax seeds and you can mix in your shakes too. Big Lots carry ground flax seeds too. Check out Big Lots for other whole grains they have too. Thanks for reading. Lilia Singh

  2. Hello Lilia! Those are wonderful tips, thank you! I'm going to try the craisins and ground flax seeds on my oatmeal. Hope to see you sometime soon - until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Are rolled porridge oats different then steel cut oats?

  4. Steel cut oats are hulled oats that have been coarsely chopped with a blade while rolled oats are hulled oats that have passed through rollers to flatten them. Steel cut take a little longer to cook but end up with a bit more texture (al dente). Quick cooking oats have gone through both processes which is why they end up being mush.

    Usually we have both types on hand. If I plan in advance I'll cook up a 2-3 days worth of steel cut oats (3 parts liquid to 1 part oats for about 30 minutes) and stick em in the fridge. If not, it's rolled oats for 5-10 minutes.