Barley and orange porridge

This was inspired by an Yotam Ottolenghi barley and orange pudding. I thought it had breakfast written all over it, so I played around and made it more breakfast than pudding.  The barley does take a while to cook, so it’s worth making it the day before and then just warming it up in a pan with an additional glug of milk to soften it up again.

This has a much more ‘bitey’ texture than normal oat porridge, in fact it probably isn’t really a porridge at all, but the cooking and serving is similar so I think I can get away with it.  It also has more protein than oat porridge, and that has to be a good thing.

Barley & Orange porridge (makes two portions)

  • 125g pearl barley
  • 700ml coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • One orange
  • Plus toppings of choice

Method

In a saucepan put the barley, sugar, vanilla pod (scrap out the seeds and add these and then add the remaining pod as well), milk and the grated zest of the orange.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 50-60 minutes.  Keep checking in case you need to add a bit more milk. The barley should keep some of its bite.

Then either eat straight away and add your toppings, or cool and put in the fridge overnight.  Remember to take out the vanilla pods before eating.

Toppings

Melt a bit of coconut oil (or other oil) into a small pan and add some orange segments and a bit of brown sugar.  Heat for a couple of minutes to soften and caramelise the orange.

Other toppings include:- cacao nibs, chocolate coconut yoghurt (truly lovely with this), sesame seeds work well too.

 

 

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Orange spice chia bowl

Autumn means warm spices, I love the aroma of cloves and nutmeg and of course cinnamon at this time of year (0r indeed any time of year to be honest).  The blend with oranges is lovely and the addition of some honey spice nuts definitely gets into the autumn spirit.

I made the chia mix first thing in the morning before I went out with the dog and then fried the nuts at the last minute before serving so they were warm and sticky. Seriously good when eaten with a tired dog at your feet.

Orange spice chia bowl

orange-spice-chia

  • 1 orange – peeled
  • 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Mix of almonds and walnuts (or other nuts) – I used around 5 almonds and 2 walnuts for one portion)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • More mixed spice
  • More natural yoghurt to serve

In a blender blitz the orange, tablespoon of yoghurt and a teaspoon of mixed spice (or add more if you want more of a spice hit).

Put the orange blend in a bowl and add the chia seeds.  Leave for at least an hour or overnight to allow the chia seeds to soak up the juice.

For the nut topping – chop the nuts and dry fry them for a couple of minutes in a small pan. Add the honey and spice and stir fry for another minute or two.

Layer up your bowl with the orange chia mix, natural yoghurt and the spiced nuts.

 

Vass Smoothie

I’ve just returned from a holiday in Vasiliki in Greece and this smoothie was the smoothie of the day at my hotel.  I had it on my first day and then asked what the smoothie was the following day – it was the same smoothie every day because this was the one everyone liked best!  I’ve tried to recreate it at home to bring back some sunshine to a rather damp and dull morning.  It’s simple, fresh and sunny.

Vass Smoothie

  • 200ml fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • large chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1 banana

Blend it all together.

 

Orange & Almond Brown Rice Bowl

Brrr it was so cold this morning that another big warming bowl was required.  I had more brown rice to use up from last night so I’m  back to the brown rice porridge.  This has a lovely zesty fresh taste and is a lovely warming filling brekkie. I love the flavours of orange and almond together.

Orange & Almond Brown Rice Bowl (serves one)

Brown rice orange1

  • 120g of cooked brown rice (from the night before is good)
  • 100g water
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 50-100ml Almond milk
  • Zest of one orange
  • 25g sultanas or raisons
  • 1 tsp ground almonds
  • Cinnamon – liberal amount
  • Ginger – liberal amount
  • 5-6 roughly chopped almonds
  • Flaked almonds – for topping

Put the rice, orange juice and water into a saucepan and boil gently for around 4-5 minutes until the liquid is absorbed – keep an eye on it and keep stirring it, don’t let it dry out.

Then start by adding 50ml of almond milk and the orange zest, chopped almonds, ground almonds, sultanas and spices and simmer for 8-10 minutes – keeping an eye on the liquid levels – add more of the almond milk as you stir – don’t let it get dry.

This is lovely with some flaked almonds on top – and I do sometimes add some brown sugar too.