A hot, creamy bowl of porridge is a joyous thing. But some days call for an added dash of invention. There are myriad simple, delicious ways to give your Quaker oats a flavour boost and add extra interest.
Think of your bowl of porridge as a blank canvas, ready to be brought vividly to life with one of these colourful, creative concoctions. Then immediately demolished and the bowl bunged in the dishwasher. Yum yum.
1 Berry compote and Greek yogurt
Make a naturally sweet berry compote in advance: simply throw a few handfuls of fresh or frozen berries (whatever you have) into a saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice and simmer, stirring regularly, for around 15 minutes.
Cool and keep in the fridge, ready to spoon over your porridge along with a generous dollop of thick, velvety Greek-style yogurt to add creaminess.
2 Seeds to savour
Quinoa flakes, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds… All these sprinklers are perfect with porridge, and will add taste and texture.
Get inventive with the presentation, sprinkling them over your porridge in lines, circles or in a likeness of the Mona Lisa. A dollop of nut butter and a little honey will add depth and sweetness.
3 Spinach and eggs
Turn your normal breakfast bowl into the porridge version of eggs Florentine.
Prepare your Quaker oats as normal, adding a sprinkling of herbs and some black pepper to up the savouriness – or use stock as your liquid base.
Top with a poached egg (or sliced soft-boiled egg) and some chopped raw spinach, adding extra pepper or some chilli flakes if you fancy a bit of added heat.
4 Coconut and passion fruit
Preparing your porridge with coconut milk will brighten your bowl and your morning. Take it further by topping your bowl with coconut flakes and some sliced fruit.
Passion fruit works beautifully, as does mango and pineapple. Arrange over your oats in layers for a breakfast that looks and tastes like a holiday.
5 Cacao, peanut butter and banana
For a fabulously flavoursome bowl, try adding PB and B to your P. Oh and a little bit of C.
Add 1 tsp of cacao powder – made with the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate – to your porridge to turn the oats chocolatey while cooking. Tip into your bowl, stir in a spoonful of peanut butter and top with sliced banana and a sprinkling of cacao nibs.
6 Berries and blooms
This is a lovely breakfast for a special treat, or just to brighten up one of those days. So pretty!
Make your porridge as usual and simply scatter over whatever berries you like. Pretty things up with some colourful edible flower petals such as honeysuckle, nasturtium, daisies and lavender. Dried flowers like hibiscus work, too.
Treat your porridge like a piece of toast (no, really) and layer on half an avocado, sliced. Add extra interest with any combination of chopped spinach, rocket, chilli flakes, harissa powder or sumac.
A drizzle of olive oil and a crack of black pepper will liven it further. Who needs sourdough? Utterly delicious.
8 Spiced dried fruit
This is another delicious porridge-topper that can be made in advance to save time.
Throw any combination of dried fruit – apricots, prunes and sultanas all work well – into a saucepan with apple juice or water. As a rule, use around 200ml liquid to 100g fruit. Spice up with a small cinnamon stick, star anise or a little grated nutmeg and simmer for around five minutes until syrupy.
Cool and keep refrigerated in a sealable tub. A spoonful, along with a little yogurt and/or a drizzle of honey, takes your Quaker oats to a tasty new level.
9 Banana, cinnamon and dates
Warming spices are among the simplest ways to give your morning oats a lift.
Add a pinch of ground cinnamon to your porridge while cooking and add chopped dates and sliced banana to serve. It’s like a cuddle in a bowl.
10 Roast pumpkin
Cut your pumpkin into cubes and roast at 200°C (180°C fan/gas mark 6) for around half an hour. Set aside until needed and then simply scatter a handful over your porridge.
This works as a sweet porridge, with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or as a savoury breakfast with chilli flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s a great way to use up any leftover roast pumpkin, squash or sweet potato, too.
Oats less ordinary
To help you get more inventive in the kitchen, Telegraph Spark has partnered with Quaker Oats and a team of expert foodies to create deliciously different oat-based recipes, from daring and decadent porridge twists to brilliant bakes and gourmet takes so you can impress and indulge.
For more ideas visit quaker.co.uk