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Spiced vanilla porridge with sultanas

To get my nearly 4 year old (I can’t believe I’m typing those words, nearly 4, seriously it makes me want to weep!) to eat porridge I am having to become quite inventive. Now, I am a creative type, adept at coming up with new recipes and ways with food. But at 6.20am I don’t feel that creative, I have to admit. Neverthless, I have been trying out a few new ways with porridge. This was today’s. And it went down a hit; not as much as Nutella porridge (he literally licks his bowl clean) but still, he ate most of it. 
Generally, my experimental phase with porridge has been a great success, apart from when I tried a little salt in my oats. What. The. Hell. I was very nearly sick, as was my daughter. I know a lot of people vouch for salt in their porridge but, seriously, I hated it (and I am very much a signed up member of the salt squad normally).
The dark brown sugar is really good, and goes a long way, you don’t need much. Serve a little more on top and wait until it melts then swirl through, as in picture, for an extra treacly taste. I went easy with the vanilla extract and spices, as you don’t want to overpower your senses first thing of a morning. Feel free to increase amounts as you see fit. 

How do you have your porridge? Tell me, tell everyone! That way, we won’t all succumb to the sugary draw of Cheerios and the like! Mums especially, let’s fight porridge apathy together!

I don’t do measurements for porridge, I use ratios. A half pint glass to be specific. Please adjust the amounts according to the size of your vessel.

Serves: 2/3 adults (or 1 adult and 2 children)
Prep time: NA
Cook time: 5-7 minutes 
Total time: 5-7 minutes

1 glassful of porridge oats (normal, not jumbo – I find they don’t cream up as well)
2 glassfuls of whole milk
Handful of sultanas
2 teaspoons of dark brown sugar, plus a little more to serve
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice


  1. Pour oats, milk and sultanas into a heavy saucepan and bring to boil, stirring a few times. 
  2. Once boiling, turn down to lowest heat possible and stir well to release the creaminess. Add vanilla, brown sugar, spices. Let it simmer for a few minutes. 
  3. Thin down with a little more milk as required. Serve with a pinch more brown sugar and swirl. Voila! A posh, healthy breakfast in less time than it takes to make a pot of coffee!

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