Farmhouse Breakfast Week, eat your oats for British farmers
Anna Louise Batchelor - 18 January 2013
The writer William Somerset Maugham famously said of British cuisine “To eat well in England, you should have breakfast three times a day”. We’re famed for our ‘full English’, revered for Scottish kippers and ‘glow’ with porridge, yet a recent study found that 47% of British people regularly don’t eat breakfast.
In my ‘day job’ I’m know as Porridge Lady; cooking with, writing about and developing recipes and products that contain the humble oat. I’m quite obsessional about oats as I think that they are good not only for our health but also the soil too. As a low input crop they are part of conventional farming’s crop rotation routine, as an organic crop they come into their own. In a wet, damp, and sometimes blisteringly cold nation, oats have always thrived where modern varieties of wheat now fail. It’s not surprising then that from the Orkney Broonie (an oatmeal gingerbread) to Yorkshire Parkin (cake delicious served with cheese) to Staffordshire Oatcakes (a soft almost pancake like oatcake) that oats are part of our culinary heritage. However don’t condemn oats to history as 700,000 tonnes are produced each year in the UK, mostly now eaten from a breakfast bowl.
Next week, from 20-26 January, I’m going to be championing oats and porridge in the media for Farmhouse Breakfast Week, but also backing British farmers too. With 55% of people polled saying they would eat more cereal based products if they knew it would support British farmers, there has never been a better time to champion a sustainable crop and support the organic farmers who grow it.
Join me in Farmhouse Breakfast Week for a healthy, British grown organic breakfast with my porridge recipe; Forced rhubarb and orange juice porridge
Forced rhubarb and orange juice porridge
In a month bereft of fresh fruit and veg, forced rhubarb with its vibrant pink stalks offers much needed cheer to January.
Cooking & preparation time: 12 mins
- 200g forced rhubarb
- Cold water, enough to cover base of saucepan
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of orange juice
- 80g jumbo British grown organic oats
- 285ml cold water
- 285ml orange juice
- Take a heavy based saucepan and pour in just enough cold water to cover the base.
- Add the vanilla to the water.
- Then wash and chop the rhubarb into chunks and place into the saucepan.
- Cover with the orange juice and then put the pan on a low heat to simmer gently.
- Into another saucepan add the oats, water and orange juice and stir thoroughly.
- Place the pan over a high heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 mins.
- Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 3-4 mins, stirring the oats regularly until you have a nice thick Porridge.
- Whilst the Porridge has been cooking the rhubarb should have softened and be ready to serve. Don’t stir the rhubarb during cooking as this will break the pieces. Only turn the rhubarb gently with a spatula if it starts to stick to the pan.
- Pour the Porridge into bowls.
- Spoon the rhubarb pieces and some of the juice, over the Porridge.
- Serve hot and enjoy the best of the season in Farmhouse Breakfast Week.
Anna Louise Batchelor is an environmental scientist who has worked in academia, government and industry. For the last six years she has been part of Reading's True Food Co-op.
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22 May 2013 13:45
the British breakfast is my favorite anytime, at dinner, too :D
10 May 2013 07:55
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17 April 2013 13:45
Good to see that you have heard of the Staffordshire Oatcake. Records suggest that the recipe was developed because oats were a successful crop in North Staffordhsire, coping well with climate and soil conditions. Sarah Bailey @layingthetable
22 January 2013 17:19
Yum. Had for my breakfast today
18 January 2013 17:25
Nice recipe, defiantly the right weather to be eating Porridge!
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