Anecdotally, it seems to me that it’s a little more than a minority of the gluten free community that are avoiding oats, though. Whether or not they have a reaction to avenin, oat-avoiders seem to be proliferating as fast as the oats themselves! With many supermarkets ditching their previous oat-free breakfast offerings, what can you turn to for your porridge on those cold dark mornings?
Personally, I include oats in my diet, but I don’t like to over rely on them (nor any foodstuff for that matter), so often use alternatives for my porridge. Here are some options, and my favourite recipe du jour.
Delicious Alchemy Rice Flakes
Pros: cooks easily, very versatile, and is a lot like eating rice pudding for breakfast! This porridge makes a beautiful creamy consistency.
Cons: a tad plain, and much lower in fibre than traditional porridge. The uncooked flakes are hard, and not suitable for flapjacks or Bircher muesli.
Currently on sale at Delicious Alchemy for £1.35 per 450g
Big Oz Buckwheat Porridge
Pros: good fibre and protein content, much more of a ‘punchy’ flavour to satisfy the taste buds.
Cons: can be a little gritty in texture, and buckwheat is a bit of an acquired taste.
Available from Ocado at £2.89 for 500g
Pros: very quick to cook, and can even be used raw. Produces a smooth texture and ‘wholesome’ taste. Available on prescription for some coeliacs.
Cons: can be quite hard to track down and quite pricey if you aren’t eligible for prescriptions.
Available from Tobia Teff at £4.35 for 750g
Bob’s Red Mill Four Grain Porridge
Pros: they’ve done the mixing for you! Lots of high-protein, high-fibre grains here, including unusual sorghum, with a good rounded flavour.
Cons: quite a fine grain so tends to escape in your cupboard, and a bit of a gritty texture again.
Available from Ocado at £3.89 for 400g.
Whole Grains (Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Amaranth)
My personal favourite version of porridge at the moment, uses just whole grains as they come. Supermarkets and health food shops have recently upped their grain games, and a variety of ancient and unusual gluten free grains can be found on the shelves. I like to use a mixture, especially as the flavour of buckwheat can be a bit overpowering on its own: simply cook in a ratio (by volume) of 1 part grain: 1.5 parts liquid (milk or water). I usually use a cup or mug to roughly measure on bleary-eyed mornings, as in the recipe below:
Buckwheat & Quinoa Porridge with Pomegranate & Dried Cherries
- ½ mug buckwheat
- ½ mug quinoa
- 1 ½ mugs milk (dairy free if required)
- A large handful of dried cherries
- 150g yogurt (dairy free if required)
- Your choice of syrup or vanilla to sweeten (optional)
- Place the grains, dried cherries and milk into a small pan over a low heat.
- Simmer, until most of the liquid has disappeared (about 15 minutes). The grains should retain a little bite (if you prefer a softer grain, add a little more milk).
- Remove from the heat and stir through the yogurt, then divide into 2 bowls.
Personally, I keep the second portion in the fridge for the next day – just stir through a little more milk and warm in the microwave – ping!