BAKED CRUNCHY BLUEBERRY PORRIDGE

I love easy all-in-one breakfasts and this recipe ticks every box for superb taste and nutrition. I have used frozen wild blueberries in this dish and pretty much any nuts and seeds I had in the house. Make it to your liking and use whatever fruit you have, whether fresh or frozen – I have found that berries work best in this dish. Also, use a combination of whatever nuts and seeds you have around. If you have a nut allergy then just use seeds. A mixture of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds works really well. I kept the nuts and seeds whole but you can crush them or coarsely grind them if you prefer. This is our favourite breakfast for a lazy Sunday morning and fills the whole house with the most amazing scent of cinnamon, ginger, and luscious blueberries. On mornings like these, I only have to call the kids to come down to breakfast just the once – as opposed to the usual 85 times! …funny that 🙂

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HOW TO MAKE

  1. Preheat your fan oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
  2. Take a 25 x 25 cm baking dish and grease the inside with some coconut oil.
  3. Place the blueberries or whatever fruit you are using in the baking dish as your first layer and set aside.
  4. In a bowl combine the rolled oats, baking powder, ginger, and cinnamon.
  5. In another bowl beat the eggs and the milk together.
  6. To make the topping place all the nuts and seeds in another bowl and rub the coconut oil and honey into the nuts and seeds until they are all thoroughly coated.
  7. Spread the oat mixture over the blueberries and then pour the egg and milk mixture over it so that the whole lot is thoroughly soaked without leaving any dry patches.
  8. Place the nut and seed mixture evenly over the soaked oats as your final layer and place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Leave it in the oven for a bit longer if the oat mixture is not set properly and wobbles a bit too much when you take the dish out. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down for about 20 minutes before serving.

THE SCIENCE BIT

A study by the Department of Behavioural Neuroscience at the Oregon Health Sciences University has found that BLUEBERRIES that have been heated have significantly more antioxidant content than fresh blueberries. Even canned BLUEBERRIES had more antioxidants than fresh ones (nearly 3 times more!) as long as the liquid in the canned fruit was also consumed – canned berries are heated during processing – I am not advocating canned foods since there are lots of nasty chemicals in cans that we are best to avoid, but the outcome of the study intrigued me. Dried berries are convenient snacks but between 50% to 80% of the antioxidant status of the berries was lost during the drying process. Interestingly the quicker they were dried the more health benefits were maintained – traditional sun dried berries lost the most antioxidant value which was heartbreaking to hear! Time taken to thaw BLUEBERRIES from frozen also had a significant effect on antioxidant content – the quicker they were thawed the more antioxidants remained.