The Power of Porridge – or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love New Foods.

No, not the classic TV series but the other kind of porridge
No, not the classic TV series but the other kind of porridge

I’ve recently discovered something new. For lots of you out there it won’t be new at all but for me it’s a discovery that has taken me by surprise. I like porridge. Not just, “yeah, it’s alright” but “hmm, running low on porridge, better get some shopping in”.

image: jimysweet.com
image: jimysweet.com

Now obviously, this hardly sounds like momentous stuff but for me it breaks a lifelong mistrust of that innocent little cereal. When I was little, I was a fussy eater, mainly I think, because my mum didn’t buy anything she didn’t know. Mums always get the slack don’t they, but to be fair, I don’t think I’m doing her a disservice on this point. She really didn’t trust a lot of very regular foods. I had moved away from home before I discovered such exotic foodstuffs as; spaghetti, yoghurt, mushrooms and meatballs. Mussels remain an absolute anathema to her. She had very specific reasons for not liking these foods: Spaghetti and mushrooms had, she imagined, the consistency of worms (her biggest fear btw), and yoghurt – well it was just gone off milk wasn’t it? (??) I think it was a case of one fussy eater (mum) passing her habits on to create another fussy eater (me). I was the reluctant boy who was pestered by the very persistent Sam I am, and like that unnamed hero of adventurous eating (he deserves respect for attempting green eggs I think), I learned my lesson.

I love the innocence of Dr Seuss - he never worried about Freud...
I love the innocence of Dr Seuss – he never worried about Freud…

When I first met Mr London, he was a little bit bemused by my limited range of foods, quite understandably and, sensing he was probably right, I started to question my assumptions. I quickly realised that I had been wrong and that lots of foods were wonderful if you could only give them a chance, but with porridge I resisted for quite a bit longer. (Let’s face it; I’m at an age where people have started to say “at your age” so, you see, it was a real long-term resistance.)

A photo of Mr London...no wait, it's just Boris Johnson. (image: Jeremy Selwyn)
A photo of Mr London…no wait, it’s just Boris Johnson. (image: Jeremy Selwyn)

I had this idea that porridge was just too plain and bland, and tasting one or two little mouthfuls I felt wholly justified. Then one day, instead of just making it for the rest of the family I made enough porridge for a bowl for me. I don’t know why really, maybe, as I stirred that pot of gloop something in me just kind of broke (stirring porridge can put you into that highly suggestive state that facilitates hypnosis). I ate the bowlful and thought, “that wasn’t too bad”. I did the same again for a few mornings and slowly I began to get a taste for it. It crept up on me like some kind of porridge vaccination and by the end of the week I was a convert.

Porridge, I can now say with certainty, is yummy. Porridge is good. I would eat it on a train and I would eat it on a plane – it’s Dr Seuss good. Know what I mean?

 

He looks healthy enough. Is it just me or is there a bit of Ewan McGregor about this guy?
He looks healthy enough. Is it just me or is there a bit of Ewan McGregor about this guy?

5 reasons why porridge is a super food.

1. Porridge releases energy slowly and can keep you going longer.

2. Porridge aids digestion and is gentle on touchy stomachs (apparently).

3. Porridge is ideal for slimmers; being high in fibre, low in calories and filling!

4. The soluble fibre in porridge oats helps reduce blood cholesterol.

5. Porridge helps the brain to produce Serotonin, which helps keep our spirits up and our appetites down (see point 3).

Please tell me I wasn’t the only fussy eater! Do you have any eating challenges for me? Write me a line and let me know! Remember, I’m not Bear Grylls and won’t be eating raw zebra any time soon.

Till we meet again x

Published by Jill London

Hi, I’m Jill, a writer and teacher living in the UK, usually behind a desk but sometimes on a sofa with a book or a film. I began writing at around age three, legibly by five, although I didn’t write any stories until I was older. Aged eleven, I began writing children’s fiction, mostly middle-grade fantasy and I’m still doing it to this day. I have had stories published online and in My Weekly magazine. The best bit about writing is when ideas pop into your head (from the writing fairy presumably?) and everything starts clipping together like a jigsaw puzzle. The worst bit? When you start to get the feeling there's a piece missing from the box...

17 thoughts on “The Power of Porridge – or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love New Foods.

  1. My first porridge experience was when I moved to Dublin in 2005. I must say it took me awhile to start liking it, but eventually it won me over like famous Irish/English breakfast… Wonderful blog and one to keep following… Great work, keep it going 😀

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    1. Porridge definitely seems to need time for the tastebuds to get hooked, doesn’t it? 🙂 Thank-you for your encouragement,btw, you are so kind!

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  2. I LOVE porridge (although here we call it “oatmeal,” which, upon reflection, sounds maybe more suitable for livestock) and also love all the benefits you listed above. Number 5 was a new one to me, however–how cool is that?

    I furthermore love this post because I get just about as agitated (though less vocally) about fussy eating as I do about grammatical errors on billboards, and it always makes me happier than is probably warranted when I learn of erstwhile fussy eaters who are trying new foods. (It doesn’t happen very often.)

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    1. Fussy eaters are a pain in the butt! I can well remember poking about at a plate of spaghetti hoops whilst staying over at my friend’s house as a child and the memory now is just embarrassing 😦 Never mind, you live and learn.
      Nice to see you here, Jenn 🙂

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      1. Oh yeah–I’ll be around. Just not inventing my own blather for a little while. At least . . . not for public consumption! 🙂 (Speaking of fussy “eating.”)

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      2. Lol, you are such a funny lady 😀 The best of luck, Jenn, with whatever projects you have in mind. I know you will have thought carefully about the best direction for you to take, so I know it’ll be the right choice 🙂 Speak to you soon I hope, lovely lady xx

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    1. Oooo, I realise I’ve been dabbling in the shallows in my porridge exploration. I bow to your delicious porridge knowledge 😉 I’m going to try some of those! 🙂

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  3. My father had a mother who sat by the stove all day and when each of her nine kids came in she made them what they wanted for supper. Steak cut thinly, breaded chicken, etc. At our house oatmeal was called by my father “that mushy crap.” Fish was outlawed (except tuna in a can), green jello caused my father to declare that he would never go to another wedding on my mother’s side of the family and dark meat or any meat served with bones were highly suspect. By the time I was a teenager I only ate broccoli and popcorn :), beer calories kept me afloat for a while. I’m a lot better now (I love oatmeal) but still find chunks of tofu with their inner mushiness kind of gross.

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    1. Lol 😀 Adrienne, I’m so glad you didn’t leave me hanging there as the only person whose family were weird about food!! You’re doing better than me on the tofu front – I just haven’t summoned the backbone to even attempt it 😛
      Do I sense a story behind the green jello situation, btw…? 😉

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    1. I don’t know any recipes unfortunately (I’m not much of a cook) but I think the best way to try porridge is with the easy to make ‘simple’ sachets. They’re usually smoother than the ‘original’ type of porridge. Some people put salt on their porridge (!) but I think even a tiny bit of sugar just brings out the creamy flavour 🙂 either way it seems to be a food that needs a few attempts before you begin to enjoy it. x

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  4. I was a picky eater as a child too. It was easier to list the foods I liked than the ones I didn’t. Many of the foods I refused to eat then have become my favorites. I realize many people don’t like tomatoes but I love them. I craved tomatoes and green apples when I was pregnant with my daughter (not together, though). No ice cream or pickles for me! Porridge, or oatmeal as we call it, is the staple of the road biker, especially for those long 50+ mile rides for reason #1 you listed above. I eat mine with honey, raisins and apples (green, of course) in it 🙂 Fun post Jill!

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    1. I’m not a fan of ice-cream either, I really have to be ‘in the mood for one’! It’s a strange one though isn’t it – ice-cream is supposed to be such a popular ‘treat’ 😉

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