Those of you who follow my Insta-story (the slideshow of snaps from the past day that appears when you click my Instagram profile pic) will be tired of the sight of this breakfast. I've added a photo of this porridge topped with dried figs, toasted seeds and nut butter to the story so many times. It is absolutely my go-to breakfast as these days, in the mornings, I find myself with less time for eating, cooking and creating. So I thought today's recipe will be just that. My go-to breakfast.

Dried figs and toasted seeds always feature. Fresh fruit on porridge is a no in my book; I prefer the soft chew the figs provide and crunch from the seeds. For the nut butter, I use whatever I have going. Most of the time, I must confess, I have around 5 or 6 different jars of nut butter on the go. Without doubt nut butters are my favourite food on Earth (peanut butter being firmly the original and immovable king), but I like some variation each day: cashew butter, tahini, almond + coconut... I even made some brazil nut butter once. But I digress. Try and use a more runny nut butter here as it'll spread out on top of the porridge rather than clump. How about my roasted almond, coconut & hazelnut butter!?

I'll let you in on the secret to seriously creamy oats. And it's nothing to do with the type of milk. It's all about a very quick soak in boiling water. I'm not talking about the craze for 'overnight oats': I never remember/cannot ever be bothered to do that kind of thing before bed. No, I like my porridge hot; but I do like the consistency an overnight soak develops. My quick 4-minute soak in boiled water achieves this affect without the hassle. The oats rapidly absorb the water and plump up. Then you simmer them in plant milk which reduces down and thickens, surrounding and coating the oats. Be mindful, though, if you are not using rolled oats but 'quick-cook' or 'steel-cut', as this means the original oats will have been finely chopped, and so will absorb water much quicker and you'll need to significantly reduce the soaking and cooking time.

So, what about you? Do you too have an oat obsession? It's fascinating to read up on the humble oat's history. In England, they were initially regarded with some disdain as shown in a 1755 dictionary: "a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." Indeed, the Scots are known for eating porridge, especially savoury porridge - without milk, but water and salt - for breakfast, and live up to their name by hosting an annual world porridge-making championship, which has been named after its first-place prize: the golden spurtle (a spurtle is the implement traditionally used to stir porridge).

Perfect Porridge

Serves 1
Hands-on time:
5 mins
Hands-off time:
10 mins


40g(=½ cup) rolled oats (I use these ones)
1 tspsunflower seeds
1 tsppumpkin seeds
120ml(=½ cup) your favourite plant-based milk (I like rice milk)
1pinch salt
1large jammy dried fig, diced
2 tspyour favourite nut butter (I like almond)


  1. Dry-toast the seeds in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes (until they are toasted and fragrant).
  2. Meanwhile, put the oats in a medium saucepan and cover with 200ml (a little under 1 cup) boiling water. Leave to soak for 4 minutes.
  3. Now add the plant milk and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt and simmer for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat until thick and creamy.
  4. Pour your porridge into a bowl. Top with the figs, seeds and nut butter. If you have a sweet tooth, add a drizzle of maple syrup.