Toasted Oat & Honey Porridge

I crave porridge for breakfast on cold winter days. Growing up, my sister and I ate porridge for breakfast most mornings. At some point along the way, things got a little creative, with my sisters’ addition of chocolate chips to her bowl, and my own garish sprinkle of mouth puckering vitamin C powder to mine. I think you could say that these add-ins remain a fairly accurate representation of our adult taste preferences. When I saw the title ‘very best oatmeal’ in Whole Grain Mornings, I couldn't resist. Our slightly adapted version, Toasted Oat & Honey Porridge, is fantastic and speedy, and I have been obsessively making it on weekdays and weekends for the past month. The texture is incredible, no more gummy, thick porridge. Instead, the technique preserves the shape and texture of the individual oats through a two-step toasting and steaming process that leaves you with a surprisingly soft and chewy texture. We liked that addition of honey for just a hint of sweetness, and a flurry of crunchy almonds and pomegranate seeds to make this into a quick, beautiful, and delicious bowl of porridge.


Yield: Serves 2 in smallish portions


   Toasted Oats:

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon butter

   Cooking Liquid:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup milk (substitute soy, rice milk or almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch (1/16 teaspoon) of cinnamon

  Optional Toppings:

  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • A few glugs milk or cream
  • Maple syrup/honey/brown sugar


  1. For the cooking liquid: In a medium pot, bring water and milk to a low boil over medium heat, add the vanilla, cinnamon and honey.
  2. For the toasted oats: While the cooking liquid is heating, prepare the oats. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the oats and stir to coat. Continue stirring until the oats smell nutty and become golden colored, 3 minutes. Since you are cooking at a pretty high heat, keep an eye on the oats so they don’t burn.
  3. Once the oats are toasted and smell nutty, add them to the gently boiling cooking liquid, cover and immediately remove from heat. Let the oats sit covered for 7 minutes without disturbing.
  4. After 7 minutes, your porridge will be done. Note that the porridge will be textured, and you will see individual oat grains clearly. Serve immediately garnished with almonds, pomegranate, cream or milk, and a sweetener, if you are inclined.


  • Use a wide pot for this (especially if you are doubling the batch). This allows the grains space to steam and fluff up, creating this texture of porridge. 
  • This porridge reheats well for a few days with the addition of milk or cream to loosen it slightly.