There are, of course, plenty of options for a delicious breakfast. But few things go down as well as a hot bowl of porridge. And its delicious taste can be aided by some very tasty toppings – like fruit or honey. But a famed YouTuber got oatmeal fans talking when she revealed a strange hack on social media.
The reaction to the tip was pretty significant – highlighting that lots of people love their porridge in the morning. So keeping that in mind, we have to ask: why is it a go-to breakfast dish? Besides the great taste, does oatmeal have any kind of impact on your body for the day ahead?
Well, oatmeal is an incredibly healthy choice in comparison to some other breakfast options. A single bowl is packed full of nutrients, and it’s not too heavy on calories either. Sounds perfect! But what specific contents can you find in typical serving?
To break things down, the Healthline medical website analyzed a 78-gram serving of “dry oats.” That measurement housed a jaw-dropping amount of manganese – covering close to 200 percent of your recommended daily intake. Yes, you’re reading that correctly! You’ll also find over one-third of your daily required magnesium and phosphorus in there, too.
Healthline noted that the aforementioned serving had helpings of vitamins B1 and B5 as well. And you’ll also take in 51 grams of carbohydrates and 303 calories. So, it’s fair to say that porridge isn’t a one-trick pony when it comes to nutritional value.
But aside from the nutrients, how else does oatmeal help your body? Well, let’s take a look at some examples. If you eat a bowl of it in the morning, you might not feel the need to eat anything else over the next few hours. There’s seemingly no hunger to satiate.
Oatmeal has a large amount of beta-glucan, which helps you feel fuller for longer. And according to Healthline, this form of fiber may also help release something called peptide YY (PYY). This so-called satiety hormone can apparently promote reduced calorie intake and even reduce your risk of obesity.
Simply put, if you don’t feel hungry, you’re less likely to eat stuff between your main meals during the day. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning could be just what you need when you’re aiming to shed some pounds. Then again, that’s not the only benefit that comes from adding it to your breakfast options.
The Irish Independent newspaper took a closer look at what happens to your body after consuming porridge at the start of the day. The publication reported that the fiber contents and “slow-digesting” carbs will give your blood a steady stream of sugar for the next few hours. But how does that actually work?
Your body gets a sustained boost of energy throughout the morning as it takes in the porridge’s helping of sugar over a prolonged period. So, if you struggle to navigate that period of the day, oatmeal could be the answer! You can probably see, then, why people opt for the tasty dish for breakfast.
But did you know that there are other types of porridge that veer away from the traditional sweet options? If you didn’t, the following bit of information could blow your mind. You see, savory oatmeal is a thing, and it’s only growing in popularity at the moment.
It’s a difficult concept to wrap your head around to begin with. After all, a hot bowl of porridge should always taste sweet, right? How could savory flavors replace that? We can understand if it sounds like a recipe for disaster in your mind, yet these unique dishes might actually be healthier choices.
Yes, we can sense your doubts, but bare with us! Should you add a helping of cherries to your oatmeal, for instance, the sugar contents in the bowl will increase. WebMD reported that a cup of the delicious fruit houses roughly 18 grams. And it’s not the only produce to boast a high number.
Grapes, pears and bananas have their fair share of sugar as well. Mind you, mangoes beat all of them in that department. The medical website noted that a single mango houses about 45 grams. That’s crazy! Imagine adding that to your porridge for breakfast. Now, let’s look at a savory alternative.
Spinach is an ingredient that you’d find in certain savory oatmeal dishes. According to food expert Daisy Whitbread, one cup of the vegetable contains 0.1 grams of sugar. And even if you bumped the measurement up to 100 grams, the count would only increase to 0.4. Incredibly, that’s the equivalent of one-tenth of a tiny teaspoon.
Quite the contrast, right? But if you thought spinach was a unique topping to include with porridge, you haven’t seen anything yet! There’s a whole host of seemingly strange ingredients when it comes to savory oatmeal recipes. Keeping that in mind, the YouTuber’s hack that we mentioned earlier is particularly intriguing.
What are some of the other toppings then? Well, the MOMA Foods website revealed that you can create a “full English” porridge with some eggs and bacon. Alternatively, spinach and garlic is a different combination to consider if you fancy a bit of veg in your oatmeal.
And it doesn’t stop there! For instance, Bon Appétit magazine noted that toppings can also range from preserved meats to fish sauce. These savory porridge bowls can be enjoyed at any point during the day – they’re not just restricted to breakfast. Plus, they’ve been embraced by restaurants around America in recent years, too.
Here’s the thing, though. While this might sound like a brand new trend that’s been dreamed up, the idea behind savory oatmeal isn’t recent. It actually has ties to dishes that span back decades – maybe even generations. To go into more detail, a cook spoke with Bon Appétit in 2015.
His name is Justin Devillier, and he worked at the restaurant La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, Louisiana. The chef explained that his “savory rice” oatmeal bore a resemblance to classic meals from Asia. And Devillier cited congee as an example. Plus, there was a local inspiration in there, too.
Devillier’s oatmeal also had similarities to grit dishes from the southern states as well. Mind you, he wasn’t afraid to get creative with the porridge. Bon Appétit revealed that the New Orleans cook would throw in items like bottarga, sauteed ham and other preserved meats. That’s quite a selection, right?
On the other side of the country, a fairly recent establishment had opened up in Los Angeles, California. It was named Porridge and Puffs, so no prizes for guessing what they specialized in! That place, in fact, had a menu that was purely dedicated to savory oatmeal dishes.
But it gets even cooler. You see, each dish takes inspiration from different cultural recipes. They haven’t just been thrown together at random. Sticking with that point, the proprietor of Porridge and Puffs opened up about the menu to Bon Appétit. And you might recognize a few of her influences.
Minh Phan told the publication, “Grød, groats, kasha, risotto, polenta, grits, atole, champurrado, genfo, jook, juk, congee, okayu, lugaw are all porridge. I’m Vietnamese and grew up with cháo.” Then again, one item on the Porridge and Puffs menu really caught the attention of the locals as business got going.
To explain more, Phan sat down for an interview with the Eater Los Angeles website in July 2019. Porridge and Puffs was firmly established in the city by this point and had even won the Eater’s “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” gong the previous year. Yet as we just mentioned, a particular oatmeal continued to confound certain customers.
Phan said, “It takes so many words sometimes just to explain what chicken porridge is. This is just really good food. We’re making the best chicken porridge that we can – just changing out a flower or an herb quietly. I feel like we’ve been misrepresented as a fancy place, but we’re just trying to make the best chicken porridge.”
We don’t know about you, but Phan has us sold! So, there are clearly lots of options if you want to try savory porridge at some point. That also brings back to the hack that we spoke of earlier. What was it? And why did it create such a stir on social media?
Well, that was somewhat down to the person behind the message. An Australian woman called Natalie Tran made the post on Twitter in June 2019. She’s probably best known for her work on YouTube, as she shares videos via the so-called communitychannel account. At the time of writing, those clips have earned more than 168 million views on the platform!
Tran revealed her new favorite oatmeal topping in that tweet. She wrote, “About 16 years ago, my first boyfriend’s father told me to forget adding sweet stuff to porridge and try using a dollop of butter instead. About a week ago I started [using vegan butter] and not to be dramatic, but it’s been incredible and I might add him to my will.”
Compared to some of the other ingredients that we’ve discussed so far, vegan butter might sound fairly normal. But what kind of an impact could it have on your health by adding it to porridge? To help answer that question, Healthline analyzed a particular brand’s properties.
The label in question was Earth Balance, and the health website broke down a tablespoon measurement of its vegan butter. Unsurprisingly, the spread contained no cholesterol at all. The calorie count stood at 100, which is slightly lower than its dairy counterpart, and the saturated fat reading was only 3.5 grams.
But it wasn’t all positive. For instance, the vegan butter still contained 11 grams of fat – compared to the 11.5 grams in a regular, unsalted spread. Plus, it housed roughly 120 milligrams of sodium. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you!
That figure dwarfs the 2 milligrams of sodium that you’d find in the same measurement of unsalted butter. So, large servings of the vegan option are probably best to be avoided. After all, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration state that people shouldn’t surpass 2,300 milligrams of the mineral each day.
So, it’s fair to say that vegan butter’s a bit of mixed bag on the nutritional front. But how did social media users react to Tran’s tweet? Well, like we noted before, it created a bit of a buzz on Twitter. And it even attracted the attention of U.K. newspaper the Daily Mirror in June 2019.
Tran’s message has racked up roughly 3,200 likes and just under 100 retweets at the time of writing. It also generated numerous comments, as online users shared their thoughts on her porridge preferences. One individual certainly had mixed feelings about it, writing, “This sounds like something that is vile to witness but heavenly to experience.”
A different user suggested that Tran could try an alternative spread in her oatmeal, along with another topping. They said, “I learned as a teenager [that] salty and sweet in porridge is even better. Salted butter and golden syrup. You won’t regret it.” Is anyone else getting hungry here?
Anyway, Tran wasn’t the only person to vouch for the topping on Twitter. One of the replies in the comment section read, “That’s how I grew up eating porridge – plus cinnamon and sugar of course. These days I’ve been experimenting with savory oat dishes and oh my goodness, they’re delicious.”
Unsurprisingly, there were individuals who really couldn’t see the appeal of vegan butter topping. They listed off their preferences instead, which ranged from crunchy peanut butter to miso. Then, a user claimed that Vegemite was the perfect product to spruce up their porridge. And you thought chicken oatmeal was odd!
But as bizarre as some of these combinations are, there’s a recipe out there that’s arguably the strangest of the lot. MOMA Foods shared the dish via its website, and it’ll either leave your mouth watering or turn your stomach. Ready? Okay, here we go. According to the site, you can make a chili and coconut porridge.
Yep, we can only imagine what that tastes like! To round off the recipe, you could throw in some extra items like coriander or spring onions as well. It’s quite a mix, yet fans of spicy dishes might feel the temptation to give it a try. Who knows, maybe it’ll click like vegan butter did with Tran.