The Ultimate Guide to Porridge

The Ultimate Guide to Porridge

What is porridge?

The benefits of porridge

‘Just what exactly is porridge?’ you ask? Well, commonly eaten at breakfast time, it’s a dish that’s hearty, healthy and easily customizable. Needless to say, as a Scottish company, we’re huge fans and reckon it’s one of the best starts to the day a person can get. Usually, it involves heating oats in milk, water or some other kind of liquid (more on that later) to give a lovely creamy texture. Its enduring popularity is likely down to the fact that it’s so simple and nutritious – people all over the world have been serving up bowls of the stuff for over thousands of years.


Nairn's Gluten Free Scottish Porridge Oats

Our Gluten Free Scottish Porridge Oats are exactly that.  Nothing else, nothing added - it's as simple as that.  They contain no added salt or sugar, no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or GM ingredients. They're suitable for coeliac diets (unless you react to Avenin, a protein in oats) and are vegan-friendly too.    

How to make porridge oats

Porridge is not difficult at all to make – but it all depends on how you like it. Essentially all you need to do is grab a decent portion of oats (40 to 50g should do) and mix in about 350ml of milk or water. Some prefer to stick to Scottish tradition and add a pinch of salt for a more savoury taste in the end result (it’s all a matter of taste really). For those who like a creamier texture, we’d suggest using a saucepan and going ‘low and slow’. Don’t forget to stir regularly! A microwave is fine too, we’d recommend stirring halfway through the process to make sure your porridge doesn’t end up all lumpy. And be careful not to let it boil over the top! It does take a bit of practice to get the perfect mix though so don’t be shy in experimenting with these simple ingredients. 



What liquid to use?

Milk and/or water are the usual suspects for using to whip up a batch of porridge, but they aren’t the only liquid you can use with or add to your oats. If you’re a fan of soya, almond (or any nut milk for that matter), coconut or oat milk you’re in luck: plant milks work just as well. Experimentation is encouraged too! Creme fraiche, cream and other dairy products can either be mixed in before cooking or added afterwards to make for a particularly indulgent velvety texture!

Porridge topping ideas and recipes

Best porridge toppings

Toppings are where you have a chance to really liven up your morning oats. There are so many different ingredients that you can keep handy to give your bowl of porridge that little lift.

For those who prefer something a little sweeter, we’ve got a few ideas to suggest. Fruits are always a great choice because not only do you get a natural sweetness but you can also rack up a few of your five a day. Chopped up banana, berries (keep an eye out for frozen bags of these in your local supermarket which are simple to use and great value), grated apple (especially good with cinnamon), coconut shavings, raisins… these are all classic ways to shake up your porridge. A spoonful of honey or syrup is also a delicious way to bring your porridge to life, or if you’re really in the mood for a treat – a bit of grated dark chocolate. 

Porridge is a bit of a blank canvas that it really pays to get creative with.

Same goes for the savoury side of things. Savoury toppings perhaps aren’t as commonly used but taste just as good. Nuts and seeds work really well in porridge if you like a bit of wholesome crunchy texture (and want to add a bit more fibre into your bowl). Other ideas we've seen as inspiration include avocado, kale, sauteed onion, cheese, button mushrooms, pesto, chickpeas or even a fried egg! It’s less likely that you’ll be using any of these for a busy midweek breakfast, the above ingredients make your porridge turn into a more risotto-like dish that’s probably best enjoyed at lunch or dinnertime.

Vegan Blueberry Porridge For Breakfast

Blueberry Porridge

Ingredients for 1 serving(s)

  • For the blueberry compote
  • 28g blueberries
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp water
  • For your oats
  • 50g gluten free oats
  • 125ml water
  • 125ml almond milk
  • Toppings
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 strawberries

Protein Porridge With Homemade Peanut Butter For Breakfast

Protein Porridge With Homemade Peanut Butter

Ingredients for 1 serving(s)

  • 40g Nairn’s Gluten Free Porridge Oats
  • 125ml water
  • 125ml milk or substitute
  • 1 tbsp mixed seed
  • 50g raw almonds, walnuts, pecans or peanuts
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: ground cinnamon to taste
  • Optional: maple syrup or honey to taste

Protein Oat Porridge For Breakfast

Protein Oat Porridge

Ingredients for 1 serving(s)

  • 40g Nairn's gluten free porridge
  • 40ml water
  • 40ml milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g apple
  • 10g honey
  • 25g hazelnuts
  • 10g sunflower seeds

Porridge Health Benefits

What are the health benefits of porridge?

Where do we start? You’ve probably heard the term ‘superfood’ being used quite a lot. It basically means food that’s particularly rich in nutrients – a definition that most definitely applies to porridge! Here are a few of the incredible health benefits that you can expect to get in a humble bowl of the good stuff. 

Fibre. Porridge is a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre, which are both essential for healthy digestion, but isn’t the only benefit to come from fibre – it can help lower cholesterol, regulate weight and keep your blood pressure in check too, helping reducing risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Another way that porridge oats are great for your gut is that they help feed the ‘good bacteria’ in your microbiome. It’s thought that your gut health affects a whole range of health-related things; mood, skin, immune system and even our body weight to give a few examples.  The gut is also referred to as the 'second brain' such is the impact of good gut health on the body as a whole.

Energy is another big plus that’s offered by porridge. ‘Slow release’ energy to be specific. Because oats have such a low glycemic index, they don’t create that spike in blood sugar (like the kind you get with a sugary cereal).

Porridge provides you with a slow, sustained release of energy that’ll help keep you going throughout the day.

That’s not all: our porridge is gluten-free (oats are naturally free of gluten but can become contaminated by gluten-bearing grains during growing or milling).  Nairn's Gluten Scottish Porridge Oats are expertly farmed and milled, then packed in our dedicated gluten free bakery before they are tested to ELISA standards so that each bag can proudly display Coeliac UK’s ‘Crossed Grain’ symbol.

Porridge and fitness

Porridge is one of those dishes that’s fantastic if you lead an active lifestyle. You could be a once or twice a week jogger, or you could be a professional athlete who’s used to regular high-intensity training – the benefits of porridge are there for anyone to take advantage of.

The protein content is a big reason for this. When we exercise we actually do very slight damage to our muscles which, strangely, is what makes them grow and improves our performance. We need protein to help repair this damage. Of course, you can always add additional ingredients to the dish to up the protein content even further, peanut butter or even a scoop of your preferred protein powder for example. 

Porridge offers a big plus in the energy department too. It’s full of slow-release energy that’ll keep you pounding the pavement, pumping iron (and so on) for that little bit longer.


We hope that our Ultimate Guide to Porridge has inspired you to shake things up a bit and experiment with flavours and toppings.  Why not follow us on Instagram and share your favourite new creation with us....

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