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We’ve entered that transition period where I can wear socks with my Birkenstocks and I could not be happier. While it’s not quite full-on Fall yet, little glimpses of the joyous season have been showing itself which means it’s time to embrace my very favorite thing in the whole wide world: porridge. And no, oatmeal and porridge are not necessarily the same thing. Admittedly, I will refer to it as oatmeal when conversing with the average person because many only know porridge to be that thing Goldilocks ate three bowls of. But in this space, the wonders of warm and creamy oats will be called porridge.

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Ever since my month-long adventure in London a few years back, I’ve developed a whole new level of appreciation for the stereotypical bowl of mush. Primarily because of my daily (literally every day) visits to 26 grains. Nestled in the hidden gem that is Neal’s Yard, this spot specializes in porridge of all kinds. It’s because of Alex and her beautiful book that my fascination with the many ways in which you can cook grains is even a thing. And now I’m a tad obsessed with achieving that perfect creaminess and texture. This bowl here has so much goodness going for it, with apples (because Fall), tahini, and my latest obsession: chyavanprash.

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I let the apple slices sit overnight in a lemon juice, fresh ginger, and cinnamon thing. Before the porridge making began, I baked them in the oven at 375F until soft (not exactly sure how long because I tend to avoid the timer when it’s not a requirement).

Definitely still not sure how to pronounce it, but chyavanprash is an Ayurvedic jam made with ghee, amalaki fruit, herbs, and honey or sugar. I’ve been trying to incorporate Ayurvedic practices into my daily life, as it’s a concept that really makes sense to me on so many levels—hence how I ended up with a jar of this odd spreadable thing. But it’s sooo lovely and I love it. Yes.

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And this is how you do it:

for the porridge

  • 1/3 cup oats, soaked in water for a few hours or overnight

  • 2/3 cup nut milk

  • pinch of salt

  • optional: maca, lucuma, + ashwagandha in all their adaptogenic glory

on top

  • half an apple, sliced thin + soaked overnight in lemon juice, fresh ginger + cinnamon (bake in a small tin at 375F for 20ish minutes or so)

  • one generous tablespoon tahini

  • a couple teaspoons chyavanprash

  • cacao nibs

  • a few brazil nuts, chopped

Drain the soaked oats and place them in a small saucepan with 1/3 cup of milk and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring consistently. Once the milk has been absorbed you can add the rest (continue to add more milk to reach your desired creaminess). Depending on how long the oats were soaked, the cooking time varies. I generally find the mixture to my liking at just about ten minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in adaptogens if you so choose. If you’re not into that, I would add cinnamon or cardamon for extra warmth and flavor.

I highly suggest warming up the bowl before dishing out your porridge in order to keep the creaminess alive. Proceed to make it pretty with all the fun stuff. Eat and be happy.

Kelsey Gleason