With just enough of winter left hanging around to still enjoy the nourishment of a warm bowl of porridge, Lentil and Matt from Grown and Gathered are sharing their ultimate recipe. And it all starts with milling those oats from scratch.
To top it off, the farm duo are also giving one lucky person the chance to win their own oat roller! To enter, head here before 10am, Tuesday 25th. And in the meantime, there’s this porridge…
“We think winter is fun. I don’t think that’s a common way to think about winter – but for us, it’s the season when we live largely off all the things we preserved back in summer and autumn, in preparation for the fresh food gap. In particular, preserved fruit – as the only fresh fruit around now are oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Watching those jars sitting on the shelf is hard.
“We are big on warming foods in winter, and porridge is one of the most fundamental. We roll the grains fresh, by hand with our oat roller, until the grains are flat and ready to go. Then we ferment them overnight before cooking. I don’t think I will ever get sick of rolling the grains by hand, there is a simple joy in it.
“Porridge is something we have tried so many different combinations for – but this recipe is up there with the ‘best of’. We freshly rolled both oats and rice and topped it with freshly opened wild plums, quinces and cherries. Then topped it with edible flowers – there aren’t many flowers around in winter, but there are actually a large range of edible flowers.
“We know that freshly milling and fermenting grains is new to many people – but it was how it has always been done. Food like it used to be. And we believe that preparing grains this way, is the best way for your body.”
Freshly milled grains
We are big advocates for freshly milled grains. It is so important that grains are prepared well – it has traditionally always been done and science supports that it is important, for several reasons:
– High heat when milling grains into flour commercially + long storage of flour = rancidity. Freshly milled flour means that the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals are more readily available.
– Freshly milled flour has no additional synthetic vitamins, conditioners, preservatives and additives in there (which many commercially available flours have in them).
– Multiple studies support the importance of freshly milling grains such as (Bernasek, 1970) where an experiment with rats found that after four generations only the rats fed fresh stone-ground flour maintained their fertility, those fed rancid flour (15 days of storage and white flour) became infertile. Other studies have found that rancidity can occur as early as 2 to 14 days after milling (Larsen, 1988).
If you are in Australia this is where to get an oat roller. If you are anywhere else in the world, contact the distributor directly.
Not only is freshly milling grains important, but the next step in preparing them well is fermentation.
An example of fermentation of grains is sourdough bread. Fermentation of grains ‘activates’ the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in them (or more accurately de-activates the grains protective mechanisms) so that they can be processed easily by your body. It also begins to break down their proteins to make them more easily digested.
The longer the ferment, the better (within reason!) but even overnight has a big effect. This is also a very traditional way to eat grains.
This porridge lasts for about a week in the fridge, so we just make a big batch and heat it on the stove each morning with a bit of extra milk or water.
1 cup brown rice, put through the oat roller
1 cup oats (groats = oat kernels), put through an oat roller
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Fermented grains (as above)
3 cups of milk
1 cup of water
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 dried persimmons cut finely (or dates if you live in the desert!)
1 tsp dried ginger powder
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unprocessed honey
Preserved fruit – cherries, quinces and wild plums
Edible flowers – violets
Combine all fermenting grain ingredients and soak for 12-24 hours.
Combine fermented grains (and the water!), with all remaining ingredients, except for 1 cup of water, into a heavy based pot.
Place on the stove on high until it begins to boil, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.
Then reduce to low and cook for about 30 minutes slowly adding the additional cup of water in and stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Place in bowls and serve with suggested toppings, or whatever you like.
Photos + recipe: Lentil Purbrick