Pimp up your porridge I – the youth serum

I thought of making a short series of fast and tasty breakfasts that are packed with nutrients. You see, Finland is THE country when it comes to porridge love. No, I can’t tell any statistics here, but I bet that puuro, as it is called here, is actually the most commonly eaten breakfast in this part of the world. And yes, it’s very healthy and yes, it is hated by many as they were forced to eat it as kids.  But believe me, you just need to spice it up with some seasonal additions to actually like or WHOA, even love it (and add even more nutritional value to your meal). In many countries porridge is simply called oatmeal, and as the name says it’s made of oats. Here though, an addition of rye is very common, that’s why I’ll be talking always about porridge on my blog. No matter if you just eat oats, or just rye or combination of those two or any other grains, porridge is one of the superfoods to bring you health and wellbeing.

To pimp up your porridge you really don’t need much, a handful of seasonal fruits plus a complementing spice is already plentiful. Here I combined cherries with cinnamon – those two fit so well together! Do you know that cherries are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and can even assist in regulating the blood pressure, not to say how darn tasty they actually are. Cherries have hit the list of so called superfoods and they are so valuable that a glass of cherry juice is said to be equivalent of 23 fruit portions! So, eat cherries and make your momma proud 😉

You thought I would stop there? Ah, life with me isn’t that easy 😉 To boost the antioxidant levels even more, I added several spoons of Goji berries. Have you heard of those yet? They are the new craze among the superfoods fans. I’m quite sceptical to call them wonder berries, yet  no one can deny they are tasty and full of “youth chemistry” we are so much for in this porridge. Oh, and did I already mention that even cinnamon is  plentiful in antioxidants and antimicrobial agents? Yes, search no more for the youth serum, just pimp up your regular porridge 😉

***

INGREDIENTS

rye and oat porridge

milk

2 handfuls of cherries, halved and pitted

4 tbsp goji berries

1 tbsp cinnamon

1-2 tbsp demerara sugar

pinch of salt

***

Prepare your porridge on milk (a portion for 2), add cinnamon, salt and sugar and slowly simmer till ready. Just before taking it off the heat, throw Goji berries and cherries in.

Racuchy – Polish mini pancakes with fruits

I adore slow weekend  mornings. Not that we have so many of those, actually we sleep through most of them 😉 You see, we are not really morning people. I wish we were though, but of course there are some positive sides of our laziness. We can skip breakfast and go straight for lunch, or actually brunch for that matter 😉 Pancakes are perfect on such occasions, they are warm, filling and extremely fast to prepare. Actually true Polish pancake is nearly as thin as crepes, but we  also have  something similar to “American style” pancakes that we call racuchy. They are much smaller, as they are made from just a dollop of dough and they often contain fruit pieces and are sprinkled with icing sugar (I adored those with apple slices as a child). They are also most commonly containing yeasts, but who would have patience in the morning to wait  for the dough to raise 😉 This time I used baking soda and frozen raspberries, but of course you can put fruit of your own choice or eat them plain.

INGREDIENTS:

0,5 l buttermilk

350g flour

2 eggs

50g icing sugar

1 tsp baking soda

200g frozen raspberries

frying oil

Mix buttermilk, flour, eggs and sugar to blend. Whisk in baking soda and fruits at the end. Fry until golden brown. The recipe makes around 30 mini pancakes. Serve with whipped cream and jam or sprinkle with icing sugar.

Recipe comes from blog Moje Wypieki

 

Salep and tahini-pekmez bread spread

Today I’ll have a bit different post for you. I wanted to show you a typical beverage and sweet treat for breakfast straight from Turkey (oh yeah I know, I’ve promised to write a bit more about Turkish food after my travel to Istanbul and well, better now than never 😉 ). There will be two recipes here as well as a very short description of three commonly used products. Hope you’ll find it interesting 🙂

I have already once mentioned salep in my post about Turkish sweets, where it was used as a thickening agent in chewy ice creams. This property is widely used in many desserts and comes from the starch. Salep is a powder obtained from ground orchid roots and is used as a flavoring and thickening agent also in beverages and ice cream. As orchid roots have pretty suggestive shape they have been from centuries used as aphrodisiacs and infertility curatives. In fact it is thought that the name itself originated from Arabic expression that means “fox testicles”. The most common usage of salep is in a mildly flavoured winter beverage and the recipe for it you can find below.

As salep is so much liked and widely used in Turkey the population of wild orchids declined what resulted in a ban to export the powder out of the country. That’s why you may buy original salep only once you’re in Turkey, otherwise only the synthetic versions are available elsewhere. Once you get a grip on salep here is a really easy method how to prepare your morning drink.

INGREDIENTS:

4 tsp salep powder

500ml milk

sugar to taste

cinnamon

To prepare the beverage simply mix the salep powder in half a glass of milk till dissolved. Heat the rest of the milk till it’s boiling and slowly add the dissolved salep. Decrease the heat, add sugar and slowly boil till it starts to thicken. Once you pour it to the cup, sprinkle it generously with cinnamon.

Pekmez is a kind of molasses obtained from condensing grape juice together with some coagulant agents. It’s been said to have more nutritional value than honey and apart from being a great source of energy it is rich in organic acids, calcium, potassium, iron and group B vitamins. It is also known to have some curative effects on anaemia and enhances bone development. Pekmez is often mixed together with tahini to form a delicious spread for breakfast. I guess nowadays everyone knows what tahini is. This sesame paste is available in every bigger supermarket and every health shop has it as well. Why? Well apart from the same nutritional values that pekmez has, tahini is additionally known to boost the rate of metabolism, enhance immune system and help to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone. And so mixing those two products makes a real nutritious bomb for breakfast. Both of those ingredients you may easily buy from your nearby middle-eastern shop. It’s really worth a try as it definitely is an original no-guilt sweet bread spread.

To prepare the spread you need to mix tahini and pekmez in 1:1 ratio (eg 1 tbsp tahini and 1 tbsp pekmez). However, the amounts are really flexible, you may want to increase the ratio of pekmez in your mixture if you want the spread to be sweeter or if you have pretty watery tahini paste.