I used to think of oatmeal as distinctly “meh.”
Then, I went to Finland. Let me just say, their oatmeal is *amazing.*
Seriously. It’s technically “porridge,” not “oatmeal,” because they use barley instead of oats. Barley is something we Americans rarely see on a menu, and definitely not for breakfast. However, it’s delicious and ridiculously healthy. In fact, barley is even healthier than oats in terms of its slow release of energy. Where oats have a glycemic index of 56, pearled barley has a glycemic index of–wait for it–25. That means that pearled barley takes twice as long to increase blood glucose levels.
It’s also just delicious and nice to change things up. I make mine overnight on low heat, but you can also speed up the process (still takes four hours). The overnight option is nice because the prep work involved is about five minutes, and then you wake up to a delicious breakfast.
Finnish Barley Porridge
- 1 cup (2dl) of barley
- 6.3 cups (1.5L) of milk (whole milk, almond milk, coconut milk, they all work)
- 2tbsp butter
- 1tsp salt
- For an overnight bake: 194F/90C
- For a four-hour bake: 250F/125C
- Measure all ingredients into a ceramic buttered casserole dish that fits at least four pints (2 liters).
- Mix the barley, milk, and butter together. Then add the salt.
- Bake the porridge. For OVERNIGHT bakers (8 hours): Cook overnight on a low heat (194F/90 C). For a quicker bake: Bake at 250F (125C) for four hours, or until the liquid is absorbed.
- While cooking, stir as the porridge bakes.
- You can cover the casserole at the end of the cooking using a lid or aluminum foil.
- Top with what’d you’d like: fruit, brown sugar, you name it.
Easy, energy-packed porridge
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup almond milk (or coconut or whole milk)
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 scoops of Vital Protein Collagen (flavorless)
- 1.5tbsp honey (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp fruit preserves (avoid ones with ingredients such as fructose corn syrup)
- Dash of cinnamon
- Add water, milk, and oats to a sauce pan on medium heat
- Add the nuts and apple.
- Whisk in the collagen.
- Add the honey and fruit preserves and cinnamon.
- Cook until it’s an texture that is neither runny nor clumping together (usually 5-8 minutes).
- Top with whatever you’d like! Brown sugar and strawberries are both great additions. Enjoy!