STRAWBERRY & BANANA PORRIDGE RECIPE
No matter what the season is, I am obsessed with having porridge for breakfast. One of the reasons being its versatility - mixing up the ingredients with fruit, nuts, seeds and spices. It's exactly the kind of meal Fab 5 Formula is designed for, a simple framework for eating well every day that provides a hunger-crushing combination of ingredients, and a complete balance of nutrients.
You can make porridge fresh every morning or prepare the night before, over-night oats can be enjoyed cold or warm which is a great option for those who may be a little rushed in the mornings.
If you follow me on Instagram you'll know banana and berries are my go-to combo. Strawberries are my favourite during the summer. Both fresh and frozen varieties are great options, whilst canned fruit can also be convenient and a good back up option.
Oats come in a few different shapes and sizes, quick or instant oats which are smaller, takes less time to cook and has a creamier texture. Then there are rolled or traditional oats, almost double in size and give more of a bite to the texture.
Oats are a whole grain, a great complex carbohydrate that is jam packed full of nutrients and provides a good source of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps lower LDL bad cholesterol and stabilises blood sugar, supporting heart and cardiovascular health and those with diabetes to manage blood glucose levels.
The soluble fibre in oats contain high amounts of beta-glucan, which have prebiotic benefits. Prebiotics feed the friendly bacteria in the gut microbiome helping it to thrive. The gut microbiome produces short chain fatty acids which help maintain gut pH balance, fights inflammation, strengthens immunity, regulates appetite, protects the brain and helps prevent diseases.
As well as carbohydrates in the form of fibre, oats are also high in protein, unsaturated healthy fats including essential fatty acid omega 6. Plus, a wide range of vitamins and minerals, the notable ones are manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and B7 (Biotin), iron, zinc and phosphorus.
Bananas can be enjoyed at various stages of their ripeness. As bananas ripen, their starch content turn into sugars which increases their sweetness. Ripe bananas also see their levels of pectin, a type of fibre also increase, giving bananas their gummy texture.
Bananas, particularly unripe bananas have a much higher level of resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre which resists digestion and therefore supports good gut and digestive health, as well as maintaining blood sugars.
Bananas are also loaded with nutrients, including vitamin B6, potassium, chloride and vitamin C.
Potassium is a form of electrolyte, supporting fluid balance in the body. Potassium also maintains healthy nerve function and heart health by enabling muscle contractions.
Strawberries are the fruit of summer! I love the juicy, sweet and slightly tart taste, and it's beautiful vibrant red colour.
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress on the body and maintain a strong immune system. Functions of Vitamin C include iron absorption (oats, nuts and seeds contain iron), growth and repair of cells and tissues, collagen formation and healthy gums and teeth.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, this means our bodies do not store them which is why we need to eat them every day for optimal health.
Strawberries and other berries and fruits are rich in fibre, supporting good gut and digestive health and stable blood sugars.
SEEDS & NUTS
Nuts and seeds are a nutrient packed and are a great source of plant proteins and healthy unsaturated fats. My choice of seeds include hempseed (pictured), chia seed and flaxseed, coupled with nut butter such as almond or peanut.
Nuts and seeds provide a rich source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6. These fats help lower LDL bad cholesterol, helping to reduce high cholesterol, blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
When buying nut butters, choose brands with no additional ingredients added. A good quality nut butter should contain 100% nuts. Some may add salt and some may add palm oil, which is high in saturated fat.
Hemp seeds are nutrient packed with magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus and iron.
Per serving for 1
1 small banana
Handful of fresh berries
120ml choice of semi-skimmed or plant milk
1tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp honey
Pinch of cinnamon
Optional - chia seeds, flax seeds, flaked almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter
Add oats and milk to a heat proof bowl and microwave for 90-120 seconds,
Add a pinch of cinnamon and stir well, let it sit for 2 minutes
Meanwhile, slice banana add to bowl along with your choice of berries
Drizzle on honey, top with hemp seeds and serve warm
For over-night oats, prepare oat and milk mixture and store in airtight container in the fridge. In the morning add all remaining ingredients and serve.