There was a time when I didn’t consider porridge normal food. It was too boring, too good. It must be for sick days. That was my notion. Like most other things in life, this too has come to pass. With age, with excess weight and with the constant deluge of over-the-top tasty foods, I’ve come to appreciate mellow, subdued, good for the body, good for next-day-morning foods.
Did you know barley is packed with nutrients like potassium, Vitamin B6 and folate make it great for heart health? Barley is an excellent source of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. Barley also contains Selenium which is not present in most foods. It plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Barley is also useful in maintaining a healthy weight.
I’ve taken a liking to porridge now. I find it comforting and satisfying. Also I am a sucker for sweet breakfasts. This naturally sweetened barley porridge is a great breakfast to start the day. The recipe I am going to share with you today will make barley porridge making a breeze. Barley generally takes a long time to make. So I dump the barley in a pressure cooker along with dates and cook them both together – 2 tasks in one shot. Barley is cooked through and so are the dates – all ready to be blended into a creamy porridge. The dates lend a lovely rounded sweetness without being cloyingly sweet. If you desire more sweetness, you can add some brown sugar or honey to the porridge. Adding just a pinch of salt balances the flavours and highlights the sweetness. You’re less likely to make the dish too sweet when you’ve added a pinch of salt.
The toppings are everything. Here’s where you add crunch, texture and interest to the porridge. I went with toasted, slivered almonds, sliced cherries and bananas. You can go with any toppings of your choice – toasted cashews, chopped dates, chopped fruit, a drizzle of honey, anything you fancy! Enjoy!