It’s raining outside this morning and even though spring is on the doorstep there is still a chilly feeling in the air. It’s breakfast time and time for my favourite creamed coconut vegan banana porridge.
Feels like the perfect morning for good old-fashioned porridge – although of course, as you might imagine (as with anything in the Conscious Kitchen), today’s porridge is going to have a delightful twist!
In this recipe, I’ll be showing you how to make a super easy porridge using gluten-free oats, ripe banana, water, creamed coconut and an optional drizzle of maple syrup.
Gently sweetened vegan banana porridge
Using banana is a perfect way to gently sweeten. The banana basically melts (with a little help from your spoon during the cooking period) into the whole thing, giving a gorgeous infusion of nourishing sweetness.
I seem to find myself including bananas in my diet every day in some way.
They are particularly high in potassium which is good for heart health, blood pressure and brain health. They are also great for other vitamins like manganese, magnesium, iron, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and B6, which all contribute to healthy functioning of our bodies.
Oats are an excellent way to start the day
Oats, oats, oats! Such a satisfying and nurturing start to the day. They are really filling (yet not fattening, in case you are watching out for that).
I’ve heard many times that oats help to stabilise blood sugar and reduce risk of type-2 diabetes. Apparently, the high fibre and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars and beta-glucan. In turn, this delays the fall in blood sugar levels before meals and slows the rise after a meal.
But the really awesome thing I love about oats is that it naturally reduces stress levels and hypertension (and let’s face it, in this day and age, who doesn’t need support with that). Oats can help to increase your serotonin (a neurotransmitter) levels in the brain. Serotonin helps promote feelings of calm and can ease nervousness. Let food be thy preventative medicine I say!
But are oats actually gluten-free?
Yes, this is a big question amongst those who are sensitive to gluten (like me). Obviously, if you aren’t bothered about gluten, then this part is not for you.
I used to find that oats made me sleepy, slow and swelled my belly and would never dream of having them for breakfast. Then one day it surprised me to find that oats are actually naturally gluten-free (if you buy the right ones)! Hurrah! This made me explore further and the findings were pleasantly surprising.
When I investigated further, I found that farmers normally rotate their crops (i.e. grow different crops in each field every year). This means that oats will typically share fields where gluten grains such as wheat and barley have previously grown. Anyone who knows anything about growing plants in their own gardens will be aware that is that it is almost impossible not to have ‘unwanted’ seeds from previous years crops popping back up randomly. So, this year’s oat crop will inevitably have some of last years wheat popping back up through the soil (for example).
Farmers often also grow these different grains in fields next to each other too, leading to wind-blown contamination. Unfortunately for gluten sensitives, this means a small (but significant) amount of contamination. It has been shown that whilst oats themselves are gluten-free, they are more often than not contaminated with gluten.
Oats have also been shown to be contaminated in the factories (those which also process wheat, rye & barley) or in transportation containers etc. I’ve written an article here for more information on the matter:
Are Oats Gluten-free or Not?
- 50g (½ cup) oats
- 1 ripe banana (medium sized)
- 350ml approx (1 ½ cup) water
- 1 tablespoon chopped creamed coconut
- Drizzle maple syrup
- Add the oats to a small pan (without lid).
- Chop the banana into slices.
- Add ¾ of the water the pan and turn on the heat.
- The cooking period will be around 15 minutes. Bring the contents to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Stir occasionally during this time.
- If the water starts to dry out too quickly simply add a little more water as required. (Water amount will vary from batch to batch and also depending on how much is being steamed off).
- Press in the sliced banana as it begins to cook, with your spoon, until eventually it 'melts' into the whole porridge.
- Take a little amount of the creamed coconut and chop finely. [b]Please note: creamed coconut comes in a solid block form and melts upon heating, making it an excellent thickening agent and creamer for this dish. Read about what creamed coconut is here: Creamed Coconut Facts and Where to Get It?
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