One of my favourite places in London is 26 grains, a porridge spot in the dreamiest square in the city, Neal’s Yard (pictured below). It’s so much more than a porridge place though- it feels like their dishes are put together with so much thought and care. Rather than having a couple of bases and optional toppings, the menu is made up of 4 or 5 seasonal, plant-based and rather intricate porridge bowls, which have the most perfect combination of flavours. As much as I love seeing how many toppings and nut butter I can fit into my bowl every morning, I set out to create a 26 grains-style porridge bowl, one put together with a little more thought and one in which every bite feels like a match made in heaven.
Denmark has a really incredible array of non-oat flakes. The supermarkets are filled with spelt flakes, barley flakes, quinoa flakes, and rye flakes amongst many others. I chose to use rye flakes for this bowl, but if they’re not accessible to you, just use whatever you have on hand and can find. The rye flakes are cooked in almond milk and are topped with a really delicious salted pear compote. I don’t know how it took me so long to realise that literally anything sweet tastes better with some salt- not just chocolate. The sea salt really makes the flavours of the cooked pears stand out and transforms the whole porridge bowl- so don’t leave it out! The pear and chocolate combination is extremely up there on my list of favourites, so I thought I chocolate granola/crumble topping would bring the whole thing together and I was so so right. The chocolate granola is really easy to throw together, and makes the perfect addition to any breakfast, not just this porridge.
Rye Porridge with Salted Pear Compote and Chocolate Granola
For the Porridge:
2 cups rye flakes, soaked for 20 minutes (not necessary if using quick oats)
2 cups almond milk
2 cups water
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp. maple syrup
For the Salted Pear Compote:
5 pears, cored and diced
1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. sea salt
For the Chocolate Granola (makes about 3 cups worth):
2 cups oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar
5 tbsp. cacao powder
Pinch of sea salt
½ cup almond milk
Start by making the chocolate granola and pre-heat your oven to 180˚C. Mix the oats and sunflower seeds together in a bowl. Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil with the coconut sugar, cacao powder and sea salt and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the ½ cup almond milk, stir well until evenly coated and chocolaty, and then spread on a lined baking tray. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring the mixture up half way through.
When the granola is almost done, start making the salted pear compote. You can either peel the pears or leave the skin on- depending on your preference. Once diced cook over medium heat along with the coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt. Let cook covered for 8-10 minutes, until the pears are soft and lightly caramelised.
Last, make the porridge. Take your soaked flakes and cook them with the water and milk. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes, on medium heat. When they’re almost done, add in the tablespoon of maple syrup and the pinch of salt.
Now you just need to pour the bowls and top them with the salty-sweet compote and the granola and you’re set.