Porridge with banana and strawberries in bowl

Organic and gluten free porridge

In Diet, Nutrition and Recipes, Health and Nutrition by LivingNowLeave a Comment

Once upon a time there wasn’t much choice when it came to porridge. The average Goldilocks was stuck with porridge that was either too full of gluten, or else too full of preservatives and unnecessary additives. Now, however, thanks to a revolution in healthy food concepts, we don’t have to look much further than our local health food shops to find the stuff that makes our porridge meals just right, with plenty of gluten free, organic, and wheat free options.

Just as well, too, with these chilly winter mornings. It definitely makes waking up in the cottage far more bearable when we know we can look forward to a steaming bowl of hot porridge that is as good for our bodies as it is for our sense of comfort. The porridge brewed by most of our parents and grandparents (and quite likely also by the three bears) was made from oats, which contain gluten. A similar meal, however, can be achieved with a number of gluten-free alternatives. Consider grains such as millet or polenta the next time you’re looking for a hot porridge sans gluten.

Alternatively, check out some of these organic and gluten-free porridge-mix ideas, made by health-conscious food manufacturers and available at health food shops nationally or by mail order. Tasted by the creative and talented crew at our Melbourne LivingNow office, these porridges underwent a far more thorough critique than Goldilocks’ famous fairy tale taste-test, but then again, we are far more discerning bears nowadays. So with this in mind, it seems obvious that we have all of the ingredients for our very own fairy tale.

The setting:

A land far, far away from the sub-tropical Queensland sunshine (and therefore inhabiting grateful hot-breakfast volunteers.)

The characters:

Mads
– Our story co-ordinator for this taste-test and also for the broader collection of fairy-tales that is our beloved magazine (Assistant to the Editor)

Séamus
– A fairy tale-spinner with regular articles in the magazine and also pretty helpful in our sales department

Angelina
– No, not Thumbelina. Wrong fairy tale. Also very helpful in our sales department. Penny and Shelton – New additions to our tasting team. Check out future issues for the flesh-out of these characters.

Terry
– Discerning porridge-eater and fairy-tale expert (our Deputy Editor)

Katie
– Cheerful and bubbly salesperson, she is, however, seemingly not a morning person. Some of her porridge-tasting comments have been omitted for the sake of the children…

Elisa
– A porridge traditionalist not unlike Goldilocks, helping herself to many varied projects around the LivingNow office in an administrative role.

The plot:

It thickens…

Please note that ratings as indicated are only according to the tastes of our crew and are also relative to their individual cooking skills, so you’ll have to make your own brews if you want a true sense of these porridge alternatives. Please also note that some of the following porridges are organic, some are gluten-free, and some are both.

Norganic
Organic Instant Porridge (organic, wheat free)

Made with organic oats. Wheat-free, low in salt, no artificial flavours and no preservatives. Available from health food shops and supermarkets. Ph: 07 3805 4499 or check out www.norganic.com
Rating average: 4/5

Katie: Creamy and comforting. Just like Miss Muffet made it – oh, hang on…Wasn’t that curds and whey? And what are they, anyway? Anyway, even better than those…
Seamus: Great traditional-style porridge.
Mads: Addictive flavour and consistency that makes you want to go back for seconds!
Angelina: Smooth and creamy. Delicious.

Planet Organic
Organic Gluten-Free Porridge (organic, gluten free)

Made only from Australian grown certified organic cereals, blending organic brown rice and millet flakes. Available from health food shops. Ph: 07 5450 6999 or check out www.planetorganic.com.au
Rating average: 3/5

Angelina: “Yum. Enjoyed the rice flake alternative.”
Seamus: “Simple. Pretty good.
Mads: “Warms the body and easy to digest, though lacking a little in the flavour department.”
Terry: “Granular texture but pleasant taste – better than I expected it to be. The grittiness of millet just can’t be disguised!”

Willowvale Organics
Organic Porridge Mix (organic)

Formulated with a leading naturopath. Ingredients include a base of rolled oats, millet for its high protein content, and amaranth and sultanas for a natural sweetener (no added sugar.) Available from health food shops. Ph: 07 5546 7582 click here to email
Rating average: 3/5

Seamus: “Great, enjoyed the crunchy bits.”
Angelina: “A little bit gluggy.”
Penny: “Crunchy. Loved the different textures.”
Shelton: “Liked the taste and crunchy feel.”
Terry: “Millet is a bit grainy.”

Freedom Foods
Quick Oats (gluten free)

Specially formulated using 100% Australian oats that are free from any contamination from other gluten-containing grains. High in fibre, low GI, low in salt and do not contain added sugar. (This product contains oats but claims to be suitable for those on gluten and wheat free diets. Check out the website for further info.) For stockists ph: 1800 646231 or check out www.freedomfoods.com.au
Rating average: 4/5

Mads: “Thick, hearty texture. Tastes good with a dash of honey.”
Seamus: “Pretty good, though a bit plain.”
Angelina: “Great variety and blend of grains.”
Terry: “An uneven texture but great nutty taste. Satisfying.”
Elisa: “Tastes like porridge should! Nice and smooth.”

Organic Soul
Winter Warmer Porridge (organic, wheat free)

All organic ingredients. A traditional natural rolled oat base infused with cinnamon and abundant sultanas, apple and pear. For stockists ph: 03 8415 0331 or check out www.organicsoul.com.au
Rating average: 5/5

Angelina: “Cinnamon goodness! Very good.”
Seamus: “The best! The winner! Good texture and nice flavour.
Terry: “Makes a full-bodied rich hearty breakfast full of yummy fruit with cinnamon.”

Four Leaf Milling
Organic Rolled Oats (organic)

Four Leaf Rolled Oats are made from certified organic unstabilised oats that have not been subjected to steam (ideal for a creamy-style porridge). For stockists ph: (08) 8528 5330, click here to email or check out www.fourleafmilling.com.au
Apparently, unstabilised oats are generally hard to find in your local shops but worth a search because they are rated highly for a great creamy porridge.
Rating average: 4/5

Angelina: “Pretty good.”
Terry: “Creamy with a slightly nutty flavour, though a little bland.”
Penny: “A good traditional porridge taste.”
Katie: “Fantastic texture. Quick and easy to cook, too, though not a big fan taste-wise.”

Orgran
Rice Porridge with Apricots (wheat free, gluten free)

Wheat free, gluten free, no added sugar. Available in supermarkets and health food shops. For stockists phone 03 9776 9044 or check out www.orgran.com
Rating average: 3/5

Mads: “Light and fluffy with zesty apricot flavour.”
Terry: “Slightly “poppy”texture and virtually no flavour – the fruit was the best part.”
Elisa: “Apricots were great for some flavour.”

Angelina: “Apricot goodness! I liked this a lot.

Thanks to our taste test crew for their cooking and comments. Thanks also to all of the health-food manufacturers who sent in their delicious and healthy porridge alternatives and who, by getting creative with their food concepts, have made it possible for us all to live healthily and happily…ever after, of course.

 

Vicki Yianni is a freelance writer, author of several children’s books, and the proud mother of a wonderful boy.

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