Homemade “Instant” Porridge

While I’ve been planning the food to take backpacking with me I’ve been looking at various breakfast options. I’m planning on carrying all the food I need for the week so weight is important. Obviously I won’t have any refrigeration so can’t carry anything that needs to be chilled so breakfast options start to become a bit limited….

The specialist freeze dried porridge breakfasts are approx £5 each and have about 400 calories in them. The instant pots you can buy in the supermarket are about £1 each and contain just over 200 calories….. A 1kg bag of oats in Tesco is 75p.

Anyone who has porridge made up with just water knows it isn’t brilliant as far as flavour goes and I wanted something that would give closer to 400 calories rather than 200 for breakfast so I thought I’d have a go at creating my own. So, one morning I weighed out all the ingredients that I normally use for porridge and set about experimenting…..

One thing I wanted was a slightly creamy texture rather than just semi rehydrated oats but it had to work just by adding boiling water, mixing and leaving for a few minutes….

These are the ingredients for one portion

36g (1/3rd cup) porridge oats (I use Tesco value oats)
40g (1/3rd cup) sultanans (Tesco value ones work well)
20g dried milk powder (I used a full fat version bought from Amazon)

175ml boiling water

To mix : I put half the oats in with the milk powder in a food processor and “blitzed” it a bit to chop the oats up and help with the speed of the water absorbency (think back to physics at school and surface area to volume ratios 🙂 ) I then mixed all the other dry ingredients and put it in a tub for the morning.

To make up in the morning I added 175ml boiling water, stirred and left for about 5 mins stirring well before eating.

This had quite a creamy consistency, the oats weren’t crunchy and it was all still hot. Yes, it tastes different to “normal” porridge because it is made with dried milk and the calorie total is 384 per portion. There are lots of variations that I’m planning on trying. I’m going to add some ground cinnamon and raw palm sugar. The sugar will add a few more calories as well as a bit of flavour.

For backpacking I will vacuum pack individual portions and mark a “fill” line on the bag to make it easy when I make it up in the morning. I’m also going to experiment a bit to make up a thermal sleeve to make sure it stays hot outside that I can slip the vac pack bags in to… At the moment I’m thinking of cutting up an old space blanket (they are quite good at keeping you warm !) and using my duck tape skills to put it together or even see if the whole bag will slide in to a soup flask (I don’t want to do too much washing up) but weight/space may be an issue….

Anyway, I hope you have found this useful and I’ll no doubt be adding some more food ideas as time goes on 🙂

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