Monday, 6 September 2010

And now for something completely different...

Ok, so in the interests of accuracy, I need to point out that "slightly different" would be better than "completely" but how often do you get the chance to use a Monty Python quote?!

And "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy" just wouldn't have worked as a title for this post... : )

Anyway! Does anyone else ever get the urge to make/eat something you haven't had for ages, if ever? That's what I had on Saturday; a compulsion to make polenta porridge for breakfast (weird).

Polenta, or fine cornmeal, was promoted to me a lot when I was first diagnosed coeliac but I'd only ever used it in a couple of cakes (to good effect; it gives a nice sandy texture). But it's a very versatile ingredient. You can use it as flour, bake it as a bread (and then saute the slices for a toast-like effect, serve it as a pasta or rice substitute - or cook it on the stove, like you would oats.

Its nutritional stats aren't as impressive as those of oats - for almost exactly the same number of calories, 100g polenta has about 3.5g less protein and about 7.5g less fibre but I thought adding a bit of oat bran would make up for that.

Following the instructions on the packet, I measured out 30g polenta (with 15g oat bran) and heated 150ml water in a saucepan.
Once it was boiling, I poured in the grains and started stirring. It was clear straight away that MUCH more water was needed so I grabbed the nearest mug and sloshed loads in - about a small mugful, if that helps : )

You then just have to keep stirring, almost whipping, until you reach the consistency you want, which takes much less time than cooking porridge. You do have to keep stirring though, to break up any lumps of polenta.

When it had cooled down, I added my favourite mix-in, a mashed-to-oblivion, microwave-melted banana, and 4tbsp coconut milk... and it was delicious! Soooo creamy and the coconut/banana flavour was perfect...

Banana/coconut creamy polenta porridge

Another bonus was that it kept me full for ages. This may have been partly owing to the mix-ins rather than the polenta but this breakfast is definitely a winner! This picture doesn't do it justice either, it was a beautiful primrose yellow too : )

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