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  • Writer's pictureNava

I should have cooked the oats

Oats with chia pudding and strawberry compote

I should have cooked the oats

As I get older and the children are hardly around, I have lots of time to reflect and reminisce. Was I a good mum; did I do a good job?

The voice inside my head tells me I should have been more understanding when they were little and they misbehaved. I should have been more present. I yelled too much. I should have been more patient. I should have cooked the oats... but if there is one thing I couldn’t have done is love them more! I am deep in thought as I stir the porridge.

Its 1996 and I am standing in my home, baby toys are scattered all over the dining room, my twins are sitting in their highchairs, my eldest is sitting at the table and I’m pregnant with number four. I go to feed them their porridge when my ex mother in-law who was visiting at the time walks into the dining room and says, ‘What are you doing?’ In that voice which implies ‘what planet are you from?’

‘I’m feeding the kids porridge,’ I say.

‘You have to cook it first!’ she says.

OUCH, I didn’t know you were supposed to cook it. I thought you just add milk, like you do with every other cereal! I didn’t eat porridge growing up. We ate sahlab (cornflour mixed with water, hot milk, rose water and cinnamon). So much for me being a natural born cook…

But, you live and you learn. Armed with the handy hint that oats needed to be cooked to count as porridge I quickly adapted (I’m a fast learner). I even began to get creative and adventurous with the flavours and toppings, I think I’ve become quite good at turning this humble, nutritious standby into something a little special. Which brings me to today’s silky smooth and creamy delight, mixed with chia pudding, and topped with berry compote and orange juice. Yuuum

This portion is for two servings


Chia pudding

¾ cup of almond milk or any milk of your choice

3 tablespoon chia seeds


Mix chia seeds and milk thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

Porridge and topping


Cook enough oats for two according to the instructions on the packet.

1 cup frozen mixed berries or raspberries

Juice and zest of one orange

½ punnet of strawberries sliced

2 teaspoons of honey or according to taste

2 tablespoons crushed nuts (I used pistachios)


Microwave the berries with ½ the orange juice for 2-3 minutes or until bubbling hot.

In a large bowl mix 3-4 table spoons of chia pudding with 2 portions of porridge, and remaining orange juice.

Divide porridge between two bowls top each with berry compote, orange zest, slices strawberries and crushed nuts.

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