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Fig and Blueberry Grain-Free Porridge (N'oatmeal)

With the weather turning colder my regular breakfast salad is starting to feel a little amiss. More than the odd morning have I caught myself sneaking covetous glances and salivating slightly at the steaming bowl of porridge (oatmeal) across the breakfast table being enjoyed by my gluten tolerant other half.

Fig and Blueberry Grain-Free Porridge (N'oatmeal)

I don't often experience this food envy regarding the non-Paleo foodstuffs I have willingly snubbed for over two years but the colder weather together with a viral infection have left me vulnerable.

Then I had a Eureka moment. Having failed to replenish my salad supplies one morning I decided the next best option in my very time pressed morning schedule was to have a smoothie bowl. Given I usually have one every afternoon I made a double batch the day before and saved half for the next day's breakfast.

Problem was when it came out of the fridge the next morning it was reeeeally cold and even though I don't mind that in the middle of the day, my body visibly recoiled at the idea of such a rapid body temperature lowering technique while still bleary eyed.

So..... I popped it in the microwave (shock, horror, sorry if I offend anyone with this) for a minute or so and it was so warming, so perfect and vaguely reminiscent of my porridge days (the ironic equivalent to my 'salad days'!). Obviously I'm not saying it tastes just like porridge (because seriously it doesn't) but it elicits that same comforting fuzzy feeling.

Anyhow, my version is packed full of nutrient-dense and fibre-filled vegetables, with plenty of protein and heart healthy Omega 3 fats from the chia and hemp seeds. Natural sweetness comes from vibrant antioxidant rich blueberries and prunes. Fennel is cleansing and high in folate and potassium - essential for controlling blood pressure. Cinnamon controls blood sugar levels and manuka honey not only tastes delicious as a typical addition to any porridge but also contains anti-bacterial properties. Chopped figs taste delicious with the cinnamon and honey backdrop but feel free to top with whatever nuts, seeds, fruits you fancy or even just eat it as it is.

This breakfast kept me going until lunch. Happy Autumn x

Fig and Blueberry Grain-Free Porridge (N'oatmeal)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free

Makes 1 large bowl

1 medium courgette (175g), approx 1 heaping cup, roughly chopped
2 inch section of cucumber, roughly chopped
1/4 medium fennel bulb (40g), roughly chopped
handful blueberries, approx 1/2 cup
3 prunes, pitted
1 tbsp (8g) ground hemp seed
1 tbsp (8g) ground chia seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp manuka honey (sub maple syrup for vegan diet)
3/4 - 1 cup coconut milk

Toppings: 1 ripe fig, flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), extra blueberries, bee pollen

1. Add all ingredients (excluding topping ingredients) to a high powered blender, starting with 3/4 cup coconut milk, and blend until smooth.
2. Add extra coconut milk if too thick. Note that the mixture will thicken as the chia seeds absorb more liquid.
3. Store in fridge until needed.
4.When ready to eat, either transfer to a small saucepan and slowly warm (no need to boil) or transfer to a microwave safe bowl and warm on a low setting for a minute or so, stir, heat for another minute. Alternatively, for a raw diet just add a small amount of hot water and stir through.
5. When warm, add chopped fig and toppings of choice and eat immediately.