The way we consume food has a large impact on the future of our planet, far beyond our plate. Meat consumption in particular affects land use, deforestation, desertification and climate change. Climate Tracker is launching a new series on sustainable food called CookThePlanetClean, in which Bea Goddard and others offer you a fun guide to reducing your ecological footprint while still enjoying the food you love. Enjoy!
I recently read an article about a woman attempting to go plastic-free for a month, and one thing she really struggled with was breakfasts, because the only breakfast food available that comes in a carton rather than plastic bag is oatmeal (side note: cereal companies need to sort themselves out, I’m looking at you Mr Kellogg). Her issue was that she could not make the oats taste good enough that her kids would eat them. She clearly needed some lessons from Instagram’s obsession with porridge to help her make some tasty tasty oats.
- Milk (preferably plant based, as explained on my previous post – dairy is scary!)
For ultimate not-too-runny-not-too-thick porridge, I recommend 2 parts milk, 1 part oats (e.g. 0.5 cup of oats to 1 cup milk).
I recommend oat milk for a few reasons:
- It is the tastiest plant milk and I will fight anyone on this
- It uses less water than soy or nut milks (especially almond)
- It (apparently) behaves in much the same way as cow’s milk so is a great replacement for those struggling to move away from the moo
- With porridge, it just increases the oaty goodness and the oats soak it up really well
Put both the oats and the milk into a (non-stick if possible) saucepan.
Leave this to soak for around 15 minutes, which is a good time to get other morning tasks done (I put my oats in the pan first thing, then go and get dressed, pack my bag, do any leftover dishes, etc. and then come back to a perfectly soaked pan of oats). If you’re in a rush in mornings I recommend leaving it to soak overnight and adding a dash more milk in the morning to make it easier to stir.
After this time has elapsed, simmer the porridge on a low heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick to the pan. It will take around 3-5 minutes for the porridge to thicken properly.
Serve the oats in a cute bowl for the Instagram likes, topping with your favourite fruits (preferably seasonal) and nut butter, seeds and/or a drizzle of syrup.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat with your breakfast and Lotus Spread is available in your country, this is a top biscuit spread choice; tasty, vegan, and uses sustainable palm oil (more on why palm oil is nasty coming soon…).
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not try and make it the most eco-friendly too?
Different flavour combos to try:
Add these ingredients in when you start to soak the oats to incorporate different flavours and keep things interesting!
- Mashed banana and cinnamon
- Raisin and/or apple with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
- Flaked coconut and dried cranberry
- Vanilla essence (makes it taste like custard, especially with banana on top)
Enjoy your breakfast!