On 10 October, we are celebrating World Porridge Day and supporting the Mary’s Meals campaign to raise money for hungry children.

It’s the ultimate winter breakfast. Packed with essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre, porridge lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol and helps to protect against heart disease. It’ll give you a warm glow and enough sustenance till lunchtime. Warning: it may also bring on a touch of smugness.

How to get your daily oats

In a saucepan add 50g of oats to 300ml of water. We love wholegrain oats for the robust texture. Too austere? For full-fat luxury, use half milk half water. Soak the oats and liquid overnight. Place your saucepan on the hob and bring the oats and liquid to the boil. Then simmer for five minutes stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or a spurtle for a creamy texture. Scottish traditionalists insist on adding a teaspoon of salt at the start of the cooking process but it’s not to everyone’s taste. At Queensberry House, you can choose from whisky salt (local) or pink Himalayan salt (not local). Leave your porridge to stand for a few minutes to let the flavour develop.

It’s all about the toppings

Over your porridge, toss in some fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, you name it) or dried fruit (medjool dates, apricots, sultanas, goji berries). It’s up to you. The more imaginative the better. Roasted figs with thyme leaves anyone? For a little indulgence drizzle on some maple syrup and cream or for a healthier option try a dollop of yoghurt and honey.

And to finish…

Sprinkle with seeds: linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds have all manner of health benefits and contribute another layer of texture. Then add a pinch of cinnamon for a spicy kick.

And there you have it: a comforting bowl of oat cuisine.

Give us a porridge smile

Join Mary’s Meals and donate £2 (or more if you can) to feed a hungry child in school for a month. Just text ‘OATS18 £2’ to 70070. Then spread the love on social media using #PorridgeSmiles.

Here’s one we created earlier. Over to you…