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—Arlene R. Taylor PhD

Porridge is a popular breakfast dish in many countries. The term is usually used for oat porridge. There are similar dishes made with other grains or legumes but they often have unique names such as polenta, grits, or kasha. A porridge made of oats alone is often known simlply as oatmeal in the United States and some parts of Canada. 

Oats are generally considered gluten-free (unless they became contaminated during harvesting or processing). Look for packages that specify 'gluten-free,' such as Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free old-fashioned oats and others (see references).

Note: A small percentage of  people with celiac disease and/or non-celiac gluten sensitivity also react to Avena sativa, the protein found in oats. These individuals may need to avoid oats.  


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats 
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon


  • 1 Tbsp chopped nuts of choice, per serving
  • ½ cup fruit of choice, per serving (blueberries, sliced strawberries, etc)


Place water, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Slowly pour oats into the water, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or longer, stirring frequently. When fluid has been absorbed, turn off heat and let stand for a few minutes.


Spoon into bowls (½ cup is a serving size). Top with 1 Tbsp chopped nuts and your choice of fruit such as blueberries, sliced strawberries, or bananas or peaches.

You can make a double batch and store unused portion in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. To reheat, place desired amount in a small sauce pan and add 2 Tbsp of fluid (or more to desired consistency). Place pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until cereal is hot.

Note: if you want to use steel-cut oats, soak 2 cups overnight (if possible, to reduce cooking time). When ready to cook, rinse and drain. Bring 7-8 cups of water to boil, add steel-cut oats and continue to cook as outlined above. You can start with 7 cups of water and add more as needed. They will take longer to cook than old-fashioned style but are delicious.

References (Accessed 8/14)


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