John Snow put it perfectly in a recent episode of Game of Thrones, when he announced, ‘winter is coming’. In fact, it’s already here and we must take action!
The winter months can be tough for the typical Australian who thrives under our scorching sun. Although Europeans argue that our winters are non-existent compared to theirs, it is cold enough for Australians to justify wearing ugg-boots in public!
When winter arrives, I stock the fridge with seasonal poached fruits for my morning porridge, as well as warm fruit crumbles for dessert – my sister’s favourite. This is the time when pears and rhubarb are sweet, cheap and in abundance. Every Sunday I make a batch of vanilla poached pears, and rhubarb compote - and my working week already looks better!
“If you keep good food in your fridge you will eat good food”
- Errick McAdams
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup almond milk
1 cup boiling water
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring the porridge to the boil. Turn the heat to a gentle simmer and begin stirring. The trick with porridge is to keep stirring so it becomes deliciously creamy. It should take about 8 minutes. If the porridge gets a little thick, simply add a little more boiling water. Porridge should be like similar to risotto, loose and silky. Serve in a big bowl and add your toppings.
Vanilla Poached Pears with Black Sesame Seeds
6 bosc pears
2 vanilla pods
I tsp. toasted black sesame seeds
Place the pears and vanilla pods in a medium sized saucepan. Cover the pears with water, put a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and poach the pears until they are tender. This should take about 20 minutes. Remove the pears and vanilla pods from the water and leave to cool. Once they are cool, remove the core and skin and cut the pears in half. Store the pears and vanilla pods in a sealed container in the fridge. These pears will last for 5 days.
Toast the black sesame seeds in a fry pan for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Top your porridge with 3 pear halves, sprinkle with the toasted black sesame seeds and drizzle with maple syrup.
Roasted Rhubarb, Maple Nut Butter and Pistachios
I bunch of rhubarb, washed leaves removed
1 tbsp. caster sugar
1 tsp. almond butter
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. crushed pistachios
Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan-forced and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Cut the rhubarb stalks into 4 cm pieces and place them in the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and cover with a sheet of foil. Push the foil in and around the sides. Bake the rhubarb for 30 minutes or until it is soft but still retaining its shape. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl mix the almond butter and maple syrup until the almond butter becomes a shiny paste. Top your porridge with a scoop of rhubarb, maple nut butter and crushed pistachios and devour!
* You can store the rhubarb in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.