Wednesday 4 November 2009

Rude Health Top Banana and Fruity Date Organic Porridge

Ooooh I feel like I'm in Goldilocks !! I've just made porridge and had to divide my bowl up into three for Sophie, age 8 ("it's really yummy, can I have some more ?" - hang on, that's Oliver Twist, not Goldilocks !), and Juliette, age 4 ("I like it a little tiny bit"). It really was in three different sized bowls too - I'll have to keep my eyes open for bears roaming around the house later ! What's funny is that right back from when I was a child, I have never understood the logic of the three bears making breakfast then going for a walk in the woods leaving it to get cold. Well, now I do - porridge is way too hot to eat when it's first cooked and it takes ages to cool down to a temperature that won't melt your tongue !

Anyway, enough about fairy tales and on to the porridge. Right up until last month, I have always been convinced that I absolutely hate porridge. I can remember my mum making it, then serving up a bowl of slop that smelt like hot milk and stirring a big dollop of strawberry jam in it so it all went a funny greyish-pink colour !

But then I received a free sample of Rude Health's Fruity Date Porridge, and the words "Dates, apricots, apple and a hint of cinnamon" got my tastebuds twitching so I thought, Oh, I'll give it a go and if it's as horrible as I expect, the dog can have it !! Well, suffice to say, the dog went hungry !

Having never made porridge before, and having only ever seen my mum make it in a gooey saucepan, I was impressed to see that you can also make it in the microwave. You can tweak the basic cooking instructions to taste (depending on how runny you like it - obviously my mum liked gooey slop, I prefer it with the milk all soaked in and a crust forming on the top so it has the consistency of creamed rice pudding ! ) but basically you add one measure (about half a cup) of porridge to two measures of milk then zap it for 2 minutes, stir, zap it for another minute and eat - no, actually whatever you do, don't eat it yet ! Put it on the kitchen table and go for a walk around the forest like the three bears while it cools down ! With my microwave and my personal taste, I actually left it to cook for about 5 minutes - then about another 5 minutes cooling time.

What comes out is a creamy, steaming, moist, gooey, slightly chewy bowl of goodness that is definitely not slop ! Another thing from my childhood that I could never understand was the Reddie Brek adverts - well, I understand those now too, because you get such a warm feeling in your tummy after eating porridge that you really do feel like you're glowing ! Just the thing before heading off to work or school on a cold, dark wintry morning.

So what's so special about Rude Health ? Well, first of all the ingredients and the blends of flavours. I'll let the people at Rude Health describe them as they do it so well : "Fruity Date is a warm, sensual start to the day which will leave you glowing all over. Its silky blend of oatmeal and oats is perfectly complimented by dates, apricots and apple pieces, with a dash of cinnamon to make this a truly exotic experience." And for Top Banana : "Our famous blend of organic Scottish porridge oats and jumbo oats creates a perfectly smooth, warming base. Then we chuck in loads of Fairtrade banana for gooey, chewy pleasure and a generous scoop of roasted hazelnuts for texture. Finally we add ground banana and some maple flakes, just becuase that's the kind of people we are. If this doesn't put some funk into your gibbon, then nothing will." They're mad, but it's all true ! They also have two other recipes, Daily Oats (just plain porridge for the purists !) and Morning Glory (with a selection of nuts and seeds added).

Rude Health certainly impressed me on the taste-test but I also love their "green" ethics. The funky cardboard packaging is 65% recycled and 100% recyclable (they explain almost apologetically that the plastic bag is necessary to keep the porridge in tip-top condition). Their fruit and grains are non-GM and farmed using organic principles that are "better for the world and better for us, full stop."

I love it ! It's just the thing to perk you up in the morning, especially now the clocks have gone back and it's all dark and horrible in the morning - partly for the taste but also for the silly pictures on the box. The Top Banana box shows a man in a crash helmet riding down a hill in a shopping trolley ! The blends of ingredients are delicious enough as they are - I even noticed on the box that you can eat it with cold milk like muesli too - but I love adding a dribble of honey over the top.
With a name like Rude Health, they could call it Orgasmic Porridge instead of Organic Porridge !!

Right, it should be cool enough to eat now. Oi kids, who's been eating in my bowl ?!

star rating : 5/5

RRP :550g - £3.99, 1000g - £6.55

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