The Three Bears Superfood Porridge

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I’m starting to get a taste of what toddlerhood is all about, and it’s humbling. Incredible in so many crazy ways, yet very, very humbling. Adriana yells more, squirms more, protests more, talks more, eats more, laughs more, and moves more by the day.*insert monkey covering eyes emoji* The baby stage is challenging in many ways, but an almost 14 month old with a strong will and a mouthful of about-to-pop teeth can be downright scary. I wouldn’t change it for the world though (ok, maybe the teething); I know we’ll look back on these days as some of the best.

Even though Adriana should win a gold medal in the food throwing/slingshotting olympics, she really does love to eat! I can always tell when she’s about to throw food because she warns us with a, “no… no…” as she whips the food off the tray. Then she leans her head over the edge and peeks at the food on the floor while saying “no, no…no, no”. It takes everything in me not to reinforce her hijinks because it’s pretty darn cute, if not grey-hair inducing. It’s usually a sign that she’s finished, or at least ready for a different food.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different breakfast ideas that we can share together in the morning. She really took to this oatmeal bowl (which I like to call porridge because it reminds me of Goldilocks and the three bears!), so I decided to share it on here since I’ve been asked so many times for easy baby/toddler foods. I love to use oatmeal as a vehicle for so many add-ins; in this recipe, finely grated carrots and zucchini bulk up the oats with energizing vegetable power, and hemp hearts and chia seeds boost the healthy fats, protein, calcium, fibre, etc. It really is a great start to the day. I don’t even measure it anymore, just throw in what I have on hand and thin as desired.

I was once told that a little one can need up to 30 exposures to a new food before they start to really take to it. Once I heard this, it relaxed me as I didn’t expect her to go wild over a new food right away. I now see it as a learning process for all of us, and it can take time before a food clicks with her tastebuds. This porridge was similar; the first time I gave it to her she was a bit unsure of it (full disclosure: she spit it right out with a dramatic face!), but the second time I offered it she ate a bit more. Now, she just inhales it and gets so impatient if she has to wait for it to cool down! Funny how things can change. Even though every little one is different, it can be reassuring to hear that persistence sometimes pays off. I also try not to get discouraged by an “off” day of eating – some days, for whatever reason, she’s just not into food compared to other days. I figure it all balances out in the end and try not to sweat it!

I’ve been making this breakfast every morning while we’re away, so I snapped a few quick photos for this post. Hope you enjoy!

superfoodporridge

The Three Bears Superfood Porridge

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

This thick and hearty porridge is naturally sweetened with mashed banana and finely shredded carrot, and it’s packed with superfoods like chia seeds and hemp hearts. I also love to stir in some finely grated zucchini to pack in even more vegetables. If I’m thinking ahead, I will mix the oatmeal together before bed so it can soften and thicken in the fridge overnight. Soaking cuts down the cook time drastically – all I do in the morning is throw it into a pot and reheat it. It’s unbelievably easy, and when you have a hungry toddler tugging your pants and screaming at your feet, fast is a necessity! Of course, you can prepare it from scratch in the morning too. I also serve Adriana this porridge chilled with great success (I think it feels soothing on teething gums!), so that’s a good option if it’s summer or if you just don’t have time to heat it up.

Yield
3 cups
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook time
15 Minutes
Total Time
30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed well (heaping 3/4 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely grated (lightly packed 3/4-1 cup)*
  • 1/2 cup finely grated zucchini, optional
  • 1 cup rolled oats, certified gluten-free if necessary
  • 2 1/4 cups water or milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt, optional
  • 1-1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, to taste (I use Ceylon)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth. Place it into a medium pot.
  2. Peel the carrots. Using the fine grate hole on a box grater, grate the carrots and measure 3/4-1 lightly packed cup. Place it into the pot along with the banana. Grate the zucchini (if using) using the fine grate hole and place it into the pot.
  3. Add the rolled oats, water or milk, chia seeds, and optional dash of salt into the pot. Stir well until combined.
  4. Increase heat to medium and cook the oats, uncovered, stirring frequently and reducing heat if necessary, for about 10-15 minutes until the oats are softened and the mixture thickens. (If you soaked the oatmeal overnight, simply heat it and serve.)
  5. At the end of cooking stir in the cinnamon to taste and all the hemp seeds.
  6. Serve and enjoy with your desired toppings (such as sliced banana, granola, nuts, etc). Leftovers will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 days. To reheat, add oatmeal into a pot on the stove-top and heat over medium heat, stirring in a splash of water or milk if necessary to thin out.

Tips:

*I like to use a full cup of shredded carrots, but feel free to use any amount you prefer!

**To save on cooking time, prepare this mixture at night before bed and let it soak in the fridge (covered). In the morning, simply stir and heat on the stove-top, adding more water or milk if desired.

This recipe yields a very thick oatmeal (and it thickens even more when chilled). Feel free to use more liquid if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Oh She Glows

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