Captain's Table

Mark Austen

Cup of tea

I have the greatest of pleasure in announcing that I am no longer considered to have a high cholesterol level. From an excessive 7.7 in January 2012 I have just been tested at 4.6 today.

How did I do this?

Red grapefruit, apples and porridge!

Every weekday.

I make a load of porridge on a Sunday, divide it in to 5 portions and each day I take a portion of porridge and two apples to work which I tend to each mid to late morning. The porridge is re-heated in a microwave.

Now, for those readers who really do not like porridge especially that mucilaginous texture, well I make fruit porridge that does not suffer from this. Here's how:

The fruit:

200g chopped apple
200g sliced banana
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup dried cranberries

The Porridge:

2 1/2 cups od porridge oats
2 1/2 cups of milk, semi-skimmed or skimmed
2 1/2 cups water.


Prepare the fruit and put in to a container.
Put the oats, milk and water in to a large saucepan and put on a high heat.
Stir continuously. This is important. If you do not do this you will shortly have burnt porridge.
As soon as you feel the porridge start to stick to the bottom of the pan reduce the heat to half of full heat and continue stirring until the porridge starts to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir whilst you add the fruit. Stir for a while longer especially if you are using a thick bottomed pan. I also put the pan on to my cold marble slab to take the heat out of the pan and to prevent any burning.
Mix well.
Allow to cool.
When cold divide in to 5 portions, about 400g each. I use the 800ml Lock N Lock boxes as I like the way the lids work. I never get leaks or the lids accidentally coming off.
Put the portions in to the freezer.
Take out one portion the night before you want to use it and put into the fridge to defrost overnight.

To reheat:

I use a microwave set to 800W for 2 minutes stirring well after the first minute. If it's not hot enough I put it back for another 30 seconds.

I work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on these days I stir in a small teaspoon of Golden Syrup as a treat.

The basic fruit porridge comes to about 400 kcal per portion so it is also suitable for use in a 5:2 diet.

Enjoy. I certainly do.