Porridge and oatmeal are often used interchangeably, though wrongly. Your clear understanding about what exactly porridge and oatmeal are will help you to spot the difference.
What do most health conscious people all across the world have for their breakfast? ‘Oatmeal’ would, perhaps, be your unanimous response. A few of you may also vote for porridge, which happens to be another favorite breakfast item. However, many of us wrongly assume oatmeal and porridge to be same, but they are not. You need to understand the difference between them before you have them in your breakfast
Porridge is defined as any grain, cereal or legume boiled in water, milk or both, and served hot. Thus, a porridge can be made from a variety of grains and cereals like oats, corn, rice, wheat, barley and so on. When a porridge is made from oats it is called oatmeal. Similarly, porridge made from corn is called cornmeal (polenta or grits). Thus, we can safely deduce that oatmeal is a type of porridge.
Porridge is also a very healthy dish which makes use of other grains and cereals besides oats. During sickness, it is used to restore the health of a person. Porridge is easy to digest and consists of many vital nutrients. Porridge is native to North-Europe while oatmeal is a Scottish staple dish. Traditionally, porridge has been made with barley and other food grains.
Oats used for making oatmeal are derived from ground oat groats with bran removed. Porridge, on the other hand is made from cracked but whole oats. Oats used for porridge can also be steel cut or steamed and rolled. These very same oats can also be used for baking oatmeal cookies. Earlier, oatmeal was considered nothing more than animal feed, however, in recent years, it has suddenly gained a status of health food.
Oatmeal is known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and assist bowel movement. Needless to say, it has topped the list of healthiest breakfast items. Oatmeal becomes more palatable when made into porridge. Sugar, salt, milk and cream transform it into a delectable food item.
1 cup milk or water
½ cup rolled oats or any grain or cereal of your choice
Pinch of salt
Additional ingredients such as ground cinnamon and fruits
Take a thick bottom sauce pan and pour milk in it. Add oats, salt and additional ingredients in this milk and bring to boil. Cook until you achieve a desired consistency. For a creamier texture, let it cook for several minutes before you remove it from heat. Garnish the bowl of porridge with dried fruits and serve hot.
2 ⅔ cups water
1 ⅓ cups regular rolled oats
Mix water and oats in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer it uncovered for about 15 minutes before removing from heat. Simmering is important to get creamier oatmeal. You may add dollop of honey or dried fruits for enhanced flavor and nutritional value.
There are hundreds of recipes for making porridge and oatmeal. The above recipes were basic ones, only to illustrate the difference between two. As you must have noticed there is not much of a difference between the ingredients and cooking method of both these recipes. Thus, you can conclude that porridge made from oats is oatmeal. The calorie content of both these recipes vary as per the additional ingredients used. You get about 100 calories by eating a bowl of porridge or oatmeal at breakfast