5 Minute Cacao & Date Porridge Bowl (vegan, gluten free)

I’m a big lover of porridge, as anyone who followed my old blog (Woolly Whiskers) may know. It’s filling and comforting – just what I need in the morning, especially before an early morning lecture!

Another great thing about porridge is that it’s easy to customise. On a low energy day, or when my appetite is struggling, I use Ready Brek style oats with a little sugar and jam. In the summer, I add as many fresh berries as I can fit into the bowl.

I’ve eaten the same porridge almost every morning for the last week – it’s just that good! It tastes sweet and indulgent – but it gives you 2 of your 5 a day, and there’s no refined sugar involved. The perfect treat to start your day.


5 minute cacao & date porridge bowl
(and that includes the prep work!)


  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I use soya or almond)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • A handful of pitted dates
  • One ripe banana
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)


1. Put the oats, milk, and cacao nibs into a microwave-safe bowl

2. Cut the dates into small pieces and stir into the porridge mix


3. Put the bowl in the microwave at full power for 1 1/2 minutes, at full power

4. Meanwhile, slice the banana

5. Stir the porridge and return it to the microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes (give or take depending on how thick you like it) – keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t turn into a volcano!


6. When the porridge is cooked, give it a stir, and put your sliced banana on top

7. I like to top mine with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup, but you can flavour yours however you like it!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you think of any yummy variations, let me know – I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy my oats!

Maisie Rose x


Recipe: Spicy Coconut Rice (36p, vegan, gluten free)

This recipe first came about a few months ago, when I had half a can of coconut milk leftover from making the frosting for a vegan red velvet cake. Back then, it was quite plain – just coconut flavoured rice with a few vegetables thrown in.

The “plain” version: a coconut rice and vegetable bowl. This portion was made on 1/1/16.

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes prefer that version to this one – the more veggies the better! But chopping and frying the vegetables in a separate pan takes a little more energy, and means more washing up. Plus, the version I’m giving you here feels more comforting to me, especially if it’s cold outside.

So with a couple of simple additions and changes, you get tonight’s dinner. It’s creamy, warm, and a little spicy. The sweetcorn and raisins add a nice bit of texture and a touch of sweetness; but if you don’t like them, feel free to leave them out or replace them with anything else you can think of. I sometimes fry a range of veg in a separate frying pan with garlic infused oil, and before I went vegan I put Quorn chicken-style pieces in there. Whatever takes your fancy!

Spicy Coconut Rice: Serves 2 (or 1 generously) for 36p



  • 150g rice (I used basic white long grain – 7p)
  • 200ml water
  • 200ml coconut milk (made from creamed coconut* – approx. 20p)
  • 1tbsp tomato puree (3p)
  • 1/2-1tsp chilli powder (1-2p)
  • 1/2tsp dried ginger (<1p)
  • Generous pinch of salt (<1p)
  • Optional: Handful of frozen sweetcorn (<1p)
  • Optional: Handful of raisins (<1p)

* Blocks of creamed coconut work out cheaper than liquid coconut milk in my experience, but you can use coconut milk from a can or tetrapak if you prefer. I’ll explain how to make the coconut milk from the block below.


1. Weigh the rice directly into a small saucepan, preferably one with a lid. Add the salt, ginger, and chilli powder and give it a shake to mix in evenly.

2. Boil a kettle and pour 200ml of water over the rice.

3. Measure another 200ml into a jug or bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut or shave off up to 50g of creamed coconut. Make sure the pieces are small before tipping them into the jug and stirring until fully dissolved. Pour the coconut milk into the saucepan.

4. Add the sweetcorn (if using) and put the saucepan over a medium heat, lid on.


5. When the mix comes to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and stir occasionally until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the raisins at this point, if you’re using them.


6. Stir, turn the heat off, and serve immediately.


So there you go – all in under 15 minutes! I hope you like it as much as I do.

Maisie Rose x