If we want to get fit – and get rid of some of that ‘lockdown belly’ – starting the day with an old-fashioned bowl of porridge is the best advice I can give you.

Oats are one of Scotland’s iconic foods, packed with slow digesting fibre that helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Naturally rich in vitamins, B1, B6 and folic acid they also have good magnesium, helpful to reduce type 2 diabetes. Home- made muesli or simply a big bowl of fruit sprinkled with roasted oats gives a good start to the day and avoids mid-morning hunger pangs. Goldilocks had a point!



300ml coconut milk

300ml water

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

100g porridge oats

1-2 drops vanilla extract

1 ripe mango, banana, or handful fresh berries


Put the coconut milk, water and ground cardamom into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the porridge oats.

Add the vanilla extract to taste.

Simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with piles of summer berries and a drizzle of honey.

You can easily cook porridge in a microwave, 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway through. Be careful as the bowl gets hot.


Bought muesli can have a lot of added sugar. It’s cheaper and easy to make your own.


100g rolled oats

50g wheat flakes

50g flaked barley

2-3 tablespoons mixed nuts, whole almonds, pecans, hazelnuts

2 -3 tablespoons dried fruit: raisins, sultanas, chopped dates, figs

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons green pumpkin seeds

When ready to eat

1 apple or pear, cut into pieces

Large handful raspberries and blueberries

2-3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt

1 teaspoon Scottish honey, optional


Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Scatter the rolled oats, wheat flakes and nuts on a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes.

Remove and leave to cool. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Store in a sealed jar and store in a dry place (it will stay fresh up to two months). When ready to eat add the chopped fresh fruit and berries and a big dollop of Greek yoghurt to moisten it. You can add milk or apple juice. To add sweetness, you can add a drizzle of honey.



Slice of melon

½ peach or nectarine

1/2 banana

6 soft prunes

1 orange, cut into segments

Handful raspberries

Greek yoghurt

1 tablespoon roasted porridge oats

A teaspoon sunflower seeds.


Prepare all the fruit, de-seed and cut into bite-size pieces.

Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Sprinkle with the oats and sunflower seeds and a handful of raspberries.

Serve with a pot of Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar blend coffee.