I'm not really into effortful food, y'know, stuff that's a bit high maintenance. Like mangoes - they are pretty delicious, and apparently they're really good for your skin, but there's all of that peeling and then that big awkward stone thingy in the middle. It's not like an apple, you can't just crack it out when you have the munchies. You have to come prepared with many utensils to make it edible at all, and then the whole situation gets all sticky and messy. So clearly the best way to eat it is pre-chopped, on a chopping board, in your kitchen, surrounded by things to clear up the ensuing mess with. And what better fruit to chaperone porridge into my stomach of a cold winter morning? I'd love to say that it was innate culinary genius that made me come up with this, but actually I saw that mangoes were for sale at half price in Superquinn. But who really cares where the inspiration came from, this is a winning combo, and the contrast of the sweet, firm mango and the hot oaty porridge is both refreshing and hearty.
Quantity-wise, I tend to go for about one cup of oats, one cup of milk and one cup of water.
Freshly-chopped mango in the morning light. Wonderful start to the day.
And because mango is a little, well, exotic - I mean, I know that we're all post-Celtic Tiger jaded sophistication and everything these days, but it has a little tropical island-y frisson, non? - I thought that I'd take it a teeny tiny step further and shake in some desiccated coconut.
Rather than sprinkle the spices over it all at the end, it was easier to add the ginger, cinnamon and allspice to the porridge as it was cooking in the pot.
Pretty as a picture.
Finished off, of course, with my favourite dynamic duo: seed mix and manuka honey.
And, when it's all mixed up, the ratio of mango to porridge is most pleasing indeed.