Full of nutrients and slow release energy of oats, vegan porridge makes the best camping breakfast. You can customise it any way you like, but we have a little trick that makes it much easier to make!
The easiest way to make porridge when camping
We eat porridge almost every single day. I’m sure that lots of our fellow campers and vanlifers do as well. But we don’t make it the traditional way, by adding oats and water or milk to a pan and then cooking it on the stove. This method requires lots of stirring and boiling for around 5-10 minutes. And then you end up with a pan which has lots porridge stuck to it and is really annoying to wash up. That porridge slime is one of the things I most hate washing up!
For our vegan camping porridge, all you need to do is boil water and soak the oats. This means you can boil water for your morning brew at the same time – how’s that for super energy and time efficient!i It also means if you haven’t yet done the washing up from the night before, you don’t need to find a clean pan to cook with! Just maybe some cleanish bowls to eat out of?! And trust me the bowls afterwards are way easier to clean than a pan of cooked porridge.
This super easy vegan porridge is our go to camping breakfast, whether we are in the van or in a tent. It’s also a great solution for a vegan breakfast when you are staying in room with just a kettle and no kitchen. We find the method of just soaking in boiling water so much nicer, that we make it’s our standard way of making porridge, even when we do have a fully equipped kitchen!
The 5 Elements of a Good Bowl of Porridge
Choose porridge oats for best results, these are smaller and soften more easily. You may also find them called quick cook oats, or instant oats.
Yep just water, no plant milk needed. No need to carry any extra weight with you, no need to keep anything cool, no need to create unnecessary waste with packaging.
If you really can’t do without the ‘milky’ taste, then you can get dried soy milk powder, or coconut milk powder. Just add it to the oats before soaking in the water.
If you are using water from the wild, be sure to sterilise it before you use it. Simply cook at a rolling boil for at least 1 minute. If you are at higher altitudes, you will need to boil it for longer – 3 minutes above 6,500 feet.
The perfect healthy way to start the day is by adding lots of fresh fruit in to your porridge. Use whatever is in season or local to you. In summer we love to fill our porridge with fresh Wachau apricots. When autumn comes, foraged apples are our go to fruit, if we aren’t in the mountains surronuded by wild blueberries! In winter, oranges are at their best. And in spring we always have a jar of fruit compote on hand.
All good bowls of porridge have something a little crunchy as topping to add texture and variety. Think nuts and seeds… Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds, cocoa nibs, are some of our favourites. Some granola also makes an excellent addition.
If the natural sweetness of fruit is not quite enough, then a splash or swirl of something sweet adds an indulgent touch. We love a spoonful of our homemade apricot jam, a drizzle of vegan dandelion honey, or some delicous date or maple syrup.
Camping Breakfast Recipe Inspiration!
These are five of our favourite fully loaded porridge combos to inspire your next camping breakfast. Tell us your ideas in the comments below and we can add them to the list!
- Lost in the Mountains – Mash wild blueberries and add them to the oats before soaking with water. Add a swirl of bilberry jam. Top with pumpkin seeds.
- Bircher – Mix in a finely chopped apple, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a sprinkle of raisins. Top with granola.
- Apricot & almond – Chop 4 fresh apricots, add a swirl of apricot jam and top with almonds
- Feeling Festive – 1 juicy orange, dried cranberries and walnuts. A teaspoon of mixed spice.
- Choconut – 2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp peanut butter, hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds + a swirl of syrup.
- 1 cup porridge oats aka quick oats
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
Customise with toppings and add ins to suit you! Here are some ideas:
- 1 tbsp nuts walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts,
- 1 tbsp seeds sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, chia, flax
- 1 tbsp granola
- 1 tbsp coconut flakes
Sweet and Fruity
- 1 piece fruit sliced apple, banana, orange, fig…
- 1/2 cup berries or dried fruit raspberries, blueberries, raisins, cranberries
- 1 tsp apricot jam
- 1 tsp syrup date, agave, maple
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Boil water, pour over oats in a heatproof bowl, cover with a lid or plate.
- Whilst the oats are soaking prepare your toppings and add ins.
- After 3-5 minutes your porridge will be ready, mix in any flavourings, and top with your chosen toppings.
- Enjoy your delicious and nutritious start to the day!
We wish you a lovely day full of adventure,
Sophie and Paul
P.S. For more vegan camping and travel inspired recipes jump on board the mailing list 🙂