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Parsnip & oat porridge with dates & honey

If you begin your day with oats, you’re beginning your day well, because oats are among the healthiest grains you’ll ever eat. They’re gluten-free whole grains and an important source of fibre and essential vitamins and minerals (including antioxidants). Adding grated parsnip to this recipe can only cement these health benefits, but that’s not why it’s in there. It’s there because I’ve always liked the combination of oats and parsnips together. They have a natural affinity, whether that’s in bread, in salads, in savoury crumbles, or as here, in a porridge for breakfast. Soft, caramelly dates (another good friend to the parsnip) and runny honey turn what is quite a humble meal into a real treat.
Author: Gill Meller


  • 100g (3½oz) large porridge oats
  • 1 parsnip (about 50g/1¾oz) peeled and grated
  • 350ml (12fl oz) whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 sticky dates, whole or chopped
  • runny honey, for trickling
  • double honey, to serve


  • Place the porridge oats and grated parsnip in a medium heavy-based pan (a non-stick one will make the washing up so much easier). Pour over the milk and 350ml (12fl oz) of water, and add the pinch of salt. Set the pan over a medium heat and bring the liquid up to a simmer, stirring regularly. Cook the oats and parsnip mixture for 8–10 minutes, stirring continuously, until it has reached the desired consistency. If it’s a little thick, add a splash more water.
  • Spoon the porridge into wide bowls, top with dates and trickle generously with honey. At the weekend I like to serve it with a dash of cold double cream as well, but perhaps that’s just me.