Porridge and oatmeal are both popular breakfast meals, but can you tell the difference between them? Which is healthier and which contains more dietary fiber? In this article, we compare the two to discover which morning dish reigns supreme.
What is Porridge?
Porridge is a hot cereal made by boiling grains (such as corn, rice, maize, millet, spelt, barley, and wheat) or legumes in milk, broth, or water. Similar to gruel, it has a thick, viscous consistency. Cornmeal is an example of porridge made from corn.
What is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a popular form of porridge made by boiling oats in milk or water. You can use various types of oats to make it, including rolled oats, old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, whole oats, and instant oats.
Types of Porridge
Grits, as you may know, is a porridge made from corn. In Asia, rice and water (or animal broth) are used to make rice porridge or “congee”. Rye and water create a porridge called “ruispuuro”. In Russia and Eastern Europe, a buckwheat porridge known as “kasha” is a staple, while “genfo” is made from barley flour. In South and West India, “upma” is a savory porridge made from semolina and “champurrado” is a Mexican porridge of milk, corn, sugar, and chocolate.
Oatmeal porridge is made from cracked, whole oats. When you cook it with sugar, salt, milk, and cream, you get a creamy, wholesome porridge that is simply delicious!
Remember to stir your oats consistently while cooking to avoid clumps and ensure that silky smooth consistency. When it’s ready, top it with almonds, walnuts, berries, almond butter, cinnamon, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice. It’s healthy, comforting, and will melt in your mouth!
Similarities Between Porridge and Oatmeal
When made on the stove, porridge and oatmeal have similar cooking times – about 20 to 30 minutes. They both have a texture similar to gruel, but this will also depend on the coarseness of the grains used to cook them. They are both best served warm and can be chunky or silky.
Differences Between Porridge and Oatmeal
The main difference is that oatmeal is always made from oats (rolled, instant, or steel-cut), whereas porridge can be made using different types of grain (cornmeal, rice, barley, semolina, or quinoa).
Porridge vs. Oatmeal Health Benefits
If you make them from scratch (and don’t purchase a ready-made, instant version), porridge and oatmeal are almost identical in terms of their health benefits. They both contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and oats contain dietary fiber essential for digestive and heart health.
Porridge vs. Oatmeal: Which is Better?
As we’ve noted above, porridge and oatmeal are very similar. They are both healthy when consumed as part of a balanced diet, so choose freely between oats, corn, polenta, buckwheat, or another grain for your breakfast cereal. It’s also possible to use gluten-free oats if you are gluten-intolerant – just be careful and check the label each time.
Getting creative and adding different healthy toppings will give your diet variety and flavor. Blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates, bananas, apples, almonds, walnuts and spices will all make excellent additions to your morning porridge or oatmeal.