Food & Nutrition

Porridge with milk or water? (let’s settle the debate)

Porridge is one of the most popular breakfast choices in the UK. In fact, according to research from market analysts Mintel, 49% of people in the UK eat porridge, and 23% say it's their number one choice for breakfast - that's a lot of oats!

But despite the popularity of porridge, there is still much debate surrounding how best to actually consume it. We're not talking about whether or not you should put salt in it like those strange people or north, we're talking about something a bit more fundamental than that - should you make porridge with water or milk? Well, that's what we're going to look at today. Recipes, even from the likes of the BBC, aren't much help because they rarely specify whether to use milk or water. We'll be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, let's get into the article:

Porridge with water

There are a few advantages to making porridge with water, with the most obvious one being that it is lower in calories and fat. Cow's Milk is actually very high in calories, so even the small amount of milk you use in porridge can contain a significant amount of calories. Whereas we all know that water is totally free of calories and fat, so in this sense porridge with water is healthier than porridge with milk. However, we all know it's not always as straightforward as that.

There is one other slightly less obvious advantage to using water in your porridge vs milk - water boils at a lower temperature than milk (although not by much). So if you're needing your porridge in a rush and the seconds count for you in the morning, make your porridge with water!

Porridge with milk

Before we get into why we love porridge with milk (spoilers), we should acknowledge that the term "milk" isn't as simple and straightforward as it once was. We've got more milk options than ever before, and porridge made with oat milk is definitely different to porridge made with cow's milk. To avoid any confusion, this section is going to be about cow's milk.

As far as we're concerned, porridge with milk is the winner here. Yes, it's heavier on the calories, but it has the added benefit of containing more protein than porridge with water (essential to helping you feel full), plus lots more nutrition, and we think you can't beat the creamy taste of porridge with milk, ideally with a bit of honey too.

Porridge with milk alternatives

If you want the creaminess of porridge with cow's milk but you want to skimp on the calories and fat a bit, then definitely consider trying one of the milk alternatives. Oat milk is much lower in fat than cow's milk but still tastes great even when cooked at high temperatures.

Our final verdict

So for us, it has to be porridge with cow's milk. It's creamy and although it is high in calories and fat, it has the protein content to help keep you full and set you up for the day. But what about you? Let us know in the comments! If you've now decided that you want to make porridge with either water or milk, make sure that before you get started to you check out our guide to the very best porridge oats you can buy.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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