Where I live autumn is in full swing now and I love this season! The trees are boasting with brightly coloured foliage ranging from the brightest yellow to the darkest red. There’s nothing like stepping outside during early autumn mornings. The air is crisp, everything is covered with ice cold morning dew and there is nothing but silence and a slight mist hanging over the big park nearby. I live for those early walks and watching our beagle Raja roaming around in the park, licking the grass while running, wiggling her tail and sniffing – all at the same time. During those short walks I enjoy the freshness of the air and clearing my head for the day ahead but what I am really looking forward to is getting home to a cup of steaming hot tea and a big bowl of warm oat porridge with berries.
While I am and always will be a fan of hot summers and spending late evenings in the garden with an ice cold drink I enjoy this time of the year immensely. There is so much to love about this season. Those long strolls through forests and parks that we love to take during weekends can reward you with a lot more than just happy memories if you are a little bit into foraging. In case you are not into foraging then take a moment to appreciate the beauty that autumn has to offer. If nothing else then you can take the most stunning pictures during this season.
If you never went foraging then you should definitely give it a try. There is so much wild food around at this time of the year that it is hard to focus on just one thing. You can find anything from various mushrooms to nuts and berries. If you are lucky you will have some of your own fruit trees or shrubs in your garden. Sadly we don’t have the luxury of a huge garden where we are currently living so we are more than thankful to have a large forest nearby. The first time I went berry picking there I did not expect too much. Much to my delight I was surprised with the tiniest and sweetest blackberries I have ever seen and tasted. They are incredibly small and while it might take a while to collect a good amount of those little gems they are worth every single second that you spend picking them.
Last weekend we went on one of said foraging trips and returned with a crazy amount berries. While we stuck with the rule of not over picking and leaving plenty behind for wildlife we managed to fill two baskets. There were areas that were covered in berry shrubs for as far as I could see. I froze a large part of our bounty, made jelly and cordial out of some of them and ate the rest as they were. They are so incredible. If you do not have the luxury of picking your own you can of course use frozen berries or berries from the store or market. However, if there is the slightest chance you might find them because you live close to a park or forest then I urge you to go there and have a look. Nothing compares to eating berries that are grown in the wild and so freshly picked. In this recipe for oat porridge with berries I used wild blackberries but you can use any other type of berry you prefer.
- 300ml (1½ cup) almond milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, dark
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 50g (2/3 cup) instant oats
- 50g (1/2 cup) frozen or fresh blackberries
- 3 tbsp rolled oats
- 1 tbsp crushed pistachios
- Place the milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cardamom into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave the pot on the hot plate.
- Add the instant oats to the hot milk and give it a quick stir. Let it sit for about 3 minutes.
- Just before serving add the 3 tbsp rolled oats and frozen berries and stir just until combined before pouring into a bowl. I like to add rolled oats just in the end so they absorb the remaining liquid and give the porridge a more pleasant texture.
- Scatter the pistachios on top and drizzle with a bit of maple syrup if you want.