Ode to Oatmeal: Scottish Porridge

As I sit here writing this, I can’t believe its been four years since I lived in my beloved Scotland. Studying abroad in the beautiful city of Edinburgh was one of the best experiences of my life and I would highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for adventure. One thing I discovered while living in the windy city, was the joy of Scottish oatmeal, aka, porridge.

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Porridge is quite different from what we in the U.S. typically think of when we picture a bowl of oatmeal. Its thicker, creamier, and has been a staple in the Scots’ diets for centuries. Unlike rolled oats or steel cut oats, Scottish oats are ground via stone mills, giving it a very fine texture. If you’d like more information on the different types of oats available, check out this blog post.

Stateside, the best Scottish oatmeal I’ve found is from Bob’s Red Mill. I pick it up at my local co-op, Ozark Natural Foods for $3.39 (20 oz.), but here you will find monthly coupon offers from Bob’s Red Mill that are good at any retailer. These coupons cover a variety of products, and just FYI, they are a great source for gluten-free options!

So how do you make porridge? You can prepare it via stovetop or microwave and its very simple!


Bring 3 cups water and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil. Slowly stir in 1 cup Scottish Oatmeal, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Makes 4 hearty servings.


Combine 1/4 cup Scottish Oatmeal, 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Stir well. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Makes 1 serving.

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I love porridge because its fast, filling, and delicious. There are also lots of ways to top it off! Personally, I like to go with the traditional pat of butter, spoonful of brown sugar, and dash of cream. For the health nut, I would suggest Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and honey. Other tasty options include (but are not limited to) granola, chia seeds, flaxseed, cardamom, agave nectar, milk, pistachios, cinnamon, and chopped dates!

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I hope you’ll try it, but if porridge just doesn’t do it for you, don’t rule Scottish oats out for your baking needs! For another authentic Scottish experience, try these Scottish Oatcakes.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! Please feel free to comment below and share your own porridge/Scottish experiences with us, or even tell us what you’d like us to write about. We love hearing your feedback and interacting with our readers!

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Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland, taken by the lovely Becca Cahan

As always, live healthy and love hard!



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