It’s Autumn in Australia, which means it’s officially porridge season. I have missed out on the comfort food that is porridge since realising oats don’t agree with me, so today that changes. Introducing: my recipe for gluten free porridge. No oats involved.
Before we begin: an important note on consistency. I like my porridge to be a cohesive but more liquidy affair. This is in contrast to some people’s preference, which is a slightly chewier and drier number. Is this the difference between porridge and oatmeal? I can’t be sure. Either way, there are notes for achieving both of those textures below.
Gluten free porridge without oats
This gluten free porridge is made with brown rice flakes instead of oats. As we’ll discuss below, oats are not considered gluten free in Australia. They are in other countries, which we will also discuss below. If you’re a person who can tolerate oats on a gluten free diet: amazing! Gluten free oats are no different to regular oats in terms of how they cook, so you can use them in any regular porridge or oatmeal recipe online.
This gluten free porridge is nut free, low FODMAP and easily made vegan. The porridge is sweetened with maple syrup and flavoured with a hint of cinnamon. It’s a 10 minute recipe that is filling, comforting and easy to make.
Aren’t oats gluten free?
Whether oats are considered gluten free depends on where they are grown and produced and where you live. In Europe and the USA, oats that are grown in designated gluten free crop sites and processed in a gluten free facility are considered gluten free.
In Australia, such oats are considered wheat free, but not gluten free. Oats contain a protein called avenin which is similar to gluten. Coeliac Australia writes that not enough tests have been done on the impact of avenin, and whether it provokes the same immune response as gluten free coeliacs. As such, oats are not considered gluten free in Australia.
What are rice flakes?
Rice flakes are made from rice that has been parboiled and then flattened to create oat like flakes. They are hard and crunchy to the touch, but soften when cooked in milk or water. Rice flakes have a mild, nutty flavour, but this is disguised by cinnamon and maple syrup in this gluten free porridge.
In Australia, rice flakes are often found in the health food aisle of the supermarket. However, they are also easily purchased in health food stores or online. I have used brown rice flakes in this recipe, but white rice flakes will work too. They might cook more quickly – when I find some I will test the theory.
How to add protein to your gluten free porridge
For a breakfast that keeps you full all the way until lunch, consider adding some protein powder to your porridge. Most protein powders will leave a distinct taste, but whey protein isolate is very neutral in flavour and low in lactose. It’s a great option if you’re not vegan.
To use protein powder, simply stir the protein powder into the porridge AFTER it has cooked. This way it won’t create any funky textures. Note that some proteins contain xanthan gum, guar gum or other gums, and this will likely make a stickier, more gluey porridge.
Another option is to add a big spoonful of Greek yoghurt. I use Jalna lactose free Greek yoghurt, which is lovely and thick. Greek yoghurt is high in protein.
Finally, add an egg white! Egg whites are a lot of people’s secret to fluffy and creamy oatmeal or porridge. Simply stir the egg white/s in after the porridge has started to thicken.
Creamy porridge tips
I use all milk in this porridge to ensure it is as creamy as possible. I find the fat content helps the porridge from being too thin and watery.
A small amount of butter (vegan or regular) seems to almost help emulsify the rice flakes and milk. I highly recommend keeping it in.
The chia seeds help thicken the porridge at the end and bring everything together.
A spoonful of yoghurt during cooking or whey protein isolate after cooking help thicken creamify the porridge.
Don’t be put off: adding an egg white helps here. This makes porridge creamier and fluffier, and adds a hit of protein too.
Achieving the ideal consistency for your gluten free porridge
I was shook when I discovered that some people like drier, chewier oatmeal. Or porridge. Personally, I’ve always been a soft and not quite liquidy sort of gal. As such, the recipe as outlined (and the photos) are of the latter sort of porridge. However! We can absolutely make a drier sort of porridge.
To do, you can use the 125ml (1/2 cup) of milk instead of 250ml (1 cup). At first the mixture will look too dry, but over time the rice flakes will soften and it will balance out. This style of porridge takes slightly less time to cook, too.
I do have a caveat, however. Less milk means less volume, and it ends up looking like quite a sad tiny bowl of porridge. If you’re attempting the drier style, I would recommend using 90-120g of rice flakes. If you use 90g (3/4 cup) use 180ml (3/4 cup) milk. To use 120g (1 cup) of rice flakes, use 250ml (1 cup) of milk. Essentially, you need to use the same cup volume of milk as rice flakes for a thicker porridge.
FODMAP notes for your porridge
This is a low FODMAP recipe, but there are a few things to be mindful of.
- Milk! Choose a lactose free full cream milk or a low FODMAP plant based milk to keep this porridge low FODMAP.
- Chia seeds are low FODMAP in 24g or 2 tablespoon servings, which puts this porridge well under the threshold. The chia seeds are incredibly helpful in thickening the porridge and creating a cohesive dish, so I really recommend using them.
- The only other FODMAP concerns are what you top the porridge with. As for fruits, see my list of low FODMAP fruits for some good options. In terms of dairy, use a low lactose yoghurt (I love Jalna lactose free Greek yoghurt) or low FODMAP plant based alternative. Make sure you check the labels to ensure there are no sneaky high FODMAP ingredients.
More gluten free breakfast recipes
- Cassava flour pancakes
- These bagels (with a vegan version, too)
- My gluten free bread recipe roundup
- Protein banana pancakes
- Vegan protein pancakes
Gluten free porridge recipe (no oats)
- 15-25g butter, regular or vegan
- 60g (1/2 cup)* white or brown rice flakes
- 250-310ml (1 – 1 1/4 cup)* milk of choice
- 20-40ml (1-2 tablespoons)* maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- pinch of salt
- 10g (1 tablespoon)* white chia seeds
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once melting, add the rice flakes, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine.
- Cook for 5 minutes, whisking intermittently until the porridge is thicker (not necessarily thickened) and the rice flakes are cooked.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the chia seeds. Allow the porridge to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning and serve with your desired toppings and mix ins.
- See body of the post for low FODMAP tips
- This porridge is best with full fat, creamy milks so it’s not grainy.
- It is also best eaten fresh and not left to cool. If it does cool and firm up, add a splash of extra milk or water to reach your desired consistency.
- If you prefer a drier, more chewy style of porridge, use 125ml (1/2 cup) milk.
- Less milk means less volume, however, and it ends up looking like quite a sad tiny bowl of porridge. If you’re attempting the drier style, I would recommend using 90-120g of rice flakes. If you use 90g (3/4 cup) use 180ml (3/4 cup) milk. To use 120g (1 cup) of rice flakes, use 250ml (1 cup) of milk. Essentially, you need to use the same cup volume of milk as rice flakes for a thicker porridge.