September has finally reached us, after a long and relaxing summer with my family spent between Cyrpus and Prague, we’ve made the most of our time together. But today, I said goodbye to each of my boys as they left for school to start another term.  It’s a bittersweet time of year because I really enjoy getting the home back in order, giving the cupboards a sorting, recycling clothes which they have outgrown and handing them down or donating elsewhere. The house stays clean and tidy for at least 6 hours of each day which helps to keep my stress levels and sanity in check!  But, I know as our busy routine resumes, with after school activities, pushing my boys to complete homework, having dinner on the table, plus the nights drawing in at an earlier time each evening – it all makes for shorter days which are rushed through at top speed, and that all familiar feeling of my head hitting the pillow each night in exhaustion!  And all this time, my boys are growing a few millimetres here and there, getting older and more mature and I can’t help but feel so proud that they are mine but so sad that one day all this busyness and rushing will one day come to an end and I’ll be at the end of a text message or the odd phone call…. I tell myself to stay mindful of how I spend my time because it really does help to live in the moment and time seems to pass a little less quickly. I take in all of the little things, watching them sit or read, I ask them questions but listen more to the way they speak and how they look rather than what they are saying, I soak it all in and store it up because I know that these moments really are the only things that are precious in life, above all else and to miss them because I am too busy or fail to take notice, is the biggest regret I’ll have once the chance has passed.

September always brings this mood of reflection and thought.  I come alive during this month, maybe because it’s the month I was born, maybe its the fresh new season on the horizon with cooler temperatures which allow me to feel more energised… I don’t know, but I do think everyone has their favourite time of year, and this is mine, so I vow to make the most of it and all that it offers before it’s gone for another year.  Of course, I am looking forward to the produce this month brings, and this recipe is all about figs! Such an unusual and pretty fruit with all its seeds and pink/purple hues, they definitely make for an attractive picture with little effort…

I don’t like to fuss too much with fresh produce which is delicious picked right from the tree so I had them for breakfast this morning served simply with some Toffee Apple Porridge Oats and a sprinkling of raw cacao nibs for crunch.

By grating an apple and adding some chopped date to the oats as they cook, it creates a really lovely toffee apple flavour and you do not need to sweeten it as you will have enough sweetness from the fruit.

Served with some Rooibus Vanilla tea next to the window while enjoying the beautiful September sunshine coming through the window…

Toffee Apple, Hazelnut Porridge with Figs and Cacao

The Balanced Kitchen
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
overnight soaking 8 hrs
Course Breakfast
Cuisine English
Servings 1 serving


  • 1 cup jumbo oats
  • 1 small apple washed, grated
  • 1 large medjool date seed removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut milk
  • 1 fresh fig sliced
  • 1 TBSP raw cacao nibs


  • Place the oats in a bowl and cover with lots of water and leave to soak overnight, covered.
  • The next morning, rinse the oats under cold running water in a sieve and drain.
  • Place the drained oats in a small pan with the hazelnut milk, grated apple and chopped date. Heat gently for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and place the oats in a bowl with the chopped fig and the sprinkling of raw cacao nibs before serving.
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