Brose: Pudding or Health Food? Both actually

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, sadly the Wartime Housewife was violated and the site had to be temporarily shut down.  We are now cleansed and raring to go.

Atholl Brose - rich, sinful and delicious

I have come across brose in two contexts; as a refreshing health drink and in the form of Atholl Brose, a delicious pudding.  Brose is of Scottish origin and is a dish made by pouring boiling water or milk onto oats and then flavoured with salt and butter.

However, The Salvationist movement were great fans of brose as a cleansing and invigorating health drink which they detail in their 1954 book ‘Eat, Drink and Grow Clever’ by A B Cunning.  In it he expounds the theory that, with the right nutrition, one can improve children’s personalities, behaviour, school reports, tempers, health and teeth.  The book is unspeakably smug and within a few pages you want to beat the characters to death with marrows, but the message is a good one, and all the more relevant in a time when rubbish non-food is everywhere.

Cunning recommends drinking brose several times a day, an hour before a meal or two hours afterwards in order to charge our batteries and cleanse and rehydrate the system.



2 x jugs
1 strainer

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon oatmeal
1 pint boiling water

Put the salt and oats into a jug
Pour on the boiling water
Soak for 20 minutes
Strain off the liquid for drinking
It can be sweetened with a little black treacle, orange or lemon juice

However, for the more hedonistic among us, there is a delicious pudding called Atholl Brose.  The only thing it has in common with the above is the oats.  Which I guess makes it health food as well! Sort of…. It’s jolly delicious though.


A grill
1 x medium bowl
6 x dessert glasses

1 ½ oz (45g) almonds – chopped
1 ½ oz (45g) medium oatmeal
10 fl oz double cream – whipped to soft peaks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons whisky
3 tablespoons honey
Thin lemon twists to decorate

Mix the almonds and oatmeal together and place under a medium grill, turning frequently, until lightly browned
Leave to cool
Whisk the lemon juice, whisky and honey into the cream
Gently fold in the almonds and oatmeal
Spoon the mixture into the glass and decorate with the lemon twists

An informative, sensible but nauseatingly smug book for which I suggest you should demand the return of your 8s.6d.


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13 Responses to Brose: Pudding or Health Food? Both actually

  1. Owl Wood March 9, 2012 at 08:35 #

    Atholl Brose looks like a very civilised and grown-up pudding to me, I shall have it placed on the Nursery menu immediately (with soy cream and Maple syrup, natch).

    Nursey has always sworn by a similar recipe but the one she uses doesn’t include the almonds, oatmeal, cream, lemon juice and honey, just the whisky. It’s very good but it does have a deleterious effect on the foundations after two or three helpings; you must be certain to eat it in a stout chair, tucked in with cushions.

    Nursey’s version great for memory loss. Causing it, not curing it.

  2. wartimehousewife March 9, 2012 at 10:00 #

    Owl Wood: Nursey sounds like a very sensible woman. I have a similar recipe which uses sherry – sadly I can’t remember the other ingredients.
    Can you whip soy cream?
    Isn’t ‘stout’ a great word?

  3. Toffeeapple March 9, 2012 at 10:13 #

    You two are funny!

    Oats don’t like me, otherwise I would try your recipes.

  4. Thud March 9, 2012 at 11:30 #

    Stout, better when it comes in a bottle.

  5. wartimehousewife March 9, 2012 at 12:01 #

    Toffeeapple: Can’t get your oats eh? What a shame; my marvelous flapjacks are off the menu then.

    Thud: Can you still get milk stout? Ena Sharples off Corry always used to drink milk stout.

  6. Joy March 9, 2012 at 13:32 #

    That pudding sounds delicious. I must try it soon.

  7. Penny Beaumont March 9, 2012 at 21:22 #

    You have returned, with pudding too! I have chosen to ignore the oatmeal drink it smacks of brimstone and treacle, the Atholl version could tempt me.

  8. JanF March 9, 2012 at 23:32 #

    Aha! You had me drooling as soon as you mentioned “double cream”!
    If anyone has a simple recipe for those wonderful oatcakes served at Stoke on Trent- please share. They are most often served with grated cheese, so a more savoury snack- delectable!

  9. Toffeeapple March 10, 2012 at 17:46 #

    “Can’t get your oats eh? What a shame”

    No, not for some time… 😉

  10. Rab March 11, 2012 at 09:58 #

    Do you know Robert Burn’s Brose and Butter? Very bawdy! Eddie Reader sings a fantastice version of it.

  11. wartimehousewife March 12, 2012 at 22:37 #

    Jan F: I shall research the recipe for oatcakes and come back to you.

    Toffeeapple: Tell me about it…..

    Rab: Just looked up the song ‘Brose and Butter’. What fun! and such a lovely tune. Thanks for that.

  12. alltime fishwife March 14, 2012 at 20:59 #

    Eat, drink and grow clever, by A B Cunning is surely a quote from “Blackadder” and not a real book? Methinks you jest with the readers!!

  13. wartimehousewife March 14, 2012 at 21:43 #

    I do not fun with you, Fishwife. I have added a scan of the book cover to the bottom of the page.

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