Raw Buckwheat Porridge

Raw Buckwheat Porridge

Last summer this was by far my favourite breakfast. And as temperatures are improving, it’s back on the reperoire. It’s really simple to make (always a plus) and you can add what ever kind of berries you like or have to hand. It’s also makes nice gluten free breakfast option, if you feel you need a break from smoothies or perhaps your usual egg based breakfasts.

It was this post from the amazingly talented Sarah B which got me truly hooked on this raw summer breakfast last year. Until then I had tried some another variations, but wasn’t all that fussed. Let’s say it just didn’t rival my standard bowl of porridge or my love of muesli…

What truly makes the difference here is the the banana. Not only for taste, but truly for texture! Buckwheat has a strong flavour and it also tends to have a very gritty texture if blended on its own. Adding the banana truly was the game changer!

 

nutritional therapy

 

So what’s the deal with these tiny little tetra grains? What’s to gain by introducing buckwheat into you life?

Despite its very confusing name, it is actually a seed and not related to the cereal grain wheat at all. This is what it looks like as a flower. The grains you see above are the seeds from the flower. Buckwheat is a native plant to Central Asia. Though its use is becoming more common in these parts of the world, you will find it used in traditional dishes in countries such as Russia and Poland. And the flour is used to make in crêpes in France and to make soba noodles in Japan. (Note here: if you want to use soba noodles and need them to be truly gluten free, read the labels carefully of any brand you buy as some of them also have wheat flour added)

The seed itself is high in the phytonutrient flavonoid compounds quercetin and rutin which are two powerful antioxidants which has been shown in some studies to have a positive effect on relieving the symptoms of hayfever and asthma.

Turns out buckwheat is also a very good source of magnesium which is an important mineral for cell energy production and often an electrolyte which can be deficient through sweating (hello hot summer weather!). Muscle cramps are a fairly reliable symptom of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is also an important mineral to protect our heart (which is a large muscle). Stress and high refined sugar intake can easily deplete our stores, so it’s important to make sure you get enough of it through your diet. Other great sources of magnesium is kelp (seaweed) almonds, cashews and leafy greens like parsley.

 

raw buckwheat porridge

 

Adding more wholefoods to your overall diet can only mean overall improvements to your health and wellbeing. It’s all to easy to get stuck in a food rut so by increasing the variety of food you eat mean that not only do you have a greater chance of getting all your nutritional needs covered through your diet, it also gives you an opportunity to become more creative with your cooking (and eating) which in turn it may even help you become more expansive in your thinking! And who knows where all that creativity and expansion may lead?!

Variety truly is the spice of life!

 

Raw Buckwheat Porridge

Serves 2

1 cup raw buckwheat groats, soaked overnight

1 ripe banana, fresh or frozen

3 tbsp full fat coconut milk

1/2 tsp ground cardamom – optional, but really nice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract – optional

Toppings:

Fresh berries of choice – I used blueberries and cherries here but strawberries, raspberries or any type of currants would be delicious too.

A sprinkle of bee pollen or cocoa nibs or hemp seeds for an added super boost – optional

Soak the buckwheat groats in water overnight with a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. This will make them nice and soft for blending and starting the sprouting process, making the  easier to digest. Drain your soaking water and then rinse of the goey stuff (which is completely normal) well before your place the groats in your blender together with the banana, coconut milk and spices.

Blend for about 30s until you have a lovely creamy “porridge”. Serve immediately in bowls with your choice of toppings.

Note: If you want a really cold porridge use a sliced, frozen banana. I normally have mine at room temperature with a fresh one though. But either way, the banana will make a huge difference to the consistency so I wouldn’t leave it out.

 

raw buckwheat porridge

 

Looking for some more buckwheat recipes? Here is a cooked breakfast option. And here is some crêpes. Oh and a delicious smoothie from Cashew Kitchen!

Superfood Porridge

Superfood Porridge

While we are patiently waiting for Summer to arrive, I though I would share this warming and nourishing superfood porridge with you all. This simple yet delicious breakfast has kept me going for the past couple of months as my go-to morning ritual. Whilst I was hoping to transition into a more raw-food based start to the day, it will have to wait until it get’s a little warmer…

Are you like me, craving warmer, spicier food when it’s cold? And as soon as it’s warm, looking for some raw cooling foods instead? Even though I like smoothies all year round, for me they are more an exception to the rule. You won’t find me guzzling on large bowls of raw veggies during the autumn and winter months, unless I also have some cooked, warm food accompanying the plate. Cold food in cold weather makes me feel even colder. Funny how in tune we can become uh?

Have you ever noted how warming spices like, cloves, cardamom and chilli lends themselves to winter dishes? And in the summer it is more naturally to add and eat crispy salads, fresh fruit and raw veggie sticks?

I’m going to give you my “cold weather version” of this superfood porridge, but I have also included some topping ideas to give you some more “summer friendly” ideas for when it eventually arrives!

I firmly believe porridge is THE most popular breakfast in Ireland. Perhaps elsewhere too… Porridge (or Oatmeal) is such a great way to enjoy true whole grains. You know that it hasn’t had all that much tampering with as it still looks pretty much the same as it does when growing in the field. However it’s debatable if some other breakfast cereals can truly call themselves, whole grains upon closer inspection…

 

Nutritional therapy

 

If you can tolerate oats then porridge is a nice healthy way to start the day. *Note that oats are the only cereal grain, which is gluten free. The problem is cross contamination from other cereal grains. If you are highly gluten sensitive, yet can handle oat, take care to by certified gluten free oats.*

Before I started to add some coconut oil or coconut milk to my porridge I used to find it would keep me going for about 2h and then I would end up seriously ravenous! For most people though, porridge is one of the best ways to keep any cravings at bay and energy on an even keel right up till lunch time. To make this breakfast an even more slow-releasing carbohydrate breakfast, I have paired it with full fat coconut milk, plus some seeds. You will get all the sweetness you need from the dried berries, so hold off on the sugar.

Superfood Porridge

Serves 1 (Double the amounts if making for more)

Porridge:

1/2 cup rolled oats or pinhead oatmeal

1 cup cold water

2 tbsp full fat coconut milk – Chose a brand which is as pure as possible without any fillers & binders

Superfood Toppings:

1 tbsp raw or toasted pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp raw or toasted sunflower seeds

1 tbsp golden raisins – or use normal ones

1 tbsp dried Inca berries – Also called physallis

1/2 tbsp cacao nibs

Place oats and water in a small saucepan. Gently bring to boil while stirring. Cook for about 10 min until you have a thick porridge. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the coconut milk.

Serve in a bowl with all the superfood toppings!

***Summer Toppings***

Fresh hulled, chopped strawberries with 1/2 tbsp of bee pollen

Sliced nectarine with chopped pecan nuts

Stoned and halved cherries with a tbsp almond butter.

 

healthy breakfast porridge

Looking for more oatmeal / porridge inspiration? Check out these fabulous bloggers too 🙂

Green Kitchen Stories – Oatmeal x 3 

Earthsprout – The Powerful Porridge Mix

And here’s my Overnight Oats recipe from last year & the AMAZING baked Oatmeal alá GKS

Citrus-Sesame Smoothie

Citrus-Sesame Smoothie

I’m going to continue on with the smoothie them for a little longer. Because I like smoothies. And I also have a nutribullet which I love using on a regular basis. I know, I know, smoothies are for the summer you say or for at least when the weather get warmer. Fair enough. But I happen to like having them all year round…

Since citrus season is almost over, I think I bough myself the last blood oranges for some time to come the other day. It’s kind of funny as I love eating oranges during the colder months but I very rarely buy them at other times of the year. Same with red cabbage for example.

So if you have a few oranges still knocking around in your fruit basket then here’s a cool way to use them up!

In this recipe I’ve paired my orange smoothie part with some sesame milk. As you can see I didn’t blend them together but went for a marble effect instead. Doesn’t it look cool? Making your own nut or seed milk is actually ridiculously easy. Every time I do make some I ask myself why I don’t do it more often. One thing to remember though is that since your own homemade milk, will contain no preservatives or emulsifiers it will separate and also it will only keep for 2-3 days so make sure you don’t make to much each time.

As a change from the usual nut milk, here you have a seed milk. This dairy free alternative is suitable for those who cannot tolerate nuts. Sesame seeds are also a great source of calcium so it makes a good substitute. Though the flavour is very different to cow’s milk. Obviously.

 

homemade sesame milk

 

I’m a little bit behind on the blogging at the moment, but trust me it’s not for the lack of inspiration. I have lots of recipes and ideas I would like to share with you all. It’s just time… There’s been a couple of projects taking up some time recently and that’s why I didn’t manage to get this post out to last week.

One of them was the recent release of my Smoothie Ebook and if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet then feel free to do so now! It will be a nice follow on from this recipe and the lovely sunshine smoothie Agnes shared with us last month too. The other think, which you may have noticed it the addition of a video and a subtle change in layout, banner & footers. I hope you like it as much as I do. It was necessary as my business growing and evolving.

I hope you are enjoying your Easter weekend so far and if you feel like you need to balance your chocolate intake a little, then here’s a simple way to do it.

Citrus Sesame Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup sesame milk (see recipe below)

1/2 banana – fresh or frozen (frozen will give you a creamier texture)

1/2 fresh mango, peeled & chopped

1 blood orange, peeled – or use a normal one if you can’t get any blood oranges.

First blend the sesame milk with the banana. Once you have a creamy mixture, pour it into your serving glass. Rinse your blender and then blend mango and orange until you have a smooth puree.

Add the orange-mango mix to the sesame part and watch the marble effect unfold.

Enjoy immediately.

Sesame “Milk”

Makes approx 4 cups ( 1000 ml)

2 cups sesame seeds, soaked for minimum of 4h & then rinsed

4 cups of filtered water

2 tbs raw honey or maple syrup

pinch of salt

Soak your sesame seeds in plenty of water, preferably overnight. Once the soaking time is up, drain & rinse them again. Discard the soaking water.

Blend the soaked seeds with the filtered water. You may have to do it in batches if you have a small blender like me. Once blended, strain your seed-water mix through a piece if muslin / cheese cloth or use a nut milk bag if you have one. Discard the pulp. Ideally in a compost.

Blend your “milk” with some honey and a pinch of salt. Done! Store in a glass container in the fridge. As I mentioned above, it will separate so give it a shake before every time you use it. Your sesame milk will keep about three days in the fridge. You’ll now when it’s gone off as it will be sour.

 

Sesame milk

Sesame smoothie

Buckwheat Porridge with Pomelo, Pomegranate & Passion fruit

Buckwheat Porridge with Pomelo, Pomegranate & Passion fruit

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring here today! A few hours in the mountains, sunshine and a little cooking and it feels like a proper day off. And a little blogging of course 😉

I’m going to keep it short and sweet today as I’m planning to write a nice juicy newsletter to all my dear subscribers later and my last post was a rather long ramble too. So I’m just going to share with you this tasty gluten and dairy free breakfast recipe with you today and leave it at that.

The fact that I love breakfast is no secrete around here. For those who need to stay off gluten and are used to eating cereal or toast for breakfast, things may seem very challenging at first. But if you are willing to stretch a little outside your comfort zone and explore some new flavours, textures and foods you may become pleasantly surprised and the whole adventure will turn into a blessing in disguise.

I’m a big fan of buckwheat but it is probably only in the last year or so it has become one of my pantry staples. It’s one of those intriguing foods you see in the healthfood store and would love to try (because you’ve heard it’s good for you) but you have no idea what to do with it!

Buckwheat is not a cereal grain (it’s not related to wheat at all) it is actually a seed from a plant related to the rhubarb plant. It’s a good source of antioxidants, and contain a good dose of both magnesium and manganese as well as that all important fibre.

The seed has a distinct nutty flavour and cooked whole like here it has a lovely chewy texture and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Straightforward NutritionBuckwheat Porridge

This recipe is an inspiration from a breakfast I had back in November when I visited the very hip café  The Fumabally in Dublin and had a similar porridge to this, alongside a seriously good Avocado Toast. Yes, I was particularly hungry that morning… Well actually it was more like a brunch but anyway, here is how you can create your own buckwheat porridge magic at home. It’s not  as hard as you think.

 

Buckwheat Porridge with Pomelo, Pomegranate & Passion Fruit

Serves 2

1 cup whole buckwheat, soaked overnight

1 cup nut milk of choice + extra to serve

1/2 cinnamon stick

1/2 tbsp maple syrup – optional

1/4 fresh pomelo, peeled & broken up into pieces

seeds from 1/2 a pomegrantate

2 passion fruits

Soak the buckwheat overnight do improve digestibility and to speed up cooking time. In the morning drain and rinse the buckwheat well. When soaked they release a mucous so make sure you rinse all of that off.

Place rinsed and drained buckwheat together with nut milk, cinnamon stick and maple syrup (if using) in a small sauce pan. On medium heat bring it up to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10-15 min until the groats become transparent. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Discard the cinnamon stick before serving and top with fresh fruit and some extra nut milk if needed. I’ve used pomelo, pomegrante and passion fruit here for a lively winter combo but as the seasons change use what ever fruit or berry is in season.

 

Straightforward Nutrition

 

 

 

Sunny Buckwheat & Orange Smoothie – by Cashew Kitchen

Sunny Buckwheat & Orange Smoothie – by Cashew Kitchen

I’m so delighted to have the opportunity to share this beautiful immune boosting and vibrant smoothie recipe. Just what is needed as we slowly transition into the next season. I’m sure we can all do with a little more colour and sunshine in our lives. And if the Sun prevails, you just have to get a little more inventive in the kitchen instead.

This week I have invited the beautifully talented lady Agnes who blogs about food and stuff over on Cashew-Kitchen. If you are not following Agnes on Instagram or reading her blog, you should. It’s worth it for the photos alone 🙂

But I’ll let you Agnes tell you all a little more about herself.

Hi Agnes! Can you tell us something about yourself and your work? Cashew-Kitchen

Sure! My name is Agnes and I live in a small apartment in central Stockholm (Sweden) which is also my hometown. I recently moved back here after spending a couple of years on the west coast studying. Since september last year I’m running the food & photography blog Cashew Kitchen, although I’ve been food blogging since the spring of 2013. I also do some photography and recipe development on a freelancing basis. But my main occupation is my studies in Human Ecology in which I’m currently writing my bachelor thesis. I started my studies in Human Ecology and my food blogging about the same time, so initially it was an interest in sustainable food and lifestyles that pushed me. I’ve been hanging out in the kitchen experimenting since I first became a vegetarian  when I was 14, so the interest in wholesome, nourshing food has always been there I guess, I just never thought about blogging about it before 🙂

I have a background in Fine Arts, so when starting blogging about food I quickly noticed that working with the aesthetic aspects came pretty natural to me. Using colorful ingredients and spending a lot of effort on the styling and photography is very important to me, so when I launched Cashew Kitchen I simply decided to call it ”a foodie photography blog”. Although the sustainable aspects are still there: I only post vegetarian recipes and I mostly use seasonal, whole and organic ingredients.

No wonder you can great the most magical of images!

I’m curious about that education of your: what is Human Ecology? And how do you wish to use that education in the future?

Well, you could say it is environmental science from a social sciences’ perspective. In Human Ecology we study the relationship between social, ecological and economic factors and how those interact with for example issues of power, resource management, poverty, urban development, climate change, population growth and social dynamics. It’s everything from city planning and food production to eco philosophy or complex adaptive systems.

In my thesis I study possibilities and limitations for citizen participation and co-management in city planning to help build social resilience in society. When I decided on the topic I think I was a bit tired of food haha. It was in the aftermath of the Swedish election and the increased social unstability we see here in Sweden (and out in the world too) worried me. In the future I want to work with sustainable food in some way. It could be inspiring people to make sustainable food choices, which I kind of already do through my blog (I hope!) hehe. It could also be working for a food or agriculture company with sustainable development issues. The possibilities are endless, really! I just know my passion is food, happy people and a healthy planet 🙂

How would you describe your food philosophy?

I want it to be simple! My aim is to inspire as many people as I can to incorporate more vegetarian or vegan food into their diets and cook more from scratch using seasonal ingredients, and thereby bringing us one step closer to living environmentally friendly lifestyles. Therefore I don’t believe in using too many obscure and expensive ingredients, or create difficult or fancy recipes. My recipes often consist of just a few, simple ingredients and are usually quick to assemble. I want to show that it can be both wholesome, fun and easy to eat seasonal and vegetarian. Also fresh produce or a lovingly cooked meal can really make my heart melt! It’s everything I need to be happy. That simplicity and appreciation of food is something I want to share with others.

Couldn’t agree with you more.

How did you come up with the name Cashew Kitchen?

Um, I was just playing around with different names that sounded ”catchy” haha. I always have cashew nuts at home and love to use them in raw desserts, granola, smoothies etc. so it felt suitable with a name steaming from one of my favorite ingredients 🙂

How does your process from idea to finished recipe and blog post look like?

Sometimes a get an idea from surfing around the food blogosphere or pinterest that I write down on my little list. It can be anything really that triggers the idea to a recipe – a combination of colors, a long forgotten ingredient, a memory. But more often I find myself standing in front of an half empty fridge trying to think of something I can make out of the little I have. Honestly that’s where the best recipes come from! If I just happened to create something utterly delicious I try to photograph it right away if I have the time, but mostly I plan to cook/prepare the night before and then style & shoot the next day. Quite often I have tried the recipe a couple of times by then. Editing photos I do on my spare time in the evenings. I never plan what I’m gonna write about on the blog, I just write what pops up in my head that particular day.

I love your creativity!!

Which 5 ingredients will one find in your pantry? 

Hehe my pantry is smacked with stuff… In the back you’ll probably find some rarely used superfood powders, but what I always need to have at home (besides cashews) are almonds, rolled oats, coconut milk, tahini and bananas. And a thousand more things. Gosh I’m so spoiled with having good food around.

Do you have an all time favorite recipe you keep coming back to? 🙂

I have different favorite recipes in different periods of my life. Right now the only thing I wanna have for breakfast is my Coconut & Vanilla Oatmeal. During weekdays I eat similar salads every day, at the moment with a millet base, random veggies and a honey & dijon mustard dressing I’ve made countless times!

Tell us something about the recipe you are sharing today! Why this particular recipe?

This recipe is a perfect example of how I roll 😉 It happened the day before pay day and contains literally everything I had left in my fridge that day. I can tell you my expectations for this smoothie wasn’t that high, but oh how surprised I was when I tasted it!

I love the creativity that comes from restrictions. You don’t really need to have a perfectly stocked pantry to make delicious food. I hate to throw away food and always save the little bits and pieces left to use for something else. Smoothies is a great way to use up that last squeeze in the yoghurt package or half a frozen banana from the freezer.

I make smoothies almost every day to drink in between meals, and I especially like to add some seeds or grains and something fat like coconut milk or yoghurt to make it more filling and long lasting.

Despite citruses typically are winter ingredients, to me this is a recipe flirting with spring 🙂 I even added birch straws, see! As if the weather gods heard my plea when photographing this recipe, the sun came out from the clouds just long enough for me to catch it.

For this recipe I used yoghurt, but you can easily make a vegan version using coconut milk + a little extra lemon juice.

orange buckwheat smoothie

Sunny Buckwheat Smoothie

Serves one

Preparations:

2 tbsp raw buckwheat groats

water to cover

***soak for minimum 1 hour***

To mix:

1 large orange or 2 small

1 small banana

1/4 lemon

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

1/2 cup natural yoghurt

2 small pitted dates or 1 medjool date

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

water until desired consistency

+ the soaked and rinsed buckwheat

Prepare by soaking the buckwheat in lukewarm water for minimum one hour. This can be done the night before or in the morning. You soak the groats to get rid of harmful enzymes and start a sprouting process for optimal digestion and nutritional content.

Rinse buckwheat thoroughly. Drain and set aside.

Peel orange and lemon with a knife. Try to get rid of as much of the white parts as possible (it’s bitter). Remove any seeds. Peel ginger and coarsely chop.

Put orange, a quarter of the lemon, banana, ginger, buckwheat, yoghurt, dates and turmeric powder in a high speed blender and mix until completely smooth. Add water if nessecary. If you have a not so strong mixer or an immersion blender you might wanna squeeze out the juice of the orange and lemon beforehand, grate the ginger and perhaps soak the dates if they’re dried.

Serve right away with seeds, berries, granola or simply with a (birch) straw!

Thank you so much Agnes for sharing this beautiful recipe with us here at Straightforward Nutrition! I sure know what I’ll have for breakfast next week 🙂

If you want to check out the Millet & Linseeds Porridge which I shared on Cashew-Kitchen click here

straightforward nutritionstraightforward nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*All photographs on this post is by Cashew-Kitchen.