It’s that in-between-season time of year again. The coats and boots are still out but the layers are slowly peeling off and there are glimpses of blue sky. Daffodils are blooming and you can sense that spring is almost, but not quite, upon us.
This “porridge” is perfect for the half-way season. Buckwheat, representative of winter fare – hearty, nutty, warming and often served as a side dish in Eastern Europe (where it’s damn cold!) with even heartier stews, is given a twist in this recipe by being served raw, cold and for breakfast. Here, the buckwheat is soaked overnight to soften the groats, then whizzed up and topped with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and yogurt. I guess it’s more in the spirit of Bircher muesli than a traditional oat porridge, but really it’s its own deliciously healthy thing.
The humble, often overlooked buckwheat is actually not a grain but a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. It is also not at all related to wheat despite its name and is therefore a perfect food for those on gluten-free diets. Buckwheat has a nutty / seed-like flavour and can be found either in raw groat form (slightly green) or roasted groats “kasza” (brown). Buckwheat flour is also quite popular and used in traditional French crepes or made into soba noodles.
Buckwheat is not only delicious, it is also very good for our overall health. It is great for the cardiovascular system due to it being rich in flavonoids, particularly rutin. Flavonoids help fight against disease by promoting the efficiency of vitamin C in our bodies as well as acting as antioxidants. They also assist in maintaining healthy blood flow and reduce the potential for platelets clotting. Rutin itself possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Buckwheat also assists in controlling blood sugar levels, meaning it helps stabilise energy levels throughout the day. In addition to all of this, buckwheat is super high in protein (second only to oats) and is rich in amino acids, magnesium and soluble fibre.
Raw buckwheat porridge
1/4C raw buckwheat groats
1TB apple cider vinegar
1/2C filtered water
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2TB maple syrup or honey (or 1 date)
1/4 kefir, yogurt or milk (dairy or plant)
1/2TB chia seeds
1/2TB maca (optional)
yogurt, nuts, fresh fruit, bee pollen, hemp seeds, honey
1. Rinse buckwheat groats in a sieve and place into a bowl, covering with apple cider vinegar and water. Let soak overnight.
2. Rinse soaked groats well. Place in blender or food processor with the salt, vanilla, maple syrup, kefir, chia seeds and maca powder. Blend until smooth.
3. Top with yogurt, nuts, fresh fruit, bee pollen, sunflower and hemp seeds and enjoy!
1. Play with the flavours and use seasonal fruit, my personal favourite is fig and pistachio (counting down til fig season…)
2. Porridge can be made ahead of time and stored in fridge. In fact, chia seeds will benefit from this as they will swell and porridge will become lusciously thick.