Does anyone out there latch onto a food and become totally obsessed with it? Do you find it making its way into almost everything you make? Lately, I’ve been riding the buckwheat wagon hard. And although I am not so much into food trends, I predict that buckwheat is going to be the new hotness. You heard it here first.
Okay, maybe it’s just me. This little seed (yes, it’s a seed!) has tumbled its way into my little heart and made a triangular burrow so deep that I can’t imagine what my life was like before it. Those beautiful, variegated, pale green-and-sand coloured pyramids, so humble yet majestic. The way it crisps up in the oven, like teeny, crunchy fireworks. The soft, creamy texture it has after cooking, and how it absorbs so many flavours, leaning either savory or sweet. The rich and nutty flour that turns into noodles, bread, muffins, pancakes, scones and waffles so deliciously.
And while I thought I had buckwheat all worked out, he pulled out his wildcard and now I’m scarfing raw buckwheat porridge like it’s my job. Looking for a power-packed breakfast this summer? High protein, high fiber, gluten-free, versatile, portable, and insanely delicious. It’s also super easy to make, and perfect for those mornings when you need to get outside in the sun as quickly as possible. Obsessed!
How is the porridge raw you ask? The trick to making this treat, is soaking overnight. It’s an easy way to enjoy completely uncooked grains, in their full nutritional force.
The Right Way to Soak
Although soaking grains in pure, un-chlorinated water is good, if you really want to go the extra mile, the key is dropping some acid! And what I mean by that is, adding something acidic to the soaking water, fresh lemon juice and apple cider vinegar being my top picks. For every cup of grain, use 1 tablespoon of acidic medium (don’t worry –the sourness will not be noticeable in the end product, cooked or raw). It also helps if the water is relatively warm, recently boiled but cooled off to some extent.
Suggested soaking time is 7-8 hours, such as an overnight. Leave whatever you are soaking at room temperature. I just keep mine on the counter, covered with a clean tea towel. In the morning, drain the grains in a sieve and rinse well. FYI – buckwheat has a very unique property of making goo. Don’t be alarmed if your groats are on the snotty side the morning after – this is totally normal and it is easily rinsed off.
What these elements add up to, is making the grains far more digestible. Warm, acidic water helps to remove phytic acid, which would otherwise interfere with mineral absorption, and neutralize enzyme inhibitors. Soaking also allows the enzymes, lactobacilli (friendly folk bacteria) and other helpful organisms to break down some of the harder-to-digest starches. Overall, it’s a really good idea, even if you are in excellent health with stellar digestion. It’s these little steps that quickly add up to major life change – I can certainly attest to that.
This porridge was actually inspired by my mother, eternal lover of raspberry ripple ice cream. As a kid, I could never understand how you could waste an entire trip to the ice cream shop on fruit. I mean, really. But I get it now, and raspberry swirling through a blushing pink, creamy, vanilla porridge seems almost too good to be true for breakfast.
If you have never eaten soaked, blended buckwheat before, be prepared for a pleasant surprise. Its mildly nutty, and slightly sweet flavour make it a perfect breakfast food during the warmer months. Plus, it is the easiest thing to whip up, taking less than five minutes from start to finish. The texture is up to you: if you like a chunky porridge, blend it just a little, or if you like it smooth, let your machine run for 30 seconds or so until it is beautifully silky. Even though you can use milk in this recipe, you will certainly achieve a creamy consistency with water alone. That is the magic of buckwheat!
The raspberry is the shining star of this breakfast, giving the porridge a beautiful colour and juicy tartness. If raspberries aren’t in season where you are, use whatever berries or fruit you have. I added a little lemon juice for brightness and cardamom for a richer spiced flavour. This is optional, but really delicious. The frozen banana ups the creaminess, sweetness, and makes the porridge cold, which I really dig, but you could replace it with dates, honey or maple syrup too. The bee pollen is not essential to the recipe, but a wonderful way to boost the nutritional content of this dish even more. If it’s your first time using bee pollen, start small and work your way up. The amount given here is for those just starting out.
Raspberry Ripple Buckwheat Porridge
1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked overnight
1 Tbsp. acidic medium, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. hemp seeds
½ cup / 125ml milk of your choice or water
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp. bee pollen (optional), plus more for garnish
juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 cups 275g raspberries (fresh or frozen, organic if possible)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1. Cover buckwheat with warm water and one tablespoon of the acidic medium of your choice. Let sit overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse very well.
2. In a blender, food processor, or high-speed blender (this works the best) blend the raspberries and maple syrup until they are liquid. Spoon out about 3-4 tablespoons worth of puree and set aside.
3. Without removing the remaining raspberry puree or cleaning the machine, add in the drained and rinsed buckwheat groats, and all other ingredients. Blend on highest setting until desired consistency is reached (I like mine rather smooth, but some may like a little tooth to it). Season and sweeten to taste.
4. To assemble, spoon some of the buckwheat porridge into a bowl and swirl with about a tablespoon of the raspberry puree per portion, and sprinkle with bee pollen. To make a fancy presentation, use a glass, such as a tumbler. Layer the porridge and raspberry puree, then drag a spoon up the side of the glass, swirling the two shades of pink together. Garnish with bee pollen and a raspberry. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to two days.
Show me your porridge on Instagram: #buckwheatporridge