I’m on a bit of a buckwheat buzz this week! Fluffy buckwheat pancakes on Thursday now buckwheat porridge today. It’s a complete coincidence but it’s a good thing because it turns out this little thing called buckwheat not only tastes awesome it’s pretty darn good for you too.
What is buckwheat?
Despite it’s name buckwheat isn’t actually made from wheat, it’s technically a grain from a plant that’s related to rhubarb. It’s high in protein, soluble fibre and antioxidants, is a good source of magnesium, has a lower glycemic index than regular wheat flour and is gluten-free.
Buckwheat is ethically sound
As a massive worry-wort (yes, global warming keeps me up at night) this is the part I love. I was reading Sarah Wilson’s Simplicious and learned these little gems that made me love buckwheat even more. Buckwheat is often grown as a rotation crop to prime the soil for growing other grains. It is relatively fast to cook so it uses less electricity. Then here’s the best bit that helps me sleep at night. Buckwheat can often be used in similar dishes to quinoa and should be because since quinoa has surged in popularity in recent years in the West it has left traditional communities in South American (where it’s originally from) starving due to the increase in cost of this staple food. I’m not saying no to quinoa, I’m just saying that having a little more buckwheat in our diet is a good thing. High fives to buckwheat!
What is the difference between groats and kasha?
Groats are the uncooked seeds that are green in colour and you would cook much the same as quinoa and rice. They are also very popular in raw food. Kasha are toasted buckwheat groats that are brown in colour. They are commonly used in Russian cooking. I’ve always used raw groats for my porridge so that’s what we’re going with today!
I love porridge for breakfast and in the winter swap my summer cereal for warm and comforting porridge. Oatmeal porridge, quinoa porridge, rice pudding and my current favourite buckwheat porridge. Why is it my fav? It’s nutty, it’s chewy and the best bit, it’s got a delicious caramel-y flavour. You do need to soak your buckwheat first to make it easier to cook and digest, but that’s easy you can do that overnight. Then make sure you toast the groats in a dry pan before adding the milk to make them all toasty and caramel-y.
What do I also love in the morning? Milky tea. So maybe I may have been spending too much time with my two year old because what do you do with two things you love to eat? Smoooosh them together! Guess what? I smooshed and it worked. Chai Spiced Buckwheat Porridge is delicious. The porridge becomes delicately spiced with fragrant milky tea. I don’t add any added sugar, but you can always drizzle over some maple syrup if you desire, because instead I roast some pears in maple syrup, vanilla and a hint of orange and top my porridge with these. They add just the right amount of sweetness and fragrance.
You’re thinking this is too much work for a weekday right? Well, make your pears and porridge the night before and just reheat the pears the next day (you may need to thin the syrup with a little water) and cook the porridge.
Healthy, comforting, warming and delicious! Who doesn’t love a buckwheat buzz (promise next post I’ll mix it up though).
Chai Spiced Buckwheat Porridge with Maple Roasted Pears
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 3/4 cups water
- 3 thin slices fresh ginger
- 4 green cardamom pods, crushed crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 piece star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- 5 fennel seeds
- 1 vanilla pod (split or 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 cups full-fat milk (or any milk of your choice if dairy free or vegan)
- 3 tsp loose large black tea leaves (or 2 tea bags)
Maple Roasted Pears:
- 4 small pears (e.g. winter nelis, beurre bosc, corella)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 vanilla pod (split) or 1 tsp vanilla paste
- piece of orange rind
For the buckwheat, the night before:
Cover buckwheat with water and leave to soak overnight (minimum of 1 hour, optimum 7-8 hours but up to 12 hours is fine, they will just get a mushier the longer you leave them but the mushiness is quite nice).
The night before, or the next morning make the pears:
Preheat oven to 200C/400F on fan bake.
In a small bowl combine maple syrup, 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp vanilla paste. Halve and peel pears. Arrange pears cut side up in a baking dish with the orange peel. Pour over maple syrup mixture and cover dish with foil or a lid. Place in oven and bake for 30 min then remove the foil or lid and bake for another 15 min uncovered.
Remove from oven and set aside, ensure you keep the pears and the syrup. If you are short on time you can make the pears the night before, keep in the fridge overnight then reheat in the morning. Alternatively, if time permits, you can make the pears in the morning.
The next morning, make the chai tea:
In a small saucepan combine water and spices, excluding vanilla. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the milk and tea leaves, bring back to a simmer then remove from the heat and allow to steep while you toast your buckwheat.
Make the buckwheat porridge:
Drain buckwheat and rinse, then drain again really well. Place in a dry medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Toast for about 3 minutes until the groats are starting to smell toasted. Place a fine mesh sieve over the saucepan and pour the spiced milk tea into the buckwheat. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring regularly until the has started to thicken a little. Note that buckwheat porridge is not like normal porridge in that it doesn’t thicken like a normal porridge and remains very loose, almost like the consistency of your morning cereal and milk.
Divide porridge between 4 serving bowls. Top each bowl with two pear halves, a drizzle of syrup, and some yoghurt, if desired. Serve immediately.
Maple Roasted Pears adapted from Donna Hay.
If you’re looking for some other delicious BREAKFAST ideas from My Little Larder then you may like:
- Buckwheat Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas and Sweet Dukkah
- Easy Green Smoothie Bowl
- Healthy Chocolate Banana Granola
- Homemade Lemon Curd
- Banana, Coconut and Date Bread