Creamy Banana Buckwheat Porridge with Blueberries, Almonds & Cacao Nibs {vegan, gluten free}

Banana Buckwheat Porridge

A healthy breakfast to start off the week! I’m in high spirits today. James and I are flying off to Tokyo tomorrow morning. It’s winter there right now, so my suitcase is full of ridiculously bulky clothing. It’s really hard to pack for winter when it is literally 30°C around here right now. I’m glad to be leaving for a colder climate (perhaps I’ll regret saying this when we get to Japan). Anyway, I made this healthy, vegan, gluten free porridge thing for breakfast this morning. As a first timer with buckwheat porridge I’ve gotta say, I loved it.

Buckwheat Groats Fresh Blueberries

I used Deliciously Ella’s super simple recipe for the buckwheat porridge. She cooks the buckwheat with bananas, cinnamon, honey/maple and almond milk so that the kernels have time to soak up all of that yummy stuff as the liquid reduces. What’s left is a creamy, gooey, comforting and mildly sweet  porridge that goes very well with fruity toppings like berries and crunchy additions like almonds and cacao nibs.

Banana Buckwheat Porridge Banana Buckwheat Porridge Banana Buckwheat Porridge

Buckwheat’s deceptive name can easily cause confusion – it is not a type of wheat, nor is it related to wheat in any way. Buckwheat is derived from the seeds of a flowering plant and is therefore entirely free of gluten. The soft, hulled triangular seeds (groats) have a mild favour that intensifies when roasted. Diets high in buckwheat have been linked to better blood sugar control and lowered risk of developing high cholesterol.

Banana Buckwheat Porridge Banana Buckwheat Porridge

Banana Buckwheat Porridge with Blueberries, Almonds & Cacao Nibs
a vegan & gluten free recipe, serves 2 ; adapted from Deliciously Ella’s recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw buckwheat groats (kernels)
1 cup filtered water
2 cups almond milk
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or rice malt syrup)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

toppings:

fresh blueberries
banana slices
roasted almonds
organic cacao nibs

Preparation:

  1. Heat the cup of water in a medium saucepan over high heat until it starts to boil, then stir in the buckwheat. Bring heat down to medium-low and allow the buckwheat to sit for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in the sliced bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon. Let simmer until the water is mostly absorbed, then stir through one cup of almond milk.
  3. Allow the mixture to continue cooking, stirring occasionally to prevent the buckwheat at the bottom from burning. Gradually add the second cup of almond milk as it is needed. Never let the buckwheat run out of liquid.
  4. After about 20 minutes, most of the liquid should be absorbed and the mixture should be of a porridge-like consistency. Serve with blueberries, banana slices, almonds, cacao nibs and some extra maple syrup. Enjoy!

Banana Buckwheat Porridge

Chocolate Honey Buckwheat Muffins {gluten free}

Chocolate Honey Buckwheat Muffins

First of all, I would really like to thank all the amazing people out there who have been leaving the loveliest comments on this blog lately. I realise that I haven’t been finding the time to reply to every single one of you and while I do try my best, I apologise if you do not hear back from me! Nevertheless, know that I read each and every comment without fail and appreciate all the feedback, suggestions and praise. You guys are so sweet! Continue reading “Chocolate Honey Buckwheat Muffins {gluten free}”

Oat & Cacao Nib Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins

Before we delve into the wonderful world of buckwheat muffins, you need to know something. I was recently invited to contribute a recipe to my Boulangerie’s 12 Cookies of Christmas blogging event. Jillian, the blogger behind the wonderful idea, has just published my submission, which is a unique little recipe for Glazed Honey, Rosemary & Ginger Polenta Cookies. Please, please, please do check out her amazing blog for recipe details and more awesome Christmas cookies by other fantastic and talented food bloggers!

That aside, we can now talk about these oat & cacao nib buckwheat breakfast gems. I’ll be upfront with you and admit that these are not your typical soft-and-fluffy cake muffins. These are dense, textured, hearty breakfast muffins studded with rolled oats and cacao nibs for a surprising crunch. In short, this is definitely a different take on your regular café-style muffins. And they make for a healthy, wholesome, fibre & protein-filled breakfast!

Right. So, I baked these for James. He was still in bed when I decided to prepare a batch of these. I wanted to make him breakfast and didn’t feel like going for a stack of unhealthy pancakes. For a change, I flipped through a recipe book (titled Cookies: Over 600 Great Recipes, published by McRae Books) and found a recipe for ‘Buckwheat Muffins’. Why there are a bunch of muffin recipes in a book dedicated to cookies, I would never know. Anyway, I tweaked the book’s recipe quite a bit to get the wholesomeness I wanted. James loved them. He particularly enjoyed the hard, crisp exterior of the muffin and the gorgeous texture brought about by the oats and cacao nibs.

I used Power Super Foods Organic Raw Pure Chocolate Nibs in this recipe. These nibs are of the premium criollo variety. Criollo represents only 5% of all cocoa beans grown and is the rarest and most expensive cocoa available on the market. It boasts a wonderful delicate flavour that isn’t too strongly chocolate, but still rich and complex at the same time. I really love how the nibs add a subtle textural crunch to the muffins.

These are best eaten fresh out of the oven, slathered with some butter or, for an even heartier breakfast and to accentuate the nutty flavour of the buckwheat, some chunky peanut butter.

Oat & Cacao Nib Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins
adapted from Cookies: Over 600 Great Recipes by McRae Books.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon hazelnut meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon rum essence
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup cacao nibs

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and line muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together, then slowly add the eggs. Mix well.
  4. Add the milk and continue to mix. Stir in the rum essence.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in 3 or 4 increments, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Once mixture is fairly smooth, fold in the oats and cacao nibs.
  7. Carefully spoon batter into each muffin case. The cases should be about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until the tops start to firm up and crack a little. Do not overbake!
  9. Remove from the oven and let muffins stand in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Best served warm! :)

Sugar-Coated Hazelnut Buckwheat Butter Cookies

A lot of people have been coming to this blog looking for a cookie recipe involving hazelnut meal. While I do ocassionally enjoy baking with the beautifully scented nut flour, I have a habit of only doing so when I’m looking to make something low carb or gluten free. For those not familiar with the lovely ingredient, a quarter cup serving of hazelnut meal has just 5 grams of carbohydrates while a quarter cup serving of plain white flour gives you a whopping 24 grams. However, the task of figuring out a recipe that actually works when you incorporate the sandy, nutty ingredient can be a challenge.

I paired buckwheat flour with the hazelnut meal to make this an entirely gluten free cookie. The strong, nutty taste of buckwheat complements the hazelnut meal quite grandly. This is really the easiest recipe in the world if you know how to work with cold butter. That’s the only part where you may have to sweat a little. But by the end of the whole process, you’ll get some wonderful, crunchy, flaky, crumbly, buttery delights for your efforts. Trust me, it’ll all be worth it.

Sugar-Coated Hazelnut Buckwheat Butter Cookies | Eggless & Gluten-Free

Ingredients:

1/2 cup hazelnut meal
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for coating

Preparation:

  1. Combine hazelnut meal, buckwheat flour, sugar and salt. Mix well.
  2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, or use your fingers to rub the butter into the mixture, until the dough comes together.
  3. Roll the dough into a rough ball, cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Prepare the coating mixture by placing the granulated sugar in a small, shallow bowl.
  5. Just before removing chilled dough from the fridge, preheat oven to 175°C and line baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  6. Roll chilled dough into 3/4 inch balls.
  7. One at a time, place each ball in the sugar and gently press dough down with the palm of your hand to desired thickness. Turn over and coat the other side of the cookie.
  8. Place cookies onto prepared baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, or until egdes start to brown a little.
  9. Remove from oven, let stand for 5 minutes before carefully (cookies will be crumbly when hot!) transfering cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.