If I were on a quiz show, before I became a Natural Foods Chef, and was asked: True or False…is buckwheat a member of the wheat family? Without a moment’s hesitation I would have enthusiastically answered “True!”… And that would have been the moment my quiz show dreams would have been quashed because the answer is: False. Buckwheat is NOT a member of the wheat family. Good to know right!
As soon as I learnt this fun little fact, that buckwheat is indeed a member the ‘fruit seed family’, I decided it was time to get creative in the kitchen! Whether you’re allergic or intolerant to wheat or gluten, it doesn’t matter – this porridge is safe for all to enjoy. I used buckwheat ‘groats’, a slightly unsexy name for ‘hulled kernels’, or in Australia (my beloved homeland) it’s known as ‘Raw Buckwheat’… yawn…yes, I know, but what’s important for you to know (for your general health and/or in case you find yourself on a quiz show faced with this question) is groats are whole grains – the healthy stuff we need to eat instead of the processed kind. Quick example: brown rice = whole grain, white rice = processed grain. Okay, moving on..
You can use groats to make this recipe like I did, or you can also buy the toasted version called ‘kasha’. Is that they only difference between the two versions of buckwheat? Pretty much! The colour of kasha is a dark purple-y brown colour while buckwheat groats are greeny-y beige. Simple. So when you’re wandering down the ailses of your local supermarket to grab the ingredients for this delish dish (below) and notice the price differers between the two, go for groats. Leave the recipe ‘as is’, OR, make your own kasha by toasting the groats in a little coconut oil or olive oil in a shallow pan first – your spoilt for choice!
Whatever you do, my intention is that you make and thoroughly enjoy this easy-to-create, creamy buckwheat porridge. Eat it hot or cold, it’s an all-year-’round kind of thing that will do all sorts of great things within your body. Like what? Well, there’s a laundry list of benefits to be honest but my top two favourites – buckwheat can clean and strengthen the digestive system (thanks to its soluble fibre) and support the body to relax (due to its magical magnesium).
Sweet Buckwheat Porridge
1-2 servings (depending upon your appetite!)
- 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (or the toasted variety, ‘kasha’)
- 1 cup home made nut milk (coconut milk is easy to make and tastes a-mazing!)
- 1 cup water (aim for the filtered kind)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup – the real stuff only! If you can’t find it, or it’s super pricey, use brown rice syrup or raw honey instead
- 1 Tbs nut butter (OPTIONAL)
- 1/2 mashed banana or 1/4 cup frozen berries (OPTIONAL)
- Toppings – in the picture above I used dried goji berries, dried Chinese jujube dates and cacao nibs but you can use whatever floats your boat!
- Boil water in your kettle and measure out 1 cup’s worth.
- Place buckwheat into a saucepan with the boiling water. Keep heat on a low-medium flame. Stir in cinnamon and maple syrup.
- Once the mix begins to thicken and buckwheat groats have absorbed the water, add 1/2 cup of nut milk and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and gradually add the other 1/2 cup of milk to your favourite consistency – I like my porridge a little milky but you can stop adding milk when it’s at the point you prefer.
- Add in optional, additional ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Serve and top with any extra bits n’ pieces you prefer and enjoy every mouthful!