I’ve been using buckwheat for a little while now mainly cooking risottos with it. However I recently discovered that soaking and blending it (no cooking) creates a fabulous creamy dish.
Deliciously Ella and Oh She Glows have some lovely buckwheat porridge recipes so I’ve been inspired to experiment. This week I’ve also been pondering fennel. On Tuesday I had an energy bar that had fennel seeds in and I loved the slight aniseed hit that it gave. I’m not a great fan of strong aniseed but this was lovely.
So I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate this into a breakfast dish. Subtlety is the key and I think that raw blended buckwheat makes the perfect base for including more delicate flavours.
It’s quite a small amount compared to my usual bigger bowls of porridge, but it’s surprisingly filling and tastes wonderfully creamy. I did add some maple syrup to mine as I was craving sweetness today, but the dish works without this too.
Pear and Fennel Buck Bowl (serves one)
- 50g buckwheat – soaked overnight – it won’t work if they aren’t soaked.
- 1 pear
- 2 tbsp. natural yoghurt
- 2 tbsp. almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds – grinded in a pestle and mortar
- 4-5 walnuts
Drain and rinse the buckwheat. In a blender or food processor blend the buckwheat, 1/2 the pear, the yoghurt and almond milk. Put into a bowl and stir through the ground fennel seeds, the rest of the pear diced up and the walnuts crumbled in. Decorate with some walnuts and a few extra whole fennel seeds if you fancy a bit more aniseed. Drizzle over some maple syrup if you fancy more sweetness.
This is a serious hit of the tropics with added vitamin C. The mix of pineapple, ginger, kiwi and coconut puts the zing in. If you’re struggling to wake up in the morning, this will seriously wake up your taste buds. I’ve been using coconut yoghurt a lot lately as a change from my usual natural yoghurt and it really enhances the whole taste of this dish.
There is some previous night preparation to make the pineapple and chia mix.
Tropical chia zinger bowl (this pineapple chia mix is enough for 2 portions)
- 200g fresh pineapple, peeled and chopped into big chunks
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger (I used mine from frozen)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- A few mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
Put all of the above apart from the chia seeds into a food processor and mix to a puree. Put the puree into a bowl and mix in the chia seeds. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
To serve (per single portion)
- 1 kiwi fruit – diced
- 1 teaspoon desiccated coconut
- A sprinkle of shredded coconut
Mix together and top the pineapple chia mix with this.
Then add some coconut yoghurt on top with a few more bits of shredded coconut.
I managed to get up early this morning to walk the dog on the beach – lovely to see the sunshine so early and it prolonged the mood being able to eat this afterwards.
This morning was a quick ‘what’s in the fridge to use up’ type breakfast – and today the blueberries were getting to that not so fresh stage. Cooking them up with a banana is quick and easy and adding a few oats helps to bulk up what is essentially a warming low fat brekkie.
Simply Hot B&B (serves one)
- 1 banana – cut into thick slices
- handful of blueberries
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 20g oats
- sprinkle of cinnamon
Melt the coconut oil then mix with the honey. Mix this with the banana, blueberries, oats and cinnamon. Make sure it’s all well coated. Pop into a hot oven – 200c/400f/Gas 6 for 10 minutes. You want the blueberries to start going a bit squishy.
Nice served with yoghurt.
I love Jaffa cakes, the mixture of chocolate and orange is one of the best flavour combinations. I’ve recently run a few trail events where Jaffa cakes have been available at the drinks stations alongside the gels and I have been nicely fuelled by Jaffa power. I’ve been trying to recreate that Jaffa taste in a slightly healthier way.
I first discovered the joys of orange puree during a patisserie course last year and it’s fabulous for adding a really strong orange hit. There is a bit of preparation the night before due to having to boil the oranges and make the puree, but it’s really easy and worth it. The puree also freezes really well. I freeze it in ice cube trays or small ramekins so it’s portioned ready to use. So instead of boiling one orange at a time I boil 2 or 3 and freeze the leftover.
To make the orange puree
Put 1 or more whole oranges in a big pan of water, bring to the boil and then simmer for around an hour – they should feel very soft when ready but still intact. Drain them, cut them in half and let them cool. When cool blitz them in a processor – skin and all. This is your puree.
Jaffa Bircher (serves one)
- 100g orange puree (this a about half of a large orange when pureed)
- 30g oats
- 2 teaspoons of cacao powder
- 10g dried cranberries
- 100ml Almond milk
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight. If you want a slightly wetter bircher add an additional tablespoon of almond milk over the mixture before putting in the fridge.
Before eating I like to sprinkle a few more cranberries and cacao nibs on top.
This is another most delicious brekkie that tastes soooo much better than it looks.
I love bread, I could snack on toast all day but I try not eat too much bread at breakfast. I’ve started experimenting with using bread in different ways and using breadcrumbs is of course a classic topping for many savoury dishes – who doesn’t love cauliflower cheese with a breadcrumb topping. So I’ve incorporated some breadcrumbs into a layered dish for breakfast, adding lots of fruit and yoghurt to make it more nutritious. You could use unbuttered crumbs, but I find adding some nut spread adds a lovely flavour. I like using a tall glass for this so I can imagine i’m eating a knickerbocker glory for breakfast.
Nutty crumb layer bowl (serves one)
- 1 large piece of toast spread with nut butter (I love peanut or almond).
- Fruit and yoghurt of your choice (banana and berries is a good combo)
Toast the bread, spread with nut butter and then blitz into breadcrumbs. Layer up with fruit and yoghurt and maybe a drizzle of honey on top.
I am intrigued by papayas – they look so exotic but I haven’t quite figured out the best way to eat them. To be honest I find the taste a little odd to eat on their own, yet added to other flavours they bring a lovely hint of tropical delicacy. They are another fruit that I find difficult to buy in the perfect state of ripeness, but at the moment they seem to be just right, so I’m buying them a lot and enjoying experimenting with them. This bowl is an easy one to prepare the night before and I love the mix of papaya with coconut – it seems the perfect tropical match.
Papaya Oaty Coco Bowl
- 1/2 Papaya (peeled and the seeds removed)
- 200ml coconut milk
- 40g oats
- 25g raisons
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 dessert spoon desiccated coconut
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Shredded coconut
The night before – blend the papaya with the coconut milk. Add this mix to the oats, raisons, chia seeds and desiccated coconut. Stir well, cover the bowl and put it in the fridge overnight. It will soak up all the liquid and look like a bircher muesli when you take it out.
I prefer mine at room temperature, so I tend to take it out of the fridge, take the dog for a walk and then come back and eat.
Add your topping just before eating – I like to add some crunch so a mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds works well, together with some shredded coconut.
As it’s the start of the Easter holidays my thoughts turn to chocolate. I discovered the joys of mixing quinoa with chocolate after finding a recipe by the blogger Chocolate Covered Katie and was intrigued about what it might taste like. It was delicious and has become a firm favourite for breakfast and my favourite way to eat quinoa. I’ve tried various combinations of milk, fruit and flavourings and i’m sure other versions of chocolate quinoa will feature on this blog again very soon.
I find when cooking with quinoa that the liquid can go from looking like too much to practically disappearing within seconds – so do keep an eye on it.
This isn’t the prettiest bowl to look at but don’t be put off, it really is a taste of healthy chocolate and protein for breakfast.
Quinoa cherry choc bowl (serves one)
- 50g Quinoa (washed and drained)
- 150ml almond milk
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- few drops of vanilla essence
- 6 cherries, chopped and pitted
- 1 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
- some extra cherries
- Cacao nibs
Put the quinoa and milk into a pan and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 15-20 mins – you want the quinoa to be really well cooked and soft. Keep an eye on the liquid and add a little more milk if it looks like running dry.
Once cooked, stir in the cacao powder, vanilla essence and 1 tbsp of yoghurt. Stir for a few seconds before turning off the heat. Stir through the chopped cherries.
Serve with the topping.