I rarely get around to using Barley, it just seems to take so long to cook compared with other grains. In an effort to eat more barley – (because it’s really good for you and has lots of fibre and protein!) – I pre cooked a load to eat during the week. This makes it much quicker to use for brekkie – so here is my first barley inspired brekkie bowl. A great substitute for oats if you fancy something a little different and very quick to make.
Cinnamon Barley Bowl (serves one)
- 100g cooked barley
- 100ml almond milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Nutmeg – a good grating or 1/2 teaspoon ground
- 1 tablespoon crème fraiche (or yoghurt or coconut cream)
- 1 banana
Put the barley, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn it down and add the tablespoon of crème fraiche. Simmer for 3-4 minutes – keep checking it doesn’t run out of liquid and burn.
Just before serving slice a banana and mix it through. Sprinkle a bit more nutmeg on top.
This bread is full of goodness and is a different way to incorporate buckwheat into your diet. The inspiration for this loaf came from a Buckwheat, banana and brazil nut bread recipe by Hanna Sillitoe from her book ‘Radiant’. I hadn’t thought of using buckwheat in this way before and I was intrigued. My intention was to bake her recipe but I didn’t have any bananas or brazil nuts in the house so I decided to experiment and one thing I do have ALOT of at the moment is rhubarb. The result is this mix of Buckwheat, Rhubarb, nuts and seeds.
BuckaRoo Brekkie Loaf
- 150g Buckwheat groats
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or coconut or olive oil)
- Pinch Salt
- 100g pitted dates – chopped
- 150g mix of nuts and seeds (I used almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 180g Rhubarb
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 100g oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Line a 450g loaf tin with baking paper.
- Wash the buckwheat and put into a pan with enough water to cover, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Check the water – I needed to add a bit more during cooking to stop it sticking. Drain off any excess water and leave to cool.
- Cut the rhubarb into thin sticks (1cm thick and approx. 7cm long – check they fit into your loaf tin width ways) and toss with the coconut palm sugar.
- In a food processor blitz the dates, nuts and seeds, chia and flax seeds, oats and cinnamon until well combined. Add the buckwheat and maple syrup and blend until combined. The dough will be dry and coarse but will squish together.
- Line the bottom of the tin with half the sticks of rhubarb, then add half the bread mixture. Lay the other half of the rhubarb sticks on top. Finally add the rest of the bread mixture and firm down.
- Bake 180c/350f/Gas 4 for 40 minutes.
- Leave to cool slightly in the tin before removing and letting it cool completely.
Delicious with almond butter and banana. Also nice with a dollop of yoghurt on top.
Still on the chocolate theme and this time it’s a dark chocolate granola which is decadent but oh so full of antioxidants with all that lovely cacao and not too sweet, in fact it’s more on the bitter side in a really good way. This is an oat free granola using just buckwheat and quinoa flakes. It’s the first time I’ve used buckwheat in granola and it gives a welcome nutty crunch and texture.
You need to store this in the fridge because of the chocolate content. I’ve been sprinkling it on yoghurt and fruit for brekkie.
Triple Choc Buck Granola
- 100g buckwheat
- 50g quinoa flakes
- 50g raw cacao
- 50g cacao nibs
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 50g hazelnuts (whole)
- 50g pecans (broken up)
- 50g coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 100g dried cranberries
- 25g finely grated dark chocolate
Mix the buckwheat, quinoa flakes, raw cacao, the nibs, cardamom and nuts in a bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the maple syrup. Pour this over the buckwheat mixture to coat it well. Spread this mixture onto a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes – stirring it up every 10 minutes. 170c/320f/Gas 4.
Take it out of the oven and mix through the cranberries and grated dark chocolate. Leave it to cool and then put it in a container in the fridge. Worth waiting for at least 30 minutes for it to really chill down in the fridge before you tuck in as it allows the chocolate to really harden up and clump it all up a bit.
I’ve only recently started cooking with Freekeh which is a grain very similar to bulgur wheat. It has a nutty taste and also a high protein content which makes it perfect for breakfast. After discovering the delights of brown rice porridge I thought using Freekeh in the same way might work well – and it does.
You can eat this dish hot or cold. I made it up the night before and then gave it a quick blast in the microwave to add some warmth.
Freekeh Apple Bowl (makes two portions)
- 50g Freekeh (dry weight) cooked (wash well, bring to the boil and simmer for 20mins under tender, then drain)
- 50g sultanas or raisins
- 25g hazelnuts – crushed
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 100g stewed apple (cooking apples are best) + a bit extra if you want to dollop some on top before eating
Mix everything together in a bowl – I mixed everything whilst the freekeh was still warm to help infuse the flavours. You can pop it in the fridge for the next day and eat it cold or warm it up. Or of course eat it as soon as it’s made.
Worth adding another dollop of hot stewed apple on the top and some yoghurt before eating.
My usual milks are almond or coconut but I fancied trying some different nut milks so have been using hazelnut milk. The idea for this bowl came from eating a Cadbury’s fruit and nut bar – that lovely mix of raisons, hazelnuts and chocolate. The banana adds more creaminess and the dates give a tiny hint of caramel.
You could really be decadent and replace the cacao nibs with some milk chocolate chips or small buttons – but for now I’m sticking to the slightly healthier option.
The texture is like a thick smoothie with added crunchy bits – best eaten with a small spoon to savour each mouthful!
Buck hazelnut bowl (serves one)
- 50g buckwheat – soaked in water overnight and then rinsed
- 100ml hazelnut milk
- 1 banana
- 3 dates (I used Deglet nour which are a little smaller than medjool – so if you use medjool you probably only need 1 or 2)
- Cacao nibs
Blend the buckwheat, banana, dates and hazelnut milk. Put the mixture into a bowl or glass and stir through some cacao nibs, raisons and whole hazelnuts. Then put a few more on the top to decorate. I used a very generous sprinkle of cacao nibs, around 25g raisons and about 10 hazelnuts.
I’ve just sown some beetroot seeds on the allotment and can’t wait for my abundance of beetroot to play with over the coming months. So in anticipation I bought some to keep me going and have been experimenting with ways to incorporate them into breakfast. I love the combination of beetroot and coconut and the floral flavours of cardamom really bring the dish to life – it’s a perfect healthy protein rich brekkie bowl.
You could just use quinoa, but I like the slightly different texture that the quinoa flakes bring to the dish. You may wish to adjust the milk – I do like my bowls a little more on the wet side.
Beetroot, pear & cardamom quinoa bowl (serves one)
- 30g uncooked quinoa – rinsed
- 20g quinoa flakes
- 200-300ml coconut milk
- 1 pear – grated
- 20g raw fresh beetroot – finely grated
- 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom (that’s about 6-8 pods)
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar – or other brown sugar
- Coconut flakes
- Pumpkin seeds
Put the uncooked quinoa, the grated beetroot and 200ml of coconut milk in a pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the grated pear, cardamom, sugar and quinoa flakes and a further 50ml of coconut milk and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan and add more coconut milk if it’s getting too dry.
Take off the heat and stir through the coconut flakes (I used about a tablespoon) and some pumpkin seeds (I used around a teaspoon).
If you can wait – it’s nice to let mixture sit in the pan for a few minutes to infuse and soak up a little more moisture before you eat it.
Put it in a bowl and sprinkle a few bits of coconut and some extra sugar if you fancy.
Brrr it was so cold this morning that another big warming bowl was required. I had more brown rice to use up from last night so I’m back to the brown rice porridge. This has a lovely zesty fresh taste and is a lovely warming filling brekkie. I love the flavours of orange and almond together.
Orange & Almond Brown Rice Bowl (serves one)
- 120g of cooked brown rice (from the night before is good)
- 100g water
- 100ml orange juice
- 50-100ml Almond milk
- Zest of one orange
- 25g sultanas or raisons
- 1 tsp ground almonds
- Cinnamon – liberal amount
- Ginger – liberal amount
- 5-6 roughly chopped almonds
- Flaked almonds – for topping
Put the rice, orange juice and water into a saucepan and boil gently for around 4-5 minutes until the liquid is absorbed – keep an eye on it and keep stirring it, don’t let it dry out.
Then start by adding 50ml of almond milk and the orange zest, chopped almonds, ground almonds, sultanas and spices and simmer for 8-10 minutes – keeping an eye on the liquid levels – add more of the almond milk as you stir – don’t let it get dry.
This is lovely with some flaked almonds on top – and I do sometimes add some brown sugar too.