Plant based, Vegetarian, Vegan
In winter, when I was growing up, I remember my mother cooking buckwheat for breakfast. Most of the time I couldn’t stand the smell and get way fast enough. Boy have my taste buds changed! I have become an avid fan of buckwheat in all sorts of dishes now.
A few days ago I got back from the hot and humid weather in New York to the middle of Sydney winter and was feeling so cold, I just wanted something for breakfast that was warming and hearty. So I decided to reach for buckwheat (my favourite winter breakfast grain), crack it and mix it with steel cut oats together with my some warming winter spices, plant based milk, rice syrup, nuts, pears and bake it for a heartier breakfast and top it off with winter’s magic pomegranate fruit.
The next day I even warmed it up and ate it for lunch topped with some coconut yoghurt. It felt so satisfying and nourishing.
No matter what the time of the day, you will find this dish will fit into any meal or snack. You can also experiment with other grains. Just remember to crack them first so that they cook faster.
- ¾ cup “cracked”* buckwheat
- ¾ cups steel cut oats
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds*
- ¼ teaspoon Sea or Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/3 cup rice syrup
- ¾ cup ground almonds
- 1 cup chopped pears
- 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
- 1 pomegranate seeds removed
- Blanched almonds for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 175 C. / 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 21 C. / 8 1/2 or 9-inch pie tin/dish with coconut oil and set aside.
2. In a coffee grinder or food processor, grind the buckwheat and oats until they have a “cracked” appearance, or at least until most of the grains are visibly split in half. Put them into a large bowl.*
3. Combine the ground flax seeds with 2 Tablespoons warm almond or other plant milk. Set aside.
3. To the grain mixture, add the spices and salt and stir lightly to combine.
4. In a saucepan warm the milk, add the rice or coconut syrup and whisk together. When the flax mixture has thickened add it to the milk mixture and stir well.
5. Start layering: Pour a third of the milk mixture into the oiled dish. Then, evenly sprinkle half of the buckwheat and oat mixture on top of the milk. Sprinkle half of the almonds and diced pears on top of the grains. Sprinkle additional cinnamon here if you like. Pour another third of the milk on top next. Then, add the other half of the grain mixture. Pour the remaining milk on top and garnish with remaining almonds and diced pears.
6. Give the pan a good shake and some light taps on the counter. Drizzle the melted coconut oil on top and slide the dish into the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and everything is set. Serve the hearty dish warm with extra rice syrup and if you like, try some coconut yogurt on top.
For a snack or dessert, cool and slice into wedges with coconut yoghurt on top or pack in a lunch box for a treat.
*This recipe makes the equivalent of 1 egg.
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon flax seeds
Grind the seeds into a meal in a blender or spice grinder. Like flax oil, flax seeds are extremely perishable so if you grind a larger amount for later use, store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one year. 1 cup of seeds equals about 1 ⅓ cup of flax meal.
Add the water or plant milk to a small bowl or cup. Add the flax meal and mix together with a whisk or fork. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so it develops a gelatinous texture similar to a raw egg. Warm water will speed up this gelling process and make it happen about twice as fast.