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Five flavours » New Zealand, Vegetarian » Buckwheat porridge with cinnamon, walnuts and cranberries

Buckwheat porridge with cinnamon, walnuts and cranberries

Considering the state of the weather outside, you may be hankering for something warming, and nutritious for breakfast. You’d think from the way I talk that I am something of a porridge addict. On the contrary, but when the weather looks like this, it is to porridge I must go!

But wait. You know I need to offer up one of my mega digressions before I carry on, so here it is. I once found myself giving a lecture at a high school in Osaka, Japan. I was part of the “International week” lectures. On my day, there was also a man from Nepal who’d brought some interesting photos of his country to share with the students. He flashed up a slide of a field full of flowers and asked the students if they could guess what it was. They thought, and I thought. Finally I started thinking of tsampa, which is fairly popular in all of the Himalayas considering the number of Tibetan refugees residing there, and thought about whether the photos might be of barley. I got lost in thought about if the word for barley might be tsampa in Nepali or if that is only Tibetan. I was way off base anyway because suddenly a student shouted out the answer, “そば!” (“Soba!”). The cultural reference part of my brain was going haywire at this point, but he was totally correct; although we associate the word soba with Japanese buckwheat noodles, it is used in general as the word for buckwheat. I entertained thoughts of noodle fields all the same.

Buckwheat is often associated with Eastern European cultures as kasha, but had it’s humble beginnings in Asia. Something about buying and cooking buckwheat is a bit old fashioned, but then with many people moving away from preparing whole foods, or even being connected to the cooking process at all, perhaps old fashioned is good.

Buckwheat is gluten free in it’s raw form (be wary of soba noodles which often include wheat flour if you are gluten intolerant), contains omega-3 fatty acids, and is full of delicious fiber. We use it as a grain, but in fact it is a seed. A bowl full of seeds, how cool!

If you toast the groats before cooking the porridge they are slightly nuttier and have more of a bite to them. It is fine to put the buckwheat straight in to the water, but it will make a slightly mushier porridge. You can also experiment with more milk or different nuts and fruits. I once made a delicious dried cherry and cocoa one which I highly recommend.

Cinnamon, Walnut and Cranberry Buckwheat Porridge

2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of unsalted butter
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 cup buckwheat groats (toasted or untoasted)
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 cup of milk

Boil the water, butter and cinnamon and then add the buckwheat groats and turn down to a simmer. Stir them occasionally to be sure they are not sticking to the bottom. After about 10-15 minutes the groats will start to soften and it’s a good time to add the cranberries. Once the groats are no longer floury/chalky inside you can add the milk and heat it through without a lid on so that the porridge gets a bit creamy.
Serve up with agave syrup, maple syrup (my fave) or dark brown sugar.
Makes two servings

Filed under: New Zealand, Vegetarian

3 Responses to "Buckwheat porridge with cinnamon, walnuts and cranberries"

  1. Marie says:

    Great! Thanks for stopping by. Let us know how it turns out:)

  2. M says:

    I’m in the process of trying to improve my over all diet, and came across buckwheat today and am looking for recipes using it. I can’t wait to try out this recipe, it sounds delicious, i love a good porridge. :)

  3. Marie says:

    This was the last post I transferred from my old blog, Threespoons.co.nz. To see comments on this post from that time just check out this link. http://www.threespoons.co.nz/2010/06/buckwheat-porridge-with-cinnamon.html#comments

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