Savory & sweet buckwheat breakfast cereal
Breakfast. We're told it's the most important meal of the day. It’s also the hardest to pull off on busy mornings and, for whatever reason, the most creatively challenging. I’ve been on the hunt for better homemade breakfast options that are easy to whip up during the weekend (or pull together during the week), and pack a lot of nutrients to get a good, wholesome start on the day.
These days, Lulu, K and I seem to be on a constant rotation of scrambled eggs, oatmeal and smoothies. Weekends end up being a little more indulgent with a trip to brunch. Cereal makes its way onto our table once in awhile, however I tend not to buy the packaged stuff anymore because there always seem too much added sugar or an ingredient I don’t really recognize. The problem is, cereal has always been and remains my favorite breakfast option.
Last week, I got my hands on a copy of Laura Wright’s new book, The First Mess. She's a food blogger with creative plant-based recipes and beautiful images that I have admired for a long time. The book, which recently published, is the first printed collection of her work. I skimmed through the entire thing in one sitting. The first recipe that really caught my eye was buckwheat "crispies”. Yup, cereal. It’s basically just like making granola but with buckwheat groats (brilliant!), which is the latest whole grain to find its way into my kitchen.
I adapted Laura’s recipe only slightly to include things I had in my pantry. And while she suggests soaking the buckwheat groats for at least 1 hour, sprouting raw buckwheat overnight is the best way to remove the gelatinous layers from the groats. Apparently, doing this allows for the nutrients in the grain to be more easily absorbed and digested by our bodies.
I’ll keep testing and hunting for more creative breakfast ideas in the coming months so that eventually we can have a whole spread of things to choose from that will replace that aformentioned boring rotation.
This recipe requires at least 1 hour for soaking time, so take that into consideration before starting. I soaked my buckwheat overnight and toasted it in the morning before serving it up for breakfast that same day. The serving size is about ½ cup, so this makes enough leftovers for the rest of the week.
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
2 cups raw buckwheat groats
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup sliced pecans
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
3 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup agave
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dried sour cherries
In a large bowl, cover the buckwheat groats with water. Soak it for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Heat the oven to 300°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drain and rinse the buckwheat, and wipe the bowl clean (you’ll use it again in a bit). After it's done soaking, scrape the buckwheat out onto a couple of clean kitchen towels. Pat it dry as much as possible.
Return the groats to the large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the the dried cherries, and toss everything to combine. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets and slide into the oven. Bake the cereal for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring once every 15 minutes or so to ensure even browning. It’s ready when golden brown and crispy.
Remove the cereal from the oven and stir in the cherries. Set it aside to cool.
Use this cereal as a topping for smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal or eat it as is with milk.
You can store this cereal in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week. You can eat it after that, too, but they won’t be as crisp.