Do you eat oatmeal regularly? I do, and it's awesome! But sometimes, it's really nice to switch things up... without losing the convenience and nutritional value a big bowl of rolled oats offers.
If you're feeling like you could use a new breakfast idea, you'll love this simple recipe.
Maybe you're already a fan. If so, good for you! There's lots to be wild about.
However, many people are unfamiliar with buckwheat, so let me clear up a few misconceptions.
It's not wheat at all. The name is a misnomer. In fact, it's a gluten-free pseudo-grain (like quinoa, for example). It's actually a seed.
Buckwheat has a subtly nutty flavor, provides lots of plant-based protein, and has a light, fluffy texture... but only when you prepare it correctly.
And therein lies the rub. Because if you just cook it like rice or quinoa, it's likely to get mushy and unappetizing real quick.
But I've got your back. In this recipe, I'll explain my method of cooking buckwheat so it turns out perfectly every time.
Unless you're shopping at WholeFoods or another impressively well-stocked grocery store, you may not find buckwheat groats on the shelves. Check the health food section, the gluten-free aisle, and the bulk bins if you're trying to buy it at the supermarket. Look for brands like Arrowhead Mills, Bob's Red Mill or Anthony's. I almost always order mine online.
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This recipe yields two large breakfast bowls.
1. Before we cook the buckwheat, we need to soak it for about 15 minutes. It's not a deal-breaker if you don't soak it first, but it's a good idea. Scroll down below the recipe for an explanation as to why I recommend this.
You'll see that as the buckwheat soaks, the water turns a bit dark and gets sudsy. Don't be alarmed; this is normal.
After you've soaked it for 15 minutes or so, drain the soaking water and continue rinsing and draining until the rinse water runs clear. Drain it one final time.
2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the buckwheat and give it a stir.
Once it's boiling again, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, maximum, stirring occasionally.
3. While the buckwheat simmers, this is an excellent time to choose your two ripest peaches.
Chop them into small pieces. You can leave the skin on, of course, just give them a good wash first.
While you're at it, chop a couple small handfuls of raw pecans, too.
4. After it's simmered for 8 minutes, pour the buckwheat and its cooking water through a strainer in the sink. Rinse it immediately with cold water to stop it from cooking any further, and to rinse away excess starch.
After you rinse it, it will look light and fluffy in consistency.
5. Transfer the buckwheat back to the cooking pot, and add the pure maple syrup and cinnamon.
6. Stir it all together thoroughly, and then divide the buckwheat between two bowls.
7. Top each buckwheat bowl with your chopped peaches and pecans.
Add a sprinkling of hemp seed to each, as well. Aim for about a half Tablespoon per bowl.
And now it's ready to eat. Super simple and incredibly delicious!
Because it's a seed, buckwheat comes with natural enzyme inhibitors called saponins. These inhibitors prevent the seeds from germinating too early in the ground. In nature, they need to be washed away first by snow melt and spring rains in order for the seeds to sprout at the right time of year.
Because they inhibit enzyme activity, saponins can also disrupt digestion when eaten. This is why it's a good idea to rinse them off before cooking.
Buckwheat (not a cereal grain but a fruit seed) is a good source of plant-based protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids, as well as dietary fiber, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese and copper. It also contains the bioflavonoid rutin, which is helpful to the circulatory system.
Peaches are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, magnesium and iron. Like many fruits, they offer ample fiber, which is so important for good health, as well as antioxidants, and even some protein. Yes! Fruit contains protein, too.
The pecans in this recipe contribute magnesium, copper, Vitamin B-6, iron and calcium, as well as protein and fiber.
It's always wonderful to add hemp seed to a meal. It's 65% protein by weight, making it one of the best plant sources of protein available, and it's easily digested. It also contains the essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a ratio that is suitable for human nutritional needs. It is a good source of fiber, too, as well as magnesium, iron and zinc.