Spring is showing up all over our house. It’s very welcome here. Not that any other season gets a crusty welcome, though. When each new season arrives, I enjoy them all. They each have something different and special to offer. But spring is the only one where all the things you thought were completely dead outside suddenly bust out of the ground and grow all over the place. It’s like a surprise. For example, I had despaired over this rhubarb plant, thinking it wasn’t going to make it (it had a rough time last year), and then bam, it’s growing all over the place (hopefully soon lending itself to glorious rhubarb-based recipes).
Or these chives that I forgot where even there….but was glad to discover.
Or this very mysterious rose bush….that we didn’t plant, and was not there last year (two years ago, there was a rose in this spot, but it died and we dug it up and planted rhubarb….so this very well might be the most persevering little plant ever).
But considering all these new things, it occurred to me that it was time to change up my breakfast routines.
Sometimes it’s easy to come up with what to eat for breakfast and you have the time to accomplish it, and sometimes you don’t have a lot of time before you go out the door and have no idea what to eat. You just need to be able to lay your hands on something wonderful, but it needs to happen quickly or else you’ll be having that mildly-stale bread item on the counter. At the outset of writing this, I admit I had some feelings of shyness about trying to create a new breakfast dish…or really, anything edible for that matter, without the use of a recipe. I like recipes. They help guarantee reproducible results…and have a much lower chance of being inedible. (It can still happen…but it takes much more determination and strength of will).
However, I really wanted to share something with you that was fresh and that I enjoyed creating. So, being inspired by some food writers online (Angela Liddon, Elizabeth Gordon, and Debbie Adler, to name a few), I thought “what is the absolute worst thing that could happen…breakfast is pretty safe, right?”, and jumped in with both feet (the best way to jump). At first, I was pretty sure this recipe was destined for disaster, but a banana came to save the day. I love trying new things, and seeing what other people are cooking with, and it was only recently that I had ever heard of buckwheat groats. Buckwheat is a fruit, not a nut. And the buckwheat plant makes these adorable little triangular-shaped seeds that when soaked or cooked become sort of softer and a little crunchy. But, it’s a soft-crunch, not a chip crunch. It’s completely satisfying. Anyway, I had a bag hanging around, and hadn’t discovered anything exciting that I wanted to make with them, yet. Agar was also something foreign and strange to me, and a long time ago I bought a little packet of it from Whole Foods and it was just asking to be experimented with. Agar is a type of seaweed product used as a gelling agent (but it doesn’t make things taste like seafood, it’s pretty tasteless on its own, like regular gelatin). If you can’t find these items at a store near you, you can always order them online. So, I thought in the spirit of adventure, I would do something with them, and through trial and error, came up with this creamy, satisfying dish. It’s not really a porridge, it’s not really pudding, and it’s not parfait, it’s some happy middle ground between them. You can make this ahead, and then just pull it out when you’re ready to have it. And really, who am I to say it needs to be restrained to breakfast. I’d eat it any time of day.
Creamy Coconut-Orange Breakfast Buckwheat
- 1 1/2 cups chilled coconut milk (canned)
- 1/2 cup pulp-free orange juice
- 1 1/2 tsp agar
- 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (rinsed)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 large ripe banana (1 for each person)
- non-dairy milk of choice (for topping)
- Optional: sliced fruit, pepita(pumpkin) seeds. (for topping).
1. In a small saucepan, combine the agar and orange juice, and heat over medium heat until the mixture boils. Whisk it often, as the agar flakes tend to sink to the bottom. It’s very important the all the agar flakes completely dissolve, or else the final product will be weird and lumpy. Once this is complete, remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. Once room temperature, refrigerate this mixture for 30 minutes, or until it just starts to solidify.
2. In a medium bowl, whip the chilled coconut milk with a hand blender (for approx 5 minutes). This will make it much more light and a little airy. Then add in the chilled orange mixture from the fridge, and blend again until the orange mixture is fully combined. (there may be tiny lumps, but this won’t impact the final product).
3. Gently fold in 2tbsp maple syrup and the buckwheat groats. Mix until just combined, then refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
4. In a bowl, mash banana, and then combine with desired amount of buckwheat mixture, stirring until combined. Top the bowl with a splash of non-dairy milk, the remaining maple syrup, some sliced fruit and raw pumpkin(pepita) seeds and it’s ready to serve. (Really, you can top it with anything you like, go wild!).
This keeps well in the fridge, and is a great change to the regular breakfast fare. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Let me know in the comments what your favorite breakfast is, or what spring surprises you’ve had this year so far! If you do try this recipe, tweet me a picture or post it on the facebook group, I’d love to know how it turned out for you!
Take care! Talk to you soon!
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