Sweet-spiced buckwheat porridge with sea buckthorn sauce

Just like that, temperatures dropped 10 degrees and rainstorms reached our country with the evident intention to stay. There’s no denying it: autumn’s definitely here. And you won’t hear me complain. Some of you may know already that autumn ranks high as my favourite season of the year and here are just a few reasons why:

  1. watching the trees turn beautiful and golden
  2. cosying up on the couch with hot tea and a blanket
  3. apple pie, pumpkin everything and all ginger-spiced seasonal cooking and baking
  4. the perfect excuse to treat myself to warm comfort food every morning

Which is where this sweet-spiced buckwheat porridge comes in. Comfort food at its best, this porridge is the creamy, warm-flavoured treat you’ll want to wake up for in the morning.

buckwheat porridge

With its dark and nutty flavour, buckwheat is equally good for breakfast as it is for dinner. The cooked kernels make a great base or side for savoury dishes. At the same time they combine wonderfully with chocolate or sweet spices like cinnamon and vanilla. And when you use them as a base for porridge, you’re assured of a sweet-flavoured, filling and protein-packed breakfast.

Cooking them is as easy as it is with oatmeal. You can cook them either in water or in plant-based milk and then add flavours of your choice. If you prefer, you can pre-soak the buckwheat in water for a few hours or overnight, which makes the cooked result softer and is said to make it easier to digest. Personally, I like the kernels to still have a bit of bite to them once cooked, so I simply rinse them before tossing them into the pan straight from their jar.

nut milk

To take this breakfast up a notch, I use homemade almond milk to cook the buckwheat in. The flavour and creaminess of homemade nut milk is incomparable to its shop-bought counterpart and it will up the indulgence factor of this porridge even more. If you’d like to give it a go, you’ll find the easy recipe for homemade nut milk here.

Then, simply flavour with soft autumn spices – cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, a little nutmeg if you like – and top with your favourite fruits and add-ins. I added a dollop of yogurt and a generous spoonful of freshly made sea buckthorn sauce with ginger and orange zest. The availability of ripe sea buckthorn berries is just another perk of the start of this new season and this tart and zesty sauce is a perfect match for the soft flavours of the porridge. If you can’t get your hands on these berries, though, it is equally wonderful with, for example, cherry compote, blueberry compote or maple-baked apples.

Enjoy it warm and straight from the pan, or prepare ahead and leave to cool for a quick and comforting breakfast over the next few mornings.

Happy start of autumn!

buckwheat porridge

Sweet-spiced buckwheat porridge with sea buckthorn sauce – serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250 g untoasted buckwheat groats, rinsed. I cook them straight from their jar, but if you prefer, you can pre-soak them in water for a few hours or overnight, for a softer finish.
  • 700 ml – 1 l plant-based milk (I used homemade almond milk to give it a wonderfully soft flavour and creamy texture)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit lengthwise, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom, or the bashed seeds from 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup

Plus:

Preparation

Put the buckwheat groats in a pan, along with 700 ml almond milk. Stir in the cinnamon sticks, vanilla and cardamom and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and leave the pan uncovered. Stirring occasionally, gently simmer the buckwheat for 20 minutes until tender. Add more almond milk if needed; I usually end up using the whole litre.

When the buckwheat is tender and creamy, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the maple syrup.

Divide the porridge over 4 bowls. Spoon on a generous amount of yogurt. Top with sea buckthorn berry sauce, cherry compote or blueberry compote. Scatter with fresh fruits of choice and enjoy while it’s nice and warm.

Alternatively, make it ahead, leave it to cool and store in the fridge for using it later in the week. The porridge will keep up to 3 days.

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