Before I get into why this buckwheat basil seed porridge with vanilla & cardamom is so damn amazing (and why you need to make it), let’s talk a little bit about breakfast and the idea of intermittent fasting.
I’ve always believed eating breakfast is a great way to get your metabolism going for the day, and a metabolism that’s humming along nicely, is the key to a healthy body.
Breakfast doesn’t necessarily have to be a big meal either, and in fact, it’s probably better that it’s not. But even if you’re not a breakfast person, something small is better than nothing at all, in my books at least!
This brings me to the idea of intermittent fasting which has become quite popular recently. By intermittent fasting, I’m talking about the idea of leaving a significant amount of time between your last meal of the day, and your first meal of the following day. Most people doing this type of fasting aim for a time of between 16 and 20 hours, which essentially means you skip breakfast and sometimes even lunch.
So what are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
The main reason people choose to fast intermittently is to give their digestive system time to fully digest any food so it can then turn it’s focus to other essential work such as immune, repair and renewal functions. Essentially, fasting gives your body a bit of extra down time from it’s digestive work, which could be exactly what some people with overworked systems need.
Another reason people fast intermittently is because they believe it helps with weight loss. However, while a reduction in overall calories will certainly make a difference short term, I’m not sure how effective it is for long term weight loss given there’s a possibility it could slow your metabolism over time.
Whether or not intermittent fasting is beneficial long term, it is a good idea to leave 10 to 12 hours between your dinner and breakfast, and at least 3 hours between eating dinner and going to bed. This ensures your body has enough time to digest any food left in it’s stomach so it can then turn it’s attention to the essential repair and renewal functions it needs to carry out while you sleep. It also helps to ensure you have good quality sleep and wake up refreshed and ready for a new day.
Now onto this buckwheat porridge recipe!
This is the perfect porridge for anyone who’s avoiding gluten or wanting a porridge with an element of protein. There is a little prep involved by way of soaking the buckwheat beforehand, but it only takes a few minutes and is well worth the effort. Soaking buckwheat removes the mucilaginous substance from its outer coating which makes it a lot easier to digest. Soaking also softens the buckwheat groats, making the cooking process a lot shorter.
When you cook soaked buckwheat with a creamy plant milk such as coconut milk, you’ll end up with a beautifully creamy porridge consistency. I’ve also added basil seeds to add to this creaminess, as they absorb an impressive amount of liquid and take on a gel like quality. Vanilla and cardamom go beautifully with the creamy base, and whether you add sweetener or not is up to you.
Toppings are only limited by your imagination! I’ve kept it super simple here with a quick berry compote which I’ve given the recipe for below. But really, you can top this porridge with anything you can dream up! I also love sliced banana, fresh berries, dried coconut, maple syrup, coconut yoghurt, or a beautiful Misty Day super food powder.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you make it, let me know what you think in the comments below! Enjoy.
Now it’s your turn!
Tell me in the comments below what you thoughts are around breakfast and intermittent fasting.
Have you tried intermittent fasting and if so, did it work for you?
Buckwheat Basil Seed Porridge with Cardamom & Vanilla
Makes: 2 generous serves or 3 regular
Prep time: 10 minutes Soak time: 2-4 hours Cook time: 20 minutes
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
2 to 3 cups plant milk (I used coconut milk – the drinking kind)
2 tsp basil seeds (or chia seeds)
2 tsp rice syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar (optional)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
Quick berry compote (see below)
Nut butter drizzle
Prep ahead by placing the buckwheat groats in a bowl, cover with water and stand at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours (if it’s hot, soak them in the fridge). Drain the water off and rinse really well to remove the mucilaginous. If you’re prepping ahead of time, you can store the soaked/drained buckwheat in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just be sure to rinse it well again before using.
To make the porridge, place all the ingredients, starting with 1 cup of milk, in a small pan set over medium heat. Stir occasionally to stop the porridge from sticking to the bottom. Allow it to come to a simmer then turn down the heat so it’s just bubbling. Add more milk as needed i.e. when it’s looking a bit dry and starts sticking to the bottom. Basil seeds are super soakers so it’s likely you’ll need at least 2 cups of milk, maybe more depending on how long you cook it for.
The porridge is ready when the buckwheat has softened and expanded, and the basil seeds have soaked up all the liquid.
Pour the porridge into a serving bowl and top with your favourite toppings. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. To serve again, bring the porridge to a simmer and add extra milk as necessary.
Quick Berry Compote
Place 1 cup of frozen berries such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, in a small pan with a little water. Heat gently until the berries defrost and come to a simmer. Your compote is then ready to use! Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.