Recipe Box: Creamy Buckwheat Porridge with Cherry Currant Jam + New Workshop!

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I’m thrilled to announce a longtime collaboration dream coming to life with my dear friend and incredible photographer, Greer Owings-Husserl of Greer Inez Photography. We’ve teamed up with West Elm OKC to bring you an afternoon Food Styling & Photography workshop.  Learn the art of styling and plating, selecting props, composition, working with natural light, and manual digital photography basics in this 3-hour hands-on workshop. Greer will be covering all the manual digital photography elements and I’ll be sharing my tips and tricks on food and prop styling. Bring your DSLR and iphones to learn all the tricks from plate to pixel to bring your food story to life! I’ll be preparing some delicious organic snacks and tea to keep you fueled during the workshop. Space is limited, register online to join us for the April 11th, 2015 workshop.

West Elm Workshop 4-11
Now how about some porridge? If you haven’t noticed, I’m really digging porridges lately. There’s something about a crisp morning and big bowl of warmth in your belly that is so comforting, right? And with spring officially here, I’m welcoming a pop of color back into my life after what seems like the darkest winter. Though technically these berries aren’t in season until summer, I couldn’t resist playing around with these bright red beauties when they showed up in my local market recently, a rare find and out of season purchase – I know. But like I said, winter was long and I could use some color therapy right about now!

IMG_9983 IMG_0005 I played around with two varieties of this gluten-free porridge, one using brown rice and one using buckwheat. The buckwheat felt lighter and more aligned with these early spring vibes.  Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not actually wheat, it’s a seed from the flowering plant genus, fagopyrum esculentum, closely related to rhubarb, knotweed and sorrel. Because the seeds are eaten rather than the grass, it’s considered a pseudocereal rather than the cereal grains you see commonly in wheat, barley, rye, millet and the like. Here’s a little nutritional profile on our gluten-free friend:

IMG_9949 Nutritional Profile: Buckwheat

  • First off: FIBER! Buckwheat seeds are very rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that promote better colon and kidney health.
  • Buckwheat contains two flavonoids, rutin and quercitin. that work to lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
  • The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, about 11-14g per 100g, and contains all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.
  • Buckwheat also boasts high levels of manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins B2 and B3.
  • According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods, “The properties of buckwheat are: Neutral thermal nature; sweet flavor; cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite. It’s effective for treating dysentery and chronic diarrhea.”

Buckwheat Porridge  You’ll often find the toasted version at stores, known as Kasha. For this recipe, look for it raw and untoasted to soak and activate these nutrient-rich seeds. You can read more about the benefits of soaking and sprouting seeds and nuts. If you like more texture, you skip the blending step in this recipe and dish it up hot cooked and whole instead. I like it both ways!

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CREAMY BUCKWHEAT PORRIDGE WITH CHIA CHERRY CURRANT JAM

Buckwheat Porridge
1 cup buckwheat, soaked overnight
2 cups water
1 cup almond milk
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch himalayan pink salt

In a large bowl, place the raw buckwheat groats, cover with water and a squeeze of lemon juice. Soak overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse the buckwheat well.

In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the buckwheat groats and cook until soft, about 10 minutes on medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, add the almond milk, then simmer for another 5-10 minutes. If the buckwheat absorbs all the liquid, add more water until tender.

Transfer to a high-speed blender and puree until creamy. Quickly pour into your bowl, top with a heaping serving of the raw jam and top with berries, a sprinkling of hemp seeds and cacao nibs, if desired. Note: When cooked, buckwheat becomes sticky and gelatinous, so you may find this solidifies as it cools. Top it with a little extra almond milk, give it a good stir and enjoy while warm!

Chia Cherry Currant Jam
1 cup frozen cherries
1 cup fresh red currants
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chia seeds
*Optional: 1 tbsp raw honey

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender, puree until smooth. Store in a jar in your fridge until ready to use.

Makes 2-4 servings