Birchers, Buckwheat, and Bee Pollen–Oh My!

Buckwheat Bircher

If there’s one non-writerly thing you need to know about me, it’s that I’m kind of obsessed with healthy, weird, hippy-dippy-trend-type eating. And by “kind of obsessed” I really mean that I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the way that I feel when I eat whole, raw, pure food. You know, berries for breakfast. Yogurt dip with apples. That kind of thing. But then…

Well, then I always find myself reaching for those gosh-darned little bags of Doritos at work. I don’t get it. I don’t get it!

Well anyway. A few days ago I found this article from Buzzfeed about how teenage girls–randomly, Australian teenage girls–are using Instagram “to battle dieting pressure.” I’m not sure if that’s exactly their intent behind the whole thing, but whatever. What they’re doing is they’re posting gorgeous pictures of the good stuff: bowls of porridge stacked with fruits and strange ingredients, salads filled to the brim with veggies, banana ice cream, everything.

It’s inspiring, is what it is. I see their Bircher bowls (yes, I’m going to call them that, because it sounds so very British…er…Swiss?) topped with strawbs and nanas and maca-whatever and I drool. The good thing is, I have a lot of these strange ingredients on hand: chia seeds, cacao nibs, buckwheat, coconut flakes. All I have to do is blend it up and eat it for breakfast.

So, in honor of my new Australian comrades, I made myself a Bircher this morning, which you can see pictured below. Okay, it looks a little like baby spit-up. And yeah, I need to study food styling. But let me tell you. It was delicious and you need to make yourself one immediately. I’ve made raw buckwheat porridge before–I’ll share that recipe as soon as I get through the rest of this. This one tastes more traditional, like the oatmeal your dad served you on camping trips when you were little: warm, sweet, cinnamon-y. (Oh, was that just me?)

Buckwheat Bircher

Basic Raw Buckwheat Bircher
Adapted from here. Makes approx. 4 cups of porridge.

  • 2 c. raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 1/4 c. almond milk
  • 2 T. chia seeds
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. cinnamon

Soak the buckwheat in 4 c. water for at least 1 hr. You can leave it overnight if you want.

Drain the water from the buckwheat and add the almond milk, chia seeds, and salt. If you want, you can add 1/4 c. of maple syrup, or you can just sweeten each bowl yourself at the end. Blend until fairly smooth. (I used an immersion blender; it worked beautifully.)

Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Top with whatever you like, spoon it up. Smile at how healthy you suddenly are.

For toppings in the picture above, I used blueberries, cacao nibs, and walnuts. Tomorrow morning I’m going to do the same, but also add my newly-toasted coconut flakes. I’d put bee pollen on, but I had forgotten that I had to throw it away when we moved from ABQ, so I’ll have to wait until I can get to the natural foods store again. Did that sentence make any sense? (Sorry, it’s late. Head’s pounding.) Other great topping ideas: strawberries, bananas, nut butter, yogurt. Anything, really. Play with it!

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