Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Warming Kasha {Buckwheat} Cereal with Pear, Pomegranate & Pepitas


I've been having the greatest time doing an Advent calendar for my sons who are (ahem), almost 15 and 12 years old.

I came across a wood framed freestanding calendar at Loblaws about a month ago and couldn't resist.  It's great because it's got these roomy empty boxes (well decorated too) representing each day that you can fill with whatever you want - not the usual waxy chocolate stuff.  When I can't fit a particular item into a box, a pop a note inside directing the boys to another location in the house where they can find their head of broccoli (wink) so it becomes almost like a scavenger hunt.  

Anyhow, the best thing?  My sons are as excited about it today as they were a decade ago! 

(I thought I might be just indulging myself - it happens - but not this time).

~~~~~

So here we are, officially one week before Christmas and it feels like a lot has happened in the world since I last wrote.  Our hearts are heavy as we move forward.

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday - whatever tradition you choose to celebrate - and precious time with family and friends.  

I'm sharing a warming cereal with you this morning that you might enjoy trying over the holidays.  If you haven't had a chance to experiment with buckwheat yet, this is an excellent introductory recipe.  The texture and consistency of the buckwheat groats (also referred to as kasha) are particularly well-suited to cereal.  

Although its name would suggest otherwise, buckwheat is not related to wheat; it is actually a fruit seed and not a cereal grain.  As such, buckwheat is an excellent 'grain-like' substitute (looks like a grain and acts like a grain) for those who are sensitive to wheat or gluten and is also powerfully nutritive.  Containing all essential amino acids in proper proportions, kasha is a complete plant protein that is also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, calcium and fibre. 

My sons gobbled up this display when they returned home from school (it wasn't a tough sell!).


Warming Kasha {Buckwheat} Cereal with Pear, Pomegranate & Pepitas
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (Kasha)
  • 2 heaping Tbsp ground flaxseed (flax meal)
  • About 2 Tbsp raw pepitas
  • 1 large ripe seasonal pear, skin on and chopped into bite size pieces
  • Handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Drizzle of honey

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Notes:

Don't be intimidated by seeds/ancient grains.  They behave much like oatmeal or other more familiar foods and are as easy to cook as rice.  You can find them at health food stores, bulk food stores and many regular grocery stores now carry them as well (Bob's Red Mill is a common North American brand).


Directions:

Makes 2 servings





Prepare buckwheat groats according to package directions - (generally, 2:1 water to buckwheat groats ratio - bring mixture to a boil in a pot on stove and then simmer for about 12-15 minutes).

Add pear to simmering buckwheat, mixing with the groats and allowing it to warm and soften slightly.

Once the groats are cooked (they will have softened and puffed up in size and most of the water will have been used up), remove pot from heat and add ground flaxseed to the groats/pear, mixing to combine.

Divide warm cereal between two bowls and add milk or milk alternative.  Drizzle each bowl of cereal with a little honey or pure maple syrup, as you wish.  Sprinkle the cereal with pepitas, pom seeds and a dollop of yogurt, as desired.

Cheers to your health and happiness!



27 comments:

  1. I think everyone, no matter how old, loves any excuse to be a kid :) How fun that you give them a scavenger hunt to their advent prize! I can't wait to create my own traditions when I have kids.

    I've only had kasha in savory dishes before, but this sounds delicious. Love how you made it chock full of fruit and seeds....yum! I love all the different textures like that when I'm eating :)

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  2. What a great idea for a morning cereal; I love mine as a salad. The pear and pepitas sound like wonderful textures, and the pomegranate seeds add an element of colour which makes it so festive!
    We always had an Advent Calendar but our's never had chocolates, just small drawings in each window. I love the one you have, I'm going to check out our Loblaws to see if I can score one (because even though we have no kids, we still have to humour the kids within us!)
    Happy Holidays to you and your's too.

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  3. Nice post, Kelly... I enjoyed reading about your calendar for the boys, they ARE really growing up fast, my gosh, they are teenagers! (gaaaasp) ;-)

    this has been quite a year, and it ends on a very somber note. Such is life.

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  4. I love that advent calender idea! I had wanted to make one for my boyfriend this year but I didn't think of it until Nov. 30th....oops! ha ha!

    I'm familiar with buckwheat, but I've actually only made then in raw form, sprouting and drying for granola. I'd loooove to try this warming, comforting, perfect, wintery breakfast! It looks so yummy, Kelly!

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  5. Oh, what a gorgeous bowl of goodie goodness! I definitely WILL be trying that one over the Holidays... I've been toying with the idea of adding egg whites to buckwheat. I think this is just the perfect recipe / flavor combo to take it for a test drive.

    Hmmm... my mouth is watering and I am still full from dinner!

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  6. Very healthy breakfast option, and no, I haven't tried buckwheat before besides in a form of Soba noodles. How interesting that we could eat it as cereal!

    And about Advent calender... my kids are so excited about it, and ours are not as fancy and creative like yours! Enjoy now because when they leave the house... we cannot play it with the kids anymore! :)

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  7. Kelly, this is a very unusual way to serve buckwheat and beautiful as always (pomegranate seeds! I think I have to write them on my hands before my next shopping). My childhood was filled with frequent buckwheat meals and I like buckwheat a lot. Nowadays I fry it often, like fried rice, but with buckwheat instead. The only buckwheat I like is the toasted, nutty version though.
    I wouldn't mind if someone organised the game you describe even now ;-)

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  8. This looks incredible, and your pics are gorgeous! Love all the protein and fiber in there, too:)

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  9. Now this is indeed what cereal shoud look like!

    WOWwwwww. Xx

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  10. I did not know that buckwheat was a fruit and not a grain. Interesting! this is definitely a tasty bowl of goodness! Love the seeds, fruits and yogurt! What a way to start the day. BTW - I got my book this afternoon!!!! Thanks so much! It's a gorgeous book and am looking forward to some time to start making some of the recipes.

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  11. This is such a pretty alternative for breakfast. I have reduced my gluten intake, so I can't wait to try out buckwheat cereal one morning over the holiday. This sort of meal would be so perfect for a day of skiing! xx

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  12. I love your idea for the advent calendar Kelly. Do you know how much fun my kids would have with that - especially the scavenger hunt aspect! Oh they would just have so much fun. I'm definitely going to remember that for next year. This cereal looks so warm and filling - a great way to start the day. I've become addicted to warm cereals with fruit (a departure from my usual cheerios). :) Have fun with the last few days of the calendar left to go!

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  13. I don't eat Kasha often enough. Thanks for the nudge to use that bag that keeps starring at me. This looks like a perfect breakfast on a cold Canadian winters day!

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  14. I agree. Who doesn't want to be a kid - especially around the holidays! Yay for Advent calendars :). Kasha is nice in savoury dishes too... I saw it in a beautiful tourtiere (meat pie) the other day .... perfect for adding texture/bulking.

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  15. We didn't see many advent calendars growing up in our family - we had lots of other traditions though. I was really happy to find one with empty boxes... it would be a great DIY project to make one but there are only so many hours in a day, you know? This one was the perfect compromise.

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  16. I know... it's such a great idea to make them but where does the time go?! I've learnt not to go overboard with these things as I get older... (one great thing about aging, we usually get a smidge wiser ;0) - have a beautiful Christmas KoKo!

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  17. Wonderful! Let me know how you like it if you give it a try. Cheers Sonia!

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  18. Aren't soba noodles delightful? And you know, I can't seem to think of them independent of peanut sauce... mmm... I'm hungry!! :)

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  19. Hello Modern Girl Nutrition and thank you so much for stopping by. I'm delighted that you like the recipe!

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  20. Wow, lucky you. I don't think I was exposed to buckwheat until my 30s! ;) - it would be lovely in stir-fry - it adds such nice bulk/texture to dishes.

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  21. Yay, so happy your book arrived MJ!! Enjoy it over the holidays... have a great break.

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  22. Ah, I'm dreaming of skiing now... tons of fresh snow continues to fall today - big storm! Love it.

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  23. The Advent calendars are a blast and I agree, your birds would love the adventure! Hugs to all of you!

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  24. Beautiful Canadian day out there today... the trees are heavy with Christmas White... brilliant!

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  25. Kisses to you Kim - xo

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  26. You're not kidding! Growing up too fast - oy!! ;0)

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  27. Thanks Angie; me too!

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