Saturday, March 28, 2009

Breakfast and Beyond: Spiced Hot Chocolate, Grawnola, and Buckwheaties

Grrrrr-awnola and Buckwheaties: Crunchy goodness in a jar.

Breakfast rocks! There's something so lovely about waking up, with a whole new day stretching before me, and thinking to myself, "What would I like to start my day with today?" The answer depends both on what's on hand and my appetite. I always start with a nice big glass of water, and then I usually squeeze myself a fresh fruit or vegetable juice. From there, the possibilities are endless.

Having been out for a rather filling dinner recently, I woke up the next morning feeling not terribly hungry but in need of a little kick where it counts. So I had the brilliant idea of making myself a nice spicy hot chocolate, full of eye-popping, mind-motiving, body-driving goodness. The recipe is simple and just begs for variations. I poured oat milk (any sort of milk will do - a nice creamy nut milk like almond or brazil nut would synergize gorgeously) into a small pot, and added a heaped tablespoon of cacao powder and agave to taste. Then, I went spice crazy! Like a good American, I adore lots of cinnamon, and I also added a bit of nutmeg, cardamom, and a whopping pinch of cayenne. I heated it slowly over a low flame, removing it as soon as it felt hot to the touch. This drink really gets me going like nothing else. After having it for breakfast, I felt super creative and energized. Powerful stuff. And, it's all warm and chocolatey!

"I'm spicy and chocolatey and I'll kick you in the pants!"

A little later on, I thought I ought to have something a bit more substantial in my tummy before heading off to work. Grawnola! Again, the American in me just loves a bowl of cereal with fruit and milk, and my raw version is just so much better than any commercial breakfast cereal I've ever tasted. The process is simple, though it does take some planning in advance. I soaked a big bowl of buckwheat overnight, as well as a small bowl of almonds and a small bowl of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. In the morning I rinsed and drained all of these and mixed them in a big bowl with the proverbial two scoops of raisins, a handful of chopped dried apricots, a handful of goji berries, some agave, cinnamon and grounds cloves. Then onto dehydrator sheets for a full 24-hours of dehydration. The next morning my kitchen smelled like cinnamon and my grawnola was crunchy and warmmmmmm! Into a bowl with some oat milk and sliced banana.

My yummy breakfast bowl, with some orange-beetroot juice.

I'll let you in on a little secret while I'm on the subject: buckwheat is amazing. When you're soaking some for your grawnola, soak double the amount you need and dehydrate it separately - just plain - on dehydrator sheets. In less than 24 hours it comes out dry and crunchy, and it goes well on anything. I am a big fan of the crunchy-creamy combo, so my favorite thing is to stir it into some banana ice cream - frozen bananas, pulsed in the food processor with a little almond milk. I made an amazing version the other night, into which I stirred not only buckwheaties but also some carob candies (made by stirring together carob powder, agave and a little coconut oil) and a little ribbon of agave. It totally tasted like something from a Ben & Jerry's carton, but it was all raw and nutritious. You can use buckwheaties in a million other ways, so trust me, just make it and do with it what you will.

Somehow this post has gone from breakfast to ice cream. Am I suggesting ice cream for breakfast? Hey, that's up to you. Just be creative and have fun with it, and let each day be an exciting adventure, culinary and otherwise. We all need a reason to bound out of bed in the morning!


Spiced Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk of your choice
1 heaped Tbsp raw cacao powder or ground nibs
2 tsp agave (or to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
large pinch nutmeg
large pinch cardamom
large pinch cayenne
small pinch Himalayan salt
1 cinnamon stick (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients except cinnamon stick in a small pot. Heat slowly over a low flame, stirring constantly, until the drink is hot to the touch (but not boiling!). Remove from flame and pour into a nice big mug. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Variations: Vary the spices to suit your taste. Other options include clove, star anise, allspice, ginger, black pepper. If you're sensitive to cacao, replace half of it with carob powder and use half the amount of agave.

Jess's Grawnola

3 cups buckwheat, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 cup sultanas or raisins
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 cup agave or raw honey
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread over dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 40 degrees C (115 F) for 24 hours. Store in glass jars or airtight containers. Eat for breakfast with milk of your choice and fresh fruit, or on its own as a snack.

Variations: Try using other dried fruit, nuts and seeds - whatever you like best, or whatever is in the cupboard. Cacao nibs are also a great addition if you want a little extra boost. Vary the spices to suit your taste, and try using other fruit juices instead of orange. Vanilla or almond extract would be lovely too. Let me know what you come up with!


Place buckwheat in a bowl or jar. Cover with filtered water - the water should be about 1 inch higher than the buckwheat as it expands a bit as it absorbs the water. Soak overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse the buckwheat. Dehydrate at 40 degrees C (115 F) for 24 hours. Store in jars or airtight containers.

Eat it as a breakfast cereal, stir into raw ice creams, mix with a basic raw chocolate recipe for raw nestle crunch, grind in spice mill into flour for raw breads and pizza bases - do with it what you will! Feel free to post your buckwheatie creations here.

No comments:

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin