Quick to make, and packed with protein, fibre, and omega fatty acids, as well as plenty of Vitamin C and Iron, this vegan fruity hemp and buckwheat porridge is an ideal breakfast to see you right through until lunchtime, with no mid-morning cravings!
When I was a child, on Sunday winter mornings, my grandmother would always bring me breakfast in bed; there'd be a mug of warm Ribena and a small bowl of steaming hot porridge oats, with a blob of home-made strawberry or raspberry jam (made from our home-grown fruits) on the top. She'd sit on the end of my bed while I eagerly ate my food, and we'd chat about all kinds of things.
Once I'd finished, I'd get up, put on my dressing gown and slippers, and follow her downstairs to the kitchen, where my grandfather would be waiting at the table. As soon as I entered, he'd put down his newspaper, stand up, give me a huge hug, and wish me good morning. Gran would dish up a traditional cooked breakfast, and as we ate, Granddad and I would chat about the garden and allotment, and what we were all going to do with the rest of the day. (Saturday chats were for school work!) Gran would give us the 'cabbage order'… so named, due to the fact that we always seemed to be harvesting cabbages for Sunday lunch in the winter! I remember we grew and harvested other winter vegetables too - such as kale - but the cabbage order was the thing that stuck!
I don't know when I grew out of enjoying porridge but at some point during my adulthood, I realised I just did not like it any more. I found it to be sickly and cloying, and just not very nice at all. My son loved it though, and my granddaughter is always happy to eat a bowl.
Around 2007, I was sent a book by Ian Marber (ummm… he didn't send it, I received it from a book swap site!), and in it, he wrote about using a mixture of apple and orange juice to make porridge. It sounded like such a good idea; after all, people make porridge with water, so why not juice? I didn't have any orange juice at the time, so I used plain apple juice diluted with water. What a revelation! I now make porridge (oatmeal) with apple juice all the time. It's a game-changer, as some of my American friends would say!
Rice porridge - congee - is great too. I first had it in Thailand, where it's called jok, and is often served with strips of fried dough, called pathongko. Unlike in Thailand, where it's most often made with stock from pork or chicken, I make mine with vegetable broth. I may even share my recipe one of these days!
Hemp and Buckwheat Porridge
When Buy Wholefoods Online asked me to create a recipe using hemp hearts, my first thought was to use them to make porridge but because they can occasionally be a tad on the bitter side, I wanted to balance them with something else, and just happened to have a big bag of buckwheat in the cupboard.
Making this fruity hemp and buckwheat porridge is super-easy; it's simply a case of putting the hemp hearts and roasted buckwheat groats into a pan with equal amounts of apple juice and water, add a few dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice) and seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower), and a little ground cinnamon. Cardamom would work too.
Bring the pan to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer for around five minutes, until the buckwheat has softened, and the porridge has thickened. I like to add some extra fruits and seeds as a topping, along with a some more hemp hearts. Slivered almonds work well too, and are a firm favourite of mine but I wanted to keep this recipe nut-free. Nothing stopping you adding your favourite nuts if you wish though!
What are hemp hearts?
As you may have surmised, hemp hearts are actually cannabis seeds with the outer shell removed. No, you can't get stoned on them - they have virtually no THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for giving highs. No, you can't plant them, and cultivate your own hash farm. Sorry. 😉
Hemp hearts are, however, high in healthy fats, B and C Vitamins, minerals, and protein (100g gives 64% of the daily recommended intake). 100g of hemp hearts will also take care of around 30% of your daily fibre needs. In terms of amino acids, hemp hearts are comparable to meat, eggs, dairy, and soy, and are almost a complete protein, coming in at around 66 on the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (which measures the degree to which a food is a complete protein).
These little hulled seeds are pretty good stuff!
I also make a chocolate and hemp seed butter with them, which is a bit more healthy than my vegan 'Nutella'; if you want to try it yourself, just grind up some hemp hearts with a little neutral oil, add as much cacao as you fancy, plus some of your favourite sweetener and a smidge of sea salt. 'Tis rather yum!
Vegan Fruity Hemp and Buckwheat Porridge
- Filled with fibre
- Packed with protein
- Really delicious
As well as being a great breakfast meal, this vegan fruity hemp and buckwheat porridge makes for a satisfying supper too. And because it's so quick to make, it's ideal if you find yourself short of time. To save even more time, you can make up small containers of the dry ingredients, then all you have to do is empty a container into the pan, add the liquid, and away you go. I'm all for making life as easy as possible, aren't you?
Have you ever had hemp hearts? What's your favourite way to eat them?
Vegan Fruity Hemp and Buckwheat Porridge
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp dried cranberries
- Place all of the ingredients, barring the optional toppings, into a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Bring to a gently boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 mins, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the buckwheat has softened but still retains a little bite.
- Transfer to bowls, and top with the seeds and dried fruit, if using, Serve immediately.
- I don't recommend storing this porridge, nor freezing it.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml