Tag Archive: buckwheat


Hey everyone,

On the 22nd of October, in Kensington Olympia, London Vegfest took place. I was lucky enough to have amazing friend Tomi telling me to contact the organiser regarding doing a cookery demo there. So I did, and there I was, many months later!

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Overall it was quite a nice day, all the more better to get to catch up with Tomi and see my colleagues and friends supporting me doing this kind of presentation for the first time. For some reason though the atmosphere was very much different, and strange I would even say, compared with the vegfests I have been to before. There was a lot more space than usual which was good, given that  you did not have to fight your way through the little corridors between stalls, but it also made it feel much more emptier. And despite there being many, many stalls, there still seemed to be nothing around. In the sense that there surely was all aspects of veganism represented in the form of food, drink, clothing, publications, charities, animal rights groups, alternative healthcare providers and more, yet when we were in search of food, all the stalls that would have been quite inviting had a queue worth 30 min of your time. Either the 7200 people that passed through the doors yesterday were too little for the amount of space that they this time had booked, or there were not enough stalls for it, but it just felt empty, and we ended up in a restaurant nearby for actual dinner, which is quite odd.
Luckily there is the Animal Aid Christmas fayre coming at the beginning of December, which I think will bring along quite a different atmosphere. Only time will tell!

I think everyone knows about my fascination and love with buckwheat by now, and that is what I wanted to showcase – the diversity of this pseudo cereal.
A little information about buckwheat – it is naturally gluten free, related to rhubarb, that is quite high in protein with 13.25 g in 100 g of dry produce, with 343 kcal of total energy. The  study that I wrote my undergrad thesis on also demonstrated buckwheat as the most satiating of the alternative plant based protein sources it compared (hemp, lupin, fava, green pea and buckwheat vs meat), which is why I always recommend it to people who claim that vegan foods make them full and empty again in very short periods of time; or for sportsmen who need more protein (or so they think). A great source.
There are also different types of buckwheat – raw, sprouted, and roasted. I grew up consuming the latter one, as porridge – we would call it – which essentially meant instead of rice in the context. It is boiled similarly to rice, and it does expand a lot once boiled. As a kid I would always eat it with ketchup. Letcho made a good sauce also. As I grew older I had it with cheese mixed in so it would melt – it works magic with melting vegan cheeses too! My brother would mix the two I think, but I always had a problem with mixing dairy with ketchup. And that has carried over to veganism as well, I find it mentally challenging to eat ketchup with vegan cheese.
Anyway, after being vegan for a year or more, I had quite a look into the raw food world and started using sprouted buckwheat for breakfast – mix it with dried fruit and seeds/nuts for muesli for example, or blend soaked raw buckwheat with flavouring such as cinnamon, and spread it out to dehydrate instead of cereal. However when I tried cooking raw buckwheat into porridge I was put off for quite a while trying to do any kind of porridge from raw buckwheat. For so long in fact that I was eagerly waiting for Rawligion to open given that they were supposed to serve raw buckwheat porridge and I wanted to see proof that it can be done tasting good. Well, Rawligion did open but there was no buckwheat porridge. So one day I decided to pick up the matter again and looked up 10 different recipes and thought I realised what I needed to do. And so I tried. And it came out amazing.  🙂
And the different states of buckwheat is something I also wanted to demonstrate, which I am quite happy worked out even without realising! I came up with three different recipes that I showcased at vegfest, and here they are also for everyone’s convenience.

Buckwheat krispie cakes

Makes six about 60 g bars (with about 14 g protein per bar), or many many smaller pieces

Base:

1 cup (160 g) activated buckwheat (soaked for 2-4 hours, dehydrated)
1/3 cup (70 g) almond butter
1/4 cup (50 g) manna (coconut butter)
1 heaped tbsp (20 g) maple syrup/coconut nectar/other sweetener
pinch salt

Chocolate:

1/4 cup (50 g) manna
1 tsp (5 g) cacao powder
1 tbsp (10 g) xylitol, pulverised, or any other sweetener you fancy
1 tbsp (15 g) coconut oil

Method:

Melt the manna in hot water bath. Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a container about 10 x 20 cm size, dependent on how thick you like it choose larger/smaller surface area.
Mix together the chocolate ingredients, melt again in hot water bath if needed to get it more liquid, and pour over the base. If you like, add cacao nibs, coconut, or whatever else you fancy for decoration on top now so it would set together with the chocolate.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it sets. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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Raw buckwheat porridge

Makes two about 150 g servings (plenty for breakfast!)

100 g raw buckwheat groats
1 g (pinch) cinnamon
100 ml almond milk (or any other plant milk)
60 g dates (more if you want it sweeter)
50 g berries + more for topping if you like

Method:

Soak the buckwheat in water for 2-4 hours (can be overnight if you prefer), rinse well until the water runs clear
Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you want it thicker, feel free to add some chia seeds to it and blend again, or reduce the amount of milk.
I have done this with blueberries, bilberries and strawberries, and it has worked magic with all of them. I have no reason to think it would not work with raspberries, grapes, or even kiwis, but only experience will tell.
I quite like layering food and having a layer of desiccated coconut for example adds some texture and visuals when serving from a glass. A strip of cinnamon could also do, or more berries is also very nice. Voila!

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Buckwheat risotto

Serves two with a side, or one very hungry

100 g kasha (roasted buckwheat)
300 g water (more/less depends if cooked with or without a lid)
1 stock cube
1 small swede
1 carrot
1 small / 1/2 large courgette
small handful of fresh parsley
125 ml oat cream (or any alternative)
Pinch of onion, garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Method:

Boil the kasha for 10-15 min with the stock cube, until soft, drain excess water.
Grate the vegetables, chop the parsley, and mix in the kasha together with the cream and all the spices/herbs.
You can either cook it for a few more minutes or let the heat of the kasha soften and heat up the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and add as much of salt/pepper to make it appealing to your palate. I added a decent 1/3 tsp I think of freshly ground black pepper to the portion I made, but always taste and season to taste.
Serve with a side salad, veggie sausages or anything else you desire. Decorate with fresh parsley or microherbs.

Hope you will enjoy these as much as I did and do. Will all be available at Rawligion very soon! Stay tuned!

More photos and videos on my presentation coming soon thanks to the ever amazing Tomi 🙂

Eli x

Raw buckwheat porridge

Hello dearest all,

Significant amount of time has passed once more as my life took my skills and area of expertise to a new plant based start-up called Rawligion. Never before have I worked so many hours, but neither can I recall a time I have been so happy to go to work in the (very early) morning. Anyway, this was to say I have been utterly busy and only now finding time to share another delicious recipe with yous.

Ever since I was a kid, buckwheat has been a big part of my diet. That is only in the form of kasha though, the toasted buckwheat groats. We used to do porridge with that, and by porridge I mean very similar to rice – boil with about double the amount of water until soft and fluffy; then free hands to use in risottos, salads, or as appropriate for a kid – eat with ketchup and veggies on the side. It is also great with vegan cheese layered in between freshly cooked buckwheat, then left to stand for 5 minutes so the cheese melts perfectly. Anyway, I love buckwheat.

My affection to buckwheat was strengthened with my thesis, when we compared buckwheat with a number of other high protein plant foods to meat regarding their satiating properties. As buckwheat came out as a winner in the acute study I had the most data for when writing the thesis, I began to advocate it even more when people were telling me that they find it difficult to feel full or to feel full for as long on plant based diet compared with one including meat.

Raw buckwheat came to my horizon a few years ago as I was experimenting with a fully raw diet, when I used the raw groats in patties, rehydrated and then dehydrated them to have as part of my morning cereal bowl, or even did these raw ‘cornflakes’, if you must, again for breakfast purposes. However, the porridge aspect has enthralled me for a while but I had not the courage to experiment with it, given that at that time, I tried a very simple version and it tasted horrible. I think I may also have tried cooking raw buckwheat and that was the worst mistake ever.

But lots of time has passed and here I am, spreading the recipe of how to do amazing raw buckwheat porridge for breakfast with my mum, with my siblings, and to be added to the menu at work for winter. I had been scanning a few different recipes, especially given as I had promised to include that in my cookery demo at the next London Vegfest in October, and was utterly happy when my first trial turned out so well that it was deemed good enough for work.

So here goes a recipe I have been spreading with my folks:

100 g raw buckwheat groats – soak for about 2 hours until the starch is all released and it is easy to mash between fingers
15 g chia seeds
100 g plant based milk (I have used almond, or hemp milk, good with any!)
60 g dates (I subbed with 4 tsp honey I get from my uncle – guaranteed ethically produced!, as I had no dates at home, or agave would do as well potentially)
40 g blueberries (in frozen form my mum had in abundance in the freezer, may have used more; can also sub for other berries)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Once the buckwheat is soft and starch released, berries defrosted if using frozen ones, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, chia seeds broken apart and the texture thick but somewhat runny. You can adjust it with more milk, or more dates if you want it thicker or runnier.

For presentation I like layers. I would add in a glass 2 tbsp of porridge, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp ground almonds (or more coconut to keep nut free), 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp more berries, 2 tbsp porridge, and garnish on top with more berries, coconut, goji berries, whatever you feel like. I also made blueberry jam by blending blueberries with a bit of chia and dates for an extra layer of different textures.

Hope you enjoy as much as I have and will!

Eli x

 

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Raw red velvet cake

Heya folk,

Here is my take on the American classic Red Velvet cake. I found myself in a situation with too many beetroots around that needed using up, and luckily enough of other ingredients to make it work as a cake! The process is quite simple, but the cake is utterly delish. It is as moist as the cooked version, but way healthier! Also kept it nut free, but feel free to add some if you want it heavier. 🙂

Ingredients:

Base:

3-4 medium beetroots
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup flaxmeal
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (raw buckwheat soaked, dehydrated, milled)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup dates

Cream:

2 full fat tins of coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp agave/maple

OR

1 cup coconut butter (process desiccated coconut until it gets smooth)
1/2 cup plant milk (any of your choice, do yourself by soaking about 1 cup of nuts/seeds per 1 litre of milk, juice or process with water and separate pulp)
2 tbsp agave

Process:

For the base, put all the ingredients in the food processor (with the S-blade) and process until smooth. Add dates if you want to make it sweeter, or extra seeds/coconut to make it drier.  It will get quite fine and velvety if you do it for long enough. Press half of it into the cake tin.

For the cream, if you are using coconut milk cans, scoop out the white part only and mix with vanilla and sweetener with a whisk until smooth. Add more or less sweetener according to your taste.
For the other white chocolate-y layer melt the coconut butter (or have it freshly made so it is still soft), dilute it down with some liquid and sweeten it if you feel like it.

Do a layer of the cream (leave in the freezer for a short while if you need to for the hardening), and press on a second layer of the base. Cover it once more with the cream, or do a pattern instead by piping.

For decorations you can add fresh fruit, berries, or chocolate – as you wish!
It is a very simple process, really, and very vibrant with the colors! Here are the two versions I made:

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Hope you like it!

Eli x

Raw doughnuts recipe

Helloooooooo, and a huge sorry, I only now realised how long it’s been since my last post. Got tons of stuff tried out so I’ll be posting much soon!

But this post deserves an exclamation mark, in my eyes, because I had my first try with raw doughnuts, and I think I’m ready to give up the much-processed-but-still-vegan cooked doughnuts! But, without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup flaxmeal (or flaxseeds)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (optional)
2/3 cup almonds
2/3 cup hazelnuts
2 tbsp vanilla sugar/extract (optional)
2 tbsp berry flour (optional, I used blackcurrant)

500 g dates (soft, soaked)
1 mango

So, for the dough itself, blend the flaxseeds, most of coconut (leave 1/3 cup for covering), buckwheat groats if you don’t have flour ready, almonds and hazelnuts (you can use more of one instead of the other, or any other kind of nuts as well, I’d imagine it’d be quite similar) with vanilla sugar and berry flour into a flour mixture. A jug blender is usually a very handy machine indeed for making such flours.
Pour the mixture to a food processor and add about 400 grams of the dates to it and process till the dough starts to hold together. Then just form the dough into doughnuts and cover in coconut (optional also, don’t have to do that if you prefer not to). I kept it in the fridge overnight but that’s also not essential.
For the filling I used a mango, but you can just make it with just dates, or berries or banana, or whatever you fancy really. Just blend it into a nice paste. Then I used a cake decoration set – filled it up and pressed a hole to the doughnuts with the top, filled it with the mango-toffee filling and pressed the hole a bit more together, and covered in coconut that fell off the doughnuts 😛
So all in all – pretty simple! Can experiment more with the dough itself – use more buckwheat and less nuts to get the fat content down, more flavour with berry flour etc. But the start has been made. And this is my interpretation of a raw vegan doughnut.

Hope you enjoy it! I sure will tonight 😉

Eli x

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Raw breakfast ideas

Happy new year my dear followers!

It has been an immensely long time since my last post, but the idea of this specific one I have had for a while already as people keep on asking me, besides what do I eat in general, what do I usually have for breakfast.

So this is a post about my usual breakfasts 🙂

1. A melon. It’s that simple. I try to vary, have honeydew one morning, cantaloupe another, galia on another one. Just half it and start spooning the delicious juicy flesh, or cut it into slices 🙂

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2. A pineapple. I love pineapple. And usually have no difficulty in having a whole one for a meal. Usually breakfast. Just spend that 5 minutes peeling and cutting it and enjoy!

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3. A smoothie. I am quite fond of smoothies as they can be very varied and require little effort. Just blend 3-5 bananas with dates/berries/greens, add some superfoods like spirulina/chlorella/chia seeds/maca and you’ve created yourself an amazingly nutritious and filling breakfast! 🙂 One of my favourite combinations is banana-spinach-blueberry with some parsley. YUMMEEE!

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4. A glass of juice. It’s incredibly healthy to start your day with a nourishing glass of freshly made juice. For example carrot-ginger-orange. Or spinach-apple-cucumber-ginger-lime 🙂 Or just have it as an addition to any of the other breakfast items!

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5. Raw porridge. There are a couple of ways to make raw porridge. I have once before tried just soaking oats overnight with raisins and other ingredients and then eating it in the morning cold. Close enough to actual porridge but I found out that most oats are heat-treated to make them into oat flakes which means it would not be exactly raw.
Thus I have tried to use raw buckwheat instead! And it’s pretty amazing! Just soak the buckwheat overnight so it’s nice and soft by morning, and blend it with some soaked dates, and then add raisins or anything else on the top, or blend it with bananas (and dates)! I also added a handful of goji berries and raisins on the top, as well as buckhorn syrup, which is not raw, but it’s healthy, and sweetens it as well. Not necessary in any way to add though 🙂 Amazing!

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6. Raw muesli/cereal. It is very easy to make and tastes amazing! And I think is quite cheap as well, depending on what you like to have in it of course. I have made my muesli base by soaking and dehydrating raw buckwheat groats. And then adding raisins, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, desiccated coconut, chopped almonds/cashews/brazils… Whatever you desire basically! On another occasion I actually made sort of cinnamon cereal. I soaked buckwheat and blended it with some vanilla, agave and cinnamon and then spreading it on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrating it, half-way dry I drove lines inside there to make it better to be broken into pieces afterwards. And then I add all the good stuff again 🙂 And you can serve both of them with water or juice or freshly made nut-mylk! (just soak a cup of nuts for 4 cups of water which you will blend and separate the pulp from – remaining the liquid of the milk!)

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8. Something nice and sweet. Sometimes I like to have a self-indulgent sweet breakfast. For example make some toffee and have it with apples (or make them into sandwiches). Or I remember having done this quite amazing mango-delight – base and top was a mixture of dates, raisins, cashews and coconut, I reckon to process it roughly together, and in between have sliced mango. I do remember eating it, pretty amazing indeed.

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So that’s my raw vegan breakfast guide 🙂 Very easy, quick and nutritious, the way it’s supposed to be! I hope it gave you some ideas or motivation to have your breakfast raw 😉

Enjoy!

Eli x