Spiced buckwheat porridge is an easy to make breakfast packed full of goodness. This comforting dish is best served warm and topped with fresh fruit and perhaps some nuts or seeds. Made with simple storecupboard ingredients, this naturally gluten-free breakfast can also be made ahead of time.
I have a love-hate relationship with traditional oat porridge. Though I always love the look of it, I just cannot get along with the texture. I find it far too gloopy for my liking. But at last, I’ve found a solution to my breakfast woes with this spiced buckwheat porridge.
This recipe takes just 20 minutes to prepare, and it’s a wonderfully healthy breakfast option. It’s naturally gluten-free and comes loaded with nutrients.
Unlike oat-based porridge, this version is not sticky or gloopy. Instead, the buckwheat softens in the milk it is cooked in but retains a definite bite to it. Some would describe it as slightly chewy.
I’ve added a little chai spice to my recipe and sweetened it very slightly, but it can be made with just 2 ingredients (buckwheat and milk) and still be regarded as delicious.
I’d like to credit my best friend for this recipe – hi Jo. Numerous years ago she ordered buckwheat porridge in a little cafe on one of our European weekends away together. Back then, I had no clue what it was and nor did she since neither of us could properly decipher the German menu. Regardless, I knew it looked good. And joy of joy, I recently discovered that it was made with buckwheat groats, so I finally got around to making it myself.
What are Buckwheat Groats?
Buckwheat is a fruit seed and is classed as a cereal grain. Despite its name, buckwheat is unrelated to wheat. It is gluten-free and makes a good choice of grain for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.
Home cooks can typically find buckwheat in the form of flour, flakes or groats. It is the latter that I’ve used to create my gluten-free buckwheat porridge.
Groats are buckwheat in its whole form. The groats have a distinct nutty flavour and lend themselves equally well to both sweet and savoury recipes.
They can be cooked in liquid to soften them or eaten just as they are. Topping a salad with a few raw groats in lieu of croutons adds some definite crunch.
Buckwheat has been around for centuries, but it’s only in more recent times that the full nutritional value of these nobbly looking groats has been understood.
What are the Health Benefits of Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is highly nutritious. It’s a healthy source of protein, fibre and energy, especially when in its whole-grain form (the groats). Whole-grain buckwheat is also loaded with vitamins and minerals including:
- riboﬂavin (B2)
- niacin (B3)
- vitamin K
Phew, that’s quite a list. In terms of what this means for health, buckwheat is reportedly beneficial for:
- improving heart health
- reducing blood sugar
- maintaining digestive health
- gluten-free diets (though always check your pack has been produced in an environment without the risk of cross-contamination)
- providing a healthy source of vegetarian protein
Because of these many healthy attributes, it’s not uncommon to hear buckwheat being labelled as a superfood. The good news is that there are plenty of buckwheat groat recipes around these days to help us easily consume more, superfood status or not.
How to Cook Buckwheat Porridge
It’s incredibly easy to make this gluten-free buckwheat porridge:
- put the groats into a saucepan with the spice and sugar
- add the liquid (I recommend full-fat milk or a dairy-free milk replacement)
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes
- Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes
- Serve with toppings of your choice (see below for my suggestions)
Do I need to Toast the Groats?
Some people recommend toasting the groats before cooking, but this is an entirely optional step.
What Other Sweetener Can I Use?
I’ve used a tiny amount of demerara sugar to add just a hint of sweetness, this can be replaced with white sugar, light brown sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup or honey. Or the sweetener can be left out altogether.
Can I use Water Instead of Milk?
If you are looking for an altogether lighter breakfast, the milk can be replaced with water. Just ensure that the ratio of groats to liquid remains the same ( 2 1/2 cups liquid per cup groats or 625 ml liquid per 160g groats)
Can I Make this in Advance?
Though I would always recommend cooking this recipe on demand to ensure optimum texture, it is possible to make this porridge ahead of time and reheat it as required. Store it in the fridge in a covered pot for up to 48 hours. Reheat gently before serving, adding a splash more liquid to loosen as necessary.
What to Serve with Spiced Buckwheat Porridge
This porridge can be eaten just as it is, but I like to top mine with a variety of healthy goodies.
Try any of the following:
- fresh berries
- mixed seeds
- flaked coconut
- toasted cacao nibs
- fruit compote
- roasted plums
- tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango
- dried fruits
My favourite combinations are:
- raspberries, mixed seeds & almonds
- berry compote, raspberries, toasted cacao nibs and coconut
I find the natural sweetness imparted from the fruit toppings sufficient in this healthy yet creamy porridge recipe, but an additional drizzle of honey or maple syrup could also be added if desired.
More Buckwheat Groat Recipes
If you are concerned you’ll be buying another store cupboard ingredient for just one purpose, don’t be. This grain is very versatile and can see you through from breakfast to supper time. Take a look at these buckwheat groat recipes for inspiration:
- Roasted Buckwheat with Mushrooms & Onions (Polish Kasha)
- Savoury Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl
- Broccoli Buckwheat Salad
- Cashew Buckwheat Curry
More Exciting Breakfast Ideas
- Fruity Breakfast Crostini
- Chocolate Orange Breakfast Parfait
- Huevos Rancheros Style Cornmeal Crepes
- Balsamic Strawberries on Brioche Toast
Spiced Buckwheat Porridge
- 160 g/ 1 cup Buckwheat groats
- 625 ml/ 2 1/2 cups Whole (full fat) milk or dairy-free milk alternative
- 1/2 tsp Chai spice or 3/8 tsp cinnamon + 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp Demerara sugar
- Put the groats into a saucepan with the spice and sugar and milk
- Put onto a medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes
- Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes before serving
- Serve with toppings of your choice (see my suggestions in the body of this post))