Buckwheat Cereal and Almond Milk

by Gena on July 1, 2010

Week after week and month after month, there’s one meal that readers ask me about more than any other: breakfast. This is probably due to the lack of breakfast visibility on CR: I tend to be more interested in my lunch and dinner creations than my morning ones, and so I post far more of those recipes than any other.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t love my morning meals: I do! I simply don’t tend to invest them with much innovation. Oats and oat bran (cooked) are a staple for me, especially in cool months. Smoothies (which I frequently like to blog about) are another morning standard. I love smashed avocado or raw nut butter on sprouted grain toast, and I love baked yams with coconut butter. Sliced bananas with almond milk and ground flax seed are another summertime favorite, as is chia seed pudding. And on days where I’ve got a very early lunch planned, I’ll sometimes drink fresh juice all morning (note, however, that this is atypical, and if I do juice till lunchtime I’ll very consciously add a lot of heft to my later meals). You can find a summary of some of my breakfast favorites here. And there’s nourishing breakfast I love, which I’ve yet to blog about: buckwheaties and almond milk.

I’ve yet to meet a whole grain I didn’t like. But buckwheat, which many consider an “acquired taste,” ranks high among my favorites. Here are some fun facts about buckwheat (which is also known as “kasha” when it’s toasted before cooking):

  • Contrary to popular belief (and to its name), buckwheat is not a cereal grain or a wheat product. It’s actually a “fruit seed,” or pseudograin, and it’s thus in the same family as quinoa, wild rice, and amaranth, and suitable for those on gluten or wheat free diets
  • Buckwheat (along with millet) is one of the two grains or psuedograins that’s considered to be slightly alkaline before entering the body
  • Buckwheat is a fine source of linoleic (Omega-6) fatty acids, B vitamins, eight essential amino acids, folic acid, and magnesium
  • One cup of cooked buckwheat provides four grains of insoluble fiber, which means it’s an excellent food for aiding in elimination!
  • Some studies suggest that buckwheat can be useful in managing blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Buckwheat is rich in plan lignans, which have mild estrogenic properties and can be beneficial for some women
  • Buckwheat has been shown in lab studies to help colonies of friendly bacteria flourish in the gut

Cool, no?

I usually eat buckwheat cooked, but it’s also one of my very favorite grains to sprout (see my wheatberry sprouting post for some how-to info).  And lately, I’m loving raw, dehydrated buckwheat — which I and many fellow raw foods lovers call “buckwheaties” — as a breakfast cereal.

Cold breakfast cereals fall into the category of “dishes Gena didn’t like cooked, but loves raw.” These include soups (I really didn’t become a soup lover until I started playing with raw soups), milk of any kind (thank you, almond milk!), and crackers. Memories of being forced to eat cereal as a kid make me shudder, which is peculiar, since I always did (and still do) adore hot cereals.

Anyway, I digress. Raw granola (like One Lucky Duck’s spectacular blend) and the buckwheaties I’m about to share, coupled with learning how to make fresh, delicious nut milks, changed cold cereal as I knew it. Now, buckwheaties are one of my favorite summer breakfasts, and I hope they’ll soon be one of yours, too!

The procedure is simple. Begin with a cup of raw buckwheat groats. You should be able to find these at any grocery store, but you could also order them here. Immerse them in 3-4 cups filtered water, and let them soak overnight. In the morning, rinse off the water and replace it with fresh water. The soak water ought to have gotten slimy and thick overnight: this is 100% normal, and right.

After another 8-12 hours of soak time, rinse the buckwheat again. It ought to have plumped up to nearly the size it would if you were to boil it. At this point, you could let the grain sprout. But if you want to make buckwheaties, simply lay it on Teflex-lined dehydrator sheets and dehydrate it at 115º for 6-10 hours, or until it’s really dry and crispy. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can toast it in the oven at 300 for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until it’s crispy and totally dry.

That’s it! Your buckwheaties will be ready to go. I like to serve about 3/4 cup of them with a big, sliced banana and some fresh nut milk:

And then I like to top it off with some blueberries for color!

It makes for a lovely presentation, even if I’m at my office desk:

Wouldn’t you agree?

So there you are. A raw breakfast that’s appropriate for summer temperatures, but provides the satisfaction and staying power that smoothies sometimes lack. Soon, I’ll show you more uses for buckwheat; it really is a wonderfully versatile grain!

It’s allllmost Friday!

xo

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

mariannes July 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Yuuum! Also baked sweet potato with coconut butter sounds delicious. Have to try that this weekend!

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I love cold cereal, and lately I’ve been more and more intrigued by the idea of making my own. Thanks for sharing your recipe! I’ve also heard quinoa works well. Blueberries make the best cold cereal topping!

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tasha - thecleaneatingmama July 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Thanks for this! i am now working out of the home and I am always on the search for great raw breakfast ideas!

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Sarah July 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

This looks like a great breakfast! And i love buckwheat. Thanks for sharing how to make it if you don’t have a dehydrator. x

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Caleb July 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Nice! I have never tried cooked buckwheat either. I always consume it raw. You should try my raw buckwheat treats sometime, you would love them: http://organicclimber.com/?p=35

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Ameena July 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I really love buckwheat…I usually buy it at Whole Foods and cook it up like Cream of Wheat but I have never tried it raw. Thanks for the great breakfast idea…those are always a challenge for me!

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Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater July 1, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Thanks for letting people know that buckwheat slime is normal. Many who are gluten-free baked with BW; because of the natural slime, it does not require any additional gum!

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Annie D. @ Annie's Simple Life July 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I loooooove those little guys! I haven’t tried toasting them yet… just soaked and devoured :)

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Lauren July 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I love buckwheat! There is a raw restaurant near my apartment that sells buckwheat granola (dehydrated) and there are different flavours. They are all so delicious. I really wish I could make something like it myself, since they are so expensive, but I don’t have a dehydrator! I’m hoping to get one soon…for now, I will try following your directions to make buckwheaties in the oven and see how it compares.

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats July 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

OMG – that is too funny – I was just thinking yesterday “I really need to figure out this whole buckwheat cereal thing made in the dehydrator” since I just got a dehydrator last week and then you post this. Awesomeness. Thank you!! Oh and PS, where do you find those nice large white bowls for your kale salad (and for your cereal today). I need to find a couple larger bowls because our bowls are just too low/small for big salads.

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MarathonVal July 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Ahhhh….. I’m so excited to do this!! I have some raw buckwheat sitting in my cabinet, taking up space that I didn’t have a clue what to do with. Thanks Gena! :)

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Christine (The Raw Project) July 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Breakfast tends to be more of a utility meal to cram before work for me and usually a smoothie. Not a great way to view it and hardly a noteworthy meal, but handy to consume while getting ready.

Great buckwheat facts, you’ve opened my eyes to it and adding it to more meals. :-)

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Serena July 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I absolutely love buckwheat cereal! So so yummy :) I snack on it all day…

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Pure2raw twins July 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Love buckwheat, both sprouted and cooked : ) I have always liked the taste!!

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Katherine July 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Office desk presentation is the best! This bowl certainly would make any office desk proud to hold up :)

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Kenzie (Healthy Purpose) July 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm

i just became aware of how great buckwheat is and really wanted to incorporate the raw grain into my breakfast so I made breakfast buckwheat bars.

they’re on this post: http://www.healthypurposeblog.com/2010/06/raw-breakfast-buckwheat-bar.html

thanks for more great info :)

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Michelle (Raw Housewife) July 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I love that you just posted this, as just yesterday I bought a dehydrator AND ordered buckwheat groats online after reading about this cereal in Ani Phyo’s book. As soon as my buckwheat groats arrive, I’ll be making this cereal. I may tackle sprouting too, but I’m a bit intimidated by it…

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Mama Pea July 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm

No dehydrator here, but I’m willing to try the oven version! I may even try it with millet. Thanks for the recipe, my dear.

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jenny (green food diaries) July 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

i’ve been having sprouted buckwheat almost daily the last few days! so crunchy! i dehydrated some of mine in the sun on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and it actually worked…

“I’ve yet to meet a whole grain I didn’t like. ” – a million nods from me.

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Ian July 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm

When I soaked these for my first time in my dorm room, I was amazed at the nastily sticky soak-water I had to drain off. I like them straight out of the bowl I soaked them in, too!

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Ilana July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm

As ever. Just as I start toying with raw breakfast preparations beyond smoothies, which don’t fill me up enough, Gena to the rescue!

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Danielle (Runs on Green) July 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I love buckwheat crispies! (that’s what I call them haha)

I’ve tried buckwheat flour and I *really* wasn’t a fan…but I love kasha! I think maybe it’s because it’s pearled (the outer covering removed?) Idk…just speculating :)

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Sarah July 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I do mine the same way Jenny does – in the sun! I don’t use parchment paper though. Just a baking sheet, and every hour or so I shake them around so that they dry evenly. Works a charm, with no electricity :-)

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Tuula September 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Sarah, how long does it take them to dry in the sun? I’d like to try this too.

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Gillian July 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm

This looks great Gena! Do you ever eat overnight soaked oats cold? Would this count as raw?

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Gena July 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Hi Gillian,

I sure do! I’ve actually posted them, too, most recently here: http://www.choosingraw.com/homemade-sunshine-burgers-raw-and-cooked/

If you use old fashioned oats (ie, unless you use whole oat groats), these aren’t raw.

G

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Lisa July 1, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I’ll have to try buckwheat raw sometime. I love just adding rolled oats as muesli to my breakfasts, either with yogurt or rice milk. The crunch is just what I crave, and it’s wholesome and filling.

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amy July 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm

makes me have serious dehydrator envy.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) July 2, 2010 at 12:07 am

great recipe and thx for point out that BuckWHEAT is still GF. Most people are confused about that, great to remind folks. Then there’s wheatberries. No wonder it gets confusing!

Have a super 4th of July! And glad you saw the toxic beans post. I think they are totally fine raw, I mean millions of farmers, people, our ancestors ate them from fields. But a little tough (fibrous!) on the ole digestion :)

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Anonymous July 2, 2010 at 1:16 am

Buckwheat crunchies have been my breakfast of choice lately! I love them! Last time I experimented with adding a dash of salt, garlic powder, and oregano before dehydrating them. It turned out well, kind of a crunchy snack type of thing.

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The Voracious Vegan July 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

Another winner, Gena! I had no idea that buckwheat was so versatile, healthy, and delicious. I’m definitely going to have to see if I can find some and give it a try – those photos have me drooling.

My breakfast is usually the same old thing – green smoothie! I like it, know it’s great for me, gives me just the right amount of fuel to keep me through lunch, and it’s light first thing in the morning. I get much more excited about lunch and dinner, too. But…this post might have inspired me to break out of my rut – thank you!

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Catherine July 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

I’ve been loving groats lately – done as a cold oatmeal in the food processor. I’ll have to try this method too, thanks!

Your reference to ground flaxseed raised a question for me. I’ve heard that flaxseed should be ground to obtain the most nutrients. Is this true? When I tried to grind them in my processor, it didn’t seem like anything happened to them. Any sage advice?

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) July 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

YAY cereal! I’ve had only a handful of experiences with buckwheat, and I’m in neither the love nor the hate camp. I guess I’ll just have to keep playing… Meantime, I’m liking that sweet potato with coconut butter for b’fast idea, and that’s portable enough to do at the office. Add that to the list of Diana meals that freak the coworkers out. :)

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Jen July 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for the instructions! I buy raw buckwheaties, but would love to make my own!

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Diana @ VEGeneration July 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I would love to try buckwheat cereal! It looks delicious. Thanks for posting!

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HOLLIE July 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Thanks for another amazing post, Gena! Here’s my q… alot of raw foodies advocate not eating breakfast, and not even ‘indulging’ in a green juice until noon… what is your take on this? I am never hungry in the morning, although I do workout… Am i best to hold off until my body really wants something?

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Gena July 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Hollie —

In a word, no, absolutely not. “Holding off” until you’re starving for food is just another way of saying “restrict/fight hunger,” which is a point of view I find not only intolerable, but also nutritionally foolhardly. It means not necessarily getting enough nutrients over the course of a day, and also, it can slow the metabolism.

There are exceptions. If you sip juice all morning long (ie, quite a bit more than 16 oz), and perhaps pair it with a smoothie, you can certainly get the caloric density you need. Also, it can be sensible to sip several juices if you know lunch is imminent (as I said, I’ll do green juices all morning if I know that I’m eating lunch at, say, 11:45 or noon, which I sometimes do for work). But if you work out in the morning, are otherwise very active, or plan to eat at a normal lunchtime (ie 1 pm), it’s probably not sufficient to simply have juice.

Many, many, many raw foodists disagree with me on this one. But that’s my take :)

G

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Michele July 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Hi Gena
Thanks for the great post! I was wondering about food combining- the buckwheat and almond milk. If someone is trying to follow proper food combining, what would be the best mylk option to use with buckwheat cereal? Thanks!

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Gena July 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Michele,

A very rigid food combiner would need to use a grain milk, like rice or oat. For those who follow more relaxed food combining guidelines, nut milks are neutral.

G

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Morgan July 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm

This looks so delicious Gena!! I had a similar breakfast to this the whole first trimester of my 3rd pregnancy. It was the only thing that would settle well with me and gave me nutrition. Youve inspired me to whip it out again!

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laura gallagher July 4, 2010 at 1:49 am

Yup! We love us some buckwheat too. I make the version from Raw Food Real World with agave in lieu of syrup and a bit less of it. We often add raw carob too.
xoxo

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Priscilla July 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thank you for the recipe! I just made some this morning. They are quite tasty with bananas and blueberries.

I am a little curious though — why do we soak them and then dehydrate them? Seems like that is the same as not doing anything to them at all? Or maybe something is removed when we rinse off that slimy water?

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Nachos July 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Great timing Gena – I bought and ate buckwheat for the first time two weeks ago and have been mulling over what to do with the rest of the bag (I bought A LOT and thankfully I really like it!). Thanks for the idea :)

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Lynna August 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

I recently discovered that I love buckwheat so I indulged in a bag of the Chocolate Crispies from One Lucky Duck. I had them with almond milk this morning and they were delicious! However, there is no nutritional information on the package so, I was wondering, what do you think is an appropriate serving size?

I know buckwheat is fairly calorie dense and I don’t want to over-do it in the morning.

Thanks for your help!

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Bryant November 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I made buckwheaties in the oven this morning and love them! It worked really well. I did a few small batches and tried them at different levels of crispiness. :) They’re all great! I served it with pumpkin seed milk, dates and raisin pieces.

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Meghan Doll June 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

That sounds like an amazing choice of toppings! I will have to try that!!

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Mickey Weinrich May 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I have a question about using parchment paper. I’m anxious to try the buckwheaties but don’t have teflex sheets yet; they’re on order. Does parchment paper make an acceptable subustitute when dehydrating buckwheat? Thank you!

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Meghan Doll June 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

It does! That is what I used and they turned out perfectly!!

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Nate Guggia May 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I was introduced to your site from a Facebook friend. I love this article and some of the others that are linked to the post. Great content. Really looking forward to following and connecting.

Nate

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Meghan Doll June 24, 2011 at 9:10 am

Gena! This is my new favourite breakfast cereal! I had one serving this morning and started to soak some more buckwheat so I will never run out! I love it! Thank you! I love your site! xo

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Tuula September 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Hi, this is all very inspiring. Thanks for your posts. Can you tell me how long do the soaked and dehydrated BW groats keep well? Surely you can do a big batch and store but do you know for how long?

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anastasia@healthymamainfo.com November 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Buckwheat is the healthiest grain ever! Thanks for sharing!

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Adriana March 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I love your blog! Ever since I tried the banana sushi, I have been hooked. I tried to do this buckwheaties and after I dried them in an oven at 200 degrees for several hours they still taste very hard. Could I have done something wrong during the soaking? I let it soak for a whole day and then a whole night, changing the water and rinsing twice. Thank you!

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Gena March 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

It can vary from batch to batch…just try soaking a bit longer next time!

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Anne Marie May 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

What a great article to stumble upon. Just reading this made me excited for breakfast now! Looking forward to trying some recipes from here, very well written and inspiring. Thanks!

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Breia June 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

This looks really good. I’ve been wanting to start sprouting, but am not sure where to go for reliable information. I’m kind of a nerd and like to read up on new things and the internet seems to have conflicting info. What resources did you use when you got started? Also, I see that you live in DC. I do as well. What stores have you found buckwheat groats at? The ones I go to don’t seem to carry it. I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and am so grateful to have such a wonderful resource. Especially during a time when you’re doing something different that a lot of people don’t understand. Thanks!

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iL December 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

hi. great post!
I have a question: I read in different sources that it is not good to combine food with fruits. they have a different digestion cycle.
What do you think about this??

thanks in advance

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Carly January 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I accidentally bought kasha instead of raw buckwheat groats. If I use it in your recipe for granola, with the date paste should it work about the same in your opinion? I am assuming that both ways (toasting it yourself and buying toasted) would yield similar results. Thanks!

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Gena January 6, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi there!

The buckwheat is dehydrated, not toasted, so I’m not sure they’d yield the same results, unfortunately! For some of my other granolas (those that are sweetened) I’d try using rolled oats. Or to use the kasha, I’d just boil it with almond milk and water and serve it warm :)

G

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Meg February 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

Hi Gena! I have a lot of millet. Could I use millet for this recipe, too?

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vickie March 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I ate buckwheat all my life, and it is one of my favorites, and never knew that it can be differently used for breakfast. Great recipe and tips for preparing.

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Susanne Rose May 2, 2013 at 4:23 am

thanks for the ideas i have buckwheat soaking and going to dehydrate for cereal am sure it will be good Thanks Susanne

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Pat May 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

I am wondering, can I eat the buckwheat raw? does it need to be soaked twice?
I’ve mixed up a batch of “holy crap” and didn’t see anywhere it needed to be soaked then dehydrated before adding to the mix. please advise…

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Jenny Calechman May 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Hi Gena–

How long will toasted buckwheat keep? And should it be kept in fridge? I soaked it overnight, rinsed it well and toasted it in the oven for a while…I know I have more than one serving! :) Love your blog!! Did you happen to post your carrot walnut cookies on your FB page??! :) Thanks!

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Angil September 10, 2013 at 8:51 am

If you toast the buckweaties, wouldn’t that make them not raw?

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Amy P September 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Hi Gena,
Just bought the buckwheat and am excited to try these. Would you recommend soaking them in the fridge or on the counter?

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Gena October 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I’d say the counter, Amy — I always do room temperature.

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lisa December 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Hi,if I did not have a telflex sheet for the dehydrator ,could I use baking paper ?

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Gena December 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

You certainly can!

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Kelly February 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

I soaked the groats as suggested but they didn’t seem to change in size. Does it matter that I put the groats in the fridge to soak? Also, do you have any suggestions for substituting the flax seed oil in your buckwheat chai energy bars? Thank you, I can’t wait to make these!

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Jennifer February 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

For 5 months Ive been eating raw buckwheat with almond milk regularly. However, I haven’t been doing the soaking ahead of time. Is the soaking necessary?

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