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Warming Kasha {Buckwheat} Cereal with Pear, Pomegranate & Pepitas

Posted Dec 18 2012 7:30am

I've been having the greatest time doing an Advent calendar for my sons who are (ahem), almost 15 and 12 years old.
I came across a wood framed freestanding calendar at Loblaws about a month ago and couldn't resist.  It's great because it's got these roomy empty boxes (well decorated too) representing each day that you can fill with whatever you want - not the usual waxy chocolate stuff.  When I can't fit a particular item into a box, a pop a note inside directing the boys to another location in the house where they can find their head of broccoli (wink) so it becomes almost like a scavenger hunt.  
Anyhow, the best thing?  My sons are as excited about it today as they were a decade ago! 
(I thought I might be just indulging myself - it happens - but not this time).
~~~~~
So here we are, officially one week before Christmas and it feels like a lot has happened in the world since I last wrote.  Our hearts are heavy as we move forward.
I want to wish everyone a happy holiday - whatever tradition you choose to celebrate - and precious time with family and friends.  
I'm sharing a warming cereal with you this morning that you might enjoy trying over the holidays.  If you haven't had a chance to experiment with buckwheat yet, this is an excellent introductory recipe.  The texture and consistency of the buckwheat groats (also referred to as kasha) are particularly well-suited to cereal.  
Although its name would suggest otherwise, buckwheat is not related to wheat; it is actually a fruit seed and not a cereal grain.  As such, buckwheat is an excellent 'grain-like' substitute (looks like a grain and acts like a grain) for those who are sensitive to wheat or gluten and is also powerfully nutritive.  Containing all essential amino acids in proper proportions, kasha is a complete plant protein that is also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, calcium and fibre. 
My sons gobbled up this display when they returned home from school (it wasn't a tough sell!).


Warming Kasha {Buckwheat} Cereal with Pear, Pomegranate & Pepitas
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (Kasha)
  • 2 heaping Tbsp ground flaxseed (flax meal)
  • About 2 Tbsp raw pepitas
  • 1 large ripe seasonal pear, skin on and chopped into bite size pieces
  • Handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Drizzle of honey

---------------
Notes:

Don't be intimidated by seeds/ancient grains.  They behave much like oatmeal or other more familiar foods and are as easy to cook as rice.  You can find them at health food stores, bulk food stores and many regular grocery stores now carry them as well (Bob's Red Mill is a common North American brand).


Directions:

Makes 2 servings





Prepare buckwheat groats according to package directions - (generally, 2:1 water to buckwheat groats ratio - bring mixture to a boil in a pot on stove and then simmer for about 12-15 minutes).
Add pear to simmering buckwheat, mixing with the groats and allowing it to warm and soften slightly.

Once the groats are cooked (they will have softened and puffed up in size and most of the water will have been used up), remove pot from heat and add ground flaxseed to the groats/pear, mixing to combine.

Divide warm cereal between two bowls and add milk or milk alternative.  Drizzle each bowl of cereal with a little honey or pure maple syrup, as you wish.  Sprinkle the cereal with pepitas, pom seeds and a dollop of yogurt, as desired.

Cheers to your health and happiness!


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