We’ve had a few snow days over the last week, and I’ve been using up pantry stock to avoid any drives to the store for stuff I probably don’t need. This commitment to cooking the pantry had been humming in the back of my mind since I saw this post on Aimée’s site a little while ago. My fridge is always full. I can never resist certain seasonal items at the stores, my dad brings me stuff all the time (gorgeous rapini and Medjool dates this week) and I always have pantry staples at a par level. Inevitably some things get lost by the wayside. My crisper has some wrinkly apples, little sprout-y/hairy carrots that will find their destiny in a fresh juice.
I simply HAD to buy mung beans on a trip to Whole Foods last year, but they’re still sitting in their little bulk-tagged bag in the drawer. My go-to grains are brown basmati rice, steel cut oats, and quinoa; but I have at least 10 other varieties just languishing in the cupboard.
Deep-winter seems to bring up the luxury of extra time and headspace to try something with purpose. So I’m starting and devoting to this pantry cooking thing. There’s been some beautiful soups, crunchy cabbage-y slaws, roasted roots, grains, pulses, and some delicious smoothies with beets and last summer’s raspberries. No trips to the store, not a shred of deprivation. Just more creativity and cozy time at home with my snow-loving pooch.
Sometimes I get on movements with raw buckwheat porridge in the warm months, but a full bag of raw groats had been sitting around for longer than I could recall. I enjoy buckwheat in a breakfast scenario because it’s really satisfying without feeling heavy, and it always tastes lovely with fruit. I make a vegan version of Yossy‘s baked oatmeal often, subbing ground flaxseed for the egg and almond/coconut milk for the cow’s milk. It’s warm and comforting, the top is a little crunchy with toasted nuts and coconut oil, and the jammy pockets of berries make it feel extra special. Perfect cozy-making winter fare.
So with that oatmeal in mind, I turned out this hearty apple-spice baked buckwheat. It’s apple pie-like and it’s my breakfast of choice these days. It’s quite easy to make! I started by cracking/lightly grinding the buckwheat in my blender first–just to achieve a lightly creamy consistency. If this step is a bit daunting or you’re just unsure about the amount of grinding necessary, Bob’s Red Mill makes an excellent pre-ground product called Creamy Buckwheat. Finely chopped apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger mingle together with light coconut milk. I used walnut halves, but pecans or slivered almonds would be just as tasty. The little finishing drizzle of coconut oil makes for some buttery and toasty notes.
I make this whole dish for myself and just reheat portions of it with a splash of non-dairy milk as I go. Serving it up with a dollop of coconut milk yogurt and maple syrup seems so grand for a weekday morning.
Hearty Apple Spice Baked Buckwheat
- 1 ¾ cups raw buckwheat groats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 ½ cups light coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- 1 ½ cups small-diced apple (1 apple)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- extra maple syrup
- coconut milk yogurt
- I ground the buckwheat in the dry container of my Vitamix, but I think a food processor might be better. You kind of want the grains to have a “cracked” appearance. Definitely avoid over-processing them into flour-like bits.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2 or 9-inch pie tin/dish with coconut oil and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, grind the buckwheat groats until they have a “cracked” appearance, or at least until most of the grains are visibly split in half. Dump the ground buckwheat groats into a large bowl.
- To the buckwheat, add the baking powder, ground flaxseed, vanilla powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and sea salt. Stir lightly to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and maple syrup.
- Start layering: Pour a third of the coconut milk mixture in the greased pie dish. Then, evenly sprinkle half of the buckwheat mixture on top of the milk. Sprinkle half of the walnuts and diced apples on top of the buckwheat. Grate some more nutmeg or sprinkle additional cinnamon here if you like. Pour another third of the coconut milk on top next. Then, add the other half of the buckwheat mixture. Pour the remaining coconut milk on top and garnish with remaining walnuts and diced apples.
- Give the pan a good shimmy-shake and some light taps on the counter. A few air bubbles should poke through. It’s going to look like a hot, soggy mess at this point. Drizzle the melted coconut oil on top and slide the dish into the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and everything is set. Serve the hearty apple-spice baked buckwheat warm with extra maple syrup and coconut yogurt.