The bulk aisle. My love and my nemesis. Getting through it with my young kids in tow is one enormous mindful breathing exercise. The bulk section becomes this nirvana for them (just like their mama!) and their curious little kids selves come out, which I understand, … we … manage. 🙂 I am usually going through the bulk section simultaneously in slow-mow and warp speed. I’m trying to slow down and let inspiration come to me and at the same time move through as quickly as possible because of my kids. I should really just go shopping at 8 or 9PM by myself and blissfully walk through the produce section inspecting each apple and each head of cauliflower before I make it to the nirvana of the bulk aisle … or do I just prefer a challenge?
But overall, I love it. I love the smell. I love the bins – like blank canvases to me they represent plenty of possibilities. And, I love the result on my wallet. Shopping in the bulk section is one of the ways I save money on buying healthy food. The raw buckwheat groats (not to be confused with kasha) used in this recipe are really inexpensive.
Two other major ways I save money on whole food are:
- Being a member of a Community Supported Agriculture or CSA. (Find one local to you here.) Basically you buy a “share” from a farm (usually organic) and a weekly box of produce is provided for you. The farm that I purchase shares from offers boxes for about 9 months out of the year and the weekly bill comes out to about $25. I usually need to supplement the box, for variety sake, but it takes care of the majority of what we eat for that week. In addition, the food will be more nutrient dense as it’s coming from a closer location (most likely).
- Not going crazy in the center aisles. There are really amazing companies out there creating food in packaged form that is darn near close to what I would make at home, but it comes at a cost. Yes, I would like to fill my belly with all these products, but it’s just more cost effective to stick with the perimeter of the store.
Now, back to this porridge. I learned about buckwheat groats from the wonderful and talented vegan blogger Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows. I found Angela right when I was in the throws of mothering two infant kiddos and I needed a no-cook breakfast that wasn’t out of a bag. All you have to do is the groats (little grains) overnight in water and use a blender or a food processor to grind/mash them up in the morning. The result is this creamy, yet slightly crunchy porridge that is very satisfying.
There are two things that make a so-so buckwheat porridge an amazing buckwheat porridge. First, you have to blend some flavor into the porridge itself as the groats don’t have much going on themselves. This recipe uses apple sauce and almond butter for that. (And though I know it’s totally inappropriate to be dreaming about fall things in spring, I want to blend pumpkin, sweet potato, or squash into the groats for a fall version.) And second, you’ll need toppings – lots of toppings. Who doesn’t love a meal without a ton of toppings? Make sure you have all of your bases covered with different textures and flavors. I offer a lot of suggestions below.
To your health and easy mornings!
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
- ½ cup (or one single-serving plastic container) unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Toppings - apples (chopped into small pieces), dried or fresh figs, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds
- Soak raw buckwheat groats overnight in a glass container covered by at least 2" of water (they will expand).
- Strain and lightly rinse the groats.
- Put every ingredient except the toppings in a food processor and mix until smooth. Depending on how much of the gelatinous liquid was rinsed off, a little almond or coconut milk may need to be added to thin out the porridge to your liking.
- Place porridge in a bowl(s) and top with a generous amount of toppings and a pinch of cinnamon.