Tag Archive for 'buckwheat'

Pumpkin, Maple and Walnut Bread

Pumpkin has entered center stage in my kitchen over the past few weeks. I love it in in all shapes and forms, in soups, salads, sides, mains and especially deserts. I have been trying out lots of recipes recently and this pumpkin bread is one of my newest inventions. I had some roasted pumpkin left over from a major Sunday dinner experiment – a whole stuffed and roasted pumpkin. I filled a rather big white (also called “Ghost” or “Casper”) pumpkin with rice, Moroccan spices, chickpeas and apricots and roasted it for 2 hours. As this was an experiment, I had no clue how much time everything would take to cook, which led to an overcooked pumpkin and undercooked stuffing. Aside from that, the pumpkin also ruptured and all the lovely juices escaped. Not good! I salvaged the whole thing by cooking the stuffing with some of the pumpkin and more chicken stock and turned it into a Moroccan pumpkin risotto. Unusual, not overly attractive, but delicious nonetheless. My kids warned me however to not post this one on my blog, which I reckon was good advice.

The left-over pumpkin was delicious, beautiful dark orange in color and very sweet. Perfect for pumpkin bread. I added some lovely spices to it and sweetened it with maple syrup. It turned out delicious and I can’t wait to make it again. It’s great for breakfast with maple sweetened yogurt or afternoon tea with a dollop of whipped cream.

Note: I made this recipe again with roasted butternut squash. The squash was much moister than the pumpkin I used initially and the bread turned out very “soggy”. My advice would be to either drain the roasted pumpkin/squash over a towel-lined colander for an hour or to use less of it. Another option is to use raw grated pumpkin (a food processor does the trick) the same way you use carrots in a carrot cake. I used this method successfully with 3 cups of raw grated pumpkin. Good luck!

Continue reading ‘Pumpkin, Maple and Walnut Bread’

Buckwheat Pancakes with Fancy Fruit Salad

Happy New Year to all my new and old Foodvergnuegen friends! I hope your holidays were filled with many delicious and happy moments.

I am just slowly coming up for air after 2 very busy and eventful weeks. My stomach is stretched out to the max, and although all cookies are gone, there is still a small trailer load of chocolates in our fridge and a variety of gourmet gelatos in the freezer. I have no doubt we’ll eat them all up in the coming weeks, although I dread the day I have to squeeze into my swimsuit back in Australia. It’s only a few weeks away, but I can’t yet bear the sight of my blender when I get up in the morning or finish dinner without dessert. The healthy smoothies have to wait a bit longer, but in the meantime I’ll try and share some of the sweets with the kids…

Here’s a taste of what we had for our New Year’s Day breakfast. Scrumptious buckwheat pancakes (a new version), a lovely fruit salad and yogurt with walnuts and maple syrup. I think I had 3 plate fulls, but don’t tell anyone. The pancakes are easy and very yummy. I added whole  and white spelt to the buckwheat, plus buttermilk which gives them some fluff. These pancakes have a good chance to overtake our longtime favorite, Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix. As for the fruit salad, use what’s in season, don’t cut the chunks too small, add a variety of different colored and textured fruit, some lemon juice to keep the apples from going brown and ta dah!

makes approximately 20 pancakes


1 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup whole spelt flour

1/2 cup white spelt or wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup whole milk, or a little less (see below)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled


Whisk together dry ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk and melted butter. Stir into dry ingredients.

Slowly add milk, while continuously stirring batter. Add only enough milk until batter reaches the desired consistency. It might be less than the cup listed above.

Let batter sit and rest while you prepare the fruit salad.

Lightly grease large non-stick pan and heat on medium flame. Ladle batter into pan, usually 1 ladle per pancake.

Watch pancakes closely. When small bubbles appear on the surface after approximately 3 minutes, turn them over with a spatula and cook for another minute or two. Place pancakes next to each other on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until you have cooked them all.

Serve with maple syrup, yogurt and fruit salad.

‘Spring Cleaning’ Recipes

Now that you know all about my recent detox adventure, I am excited to share some of the truly amazing meals I have eaten during that time. They were a fantatsic success in my recent ‘Spring Cleaning’ cooking class and are totally suitable for all those of you who don’t have the slightest interest in doing a detox. The recipes below are inspired by the ones in the book ‘Clean‘. I used different ideas and combined them in the Quinoa Salad recipe, but the Stir-Fry recipe is almost identical to the one in the book.

Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing


serves 4


for the salad

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained or a mixture of white and black or red quinoa
  • 4 spring onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini or cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 2 hours, drained
  • 2 cups of mixed greens, washed and picked

for the dressing

  • 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup white sweet miso, also called young ‘shiro’ rice miso
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar (optional)


Place rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 12-15 minutes or until germ ring is visible and quinoa has softened. Remove from stove, fluff quinoa with a fork and let cool.

To make dressing; in a food processor, blend ginger, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and miso. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too sour, add one teaspoon of light agave nectar and give it another whiz. Add 1 tablespoon of water if you prefer a runnier dressing.

Mix quinoa with chopped herbs, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Stir in dressing. Serve on top of greens on large platter.

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Chicken and Buckwheat Soba Noodles


serves 4


  • 250 g 100% Buckwheat Soba
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1 baby bok choi, sliced length wise
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • olive or natural (not toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon wheat free tamari or nama shoyu
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

for the cooked chicken breasts

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper


To make marinade, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken breasts to marinade and coat evenly. Cover and put in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Place marinated chicken breasts with marinade in oven proof dish, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool slightly before cutting into thin slices.

In the meantime, bring 2 quarts (2 liters) water to boil in a large pot. Add noodles, stir and cook according to package instructions.

When the noodles are done, place in colander and rinse with cold water. This will prevent them from turning into a sticky mess. Place drained noodles in a large bowl. Toss with toasted sesame oil and set aside..

For the stir-fry, heat wok or heavy pan on high heat and add 1 tablespoon of natural sesame or olive oil. Add ginger and garlic and fry for one minute, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, except for spring onions and coriander, stirring and tossing for about 5 minutes. Vegetables should retain their colour and a nice crunch.

Add tamari or nama shoyu, lime juice, spring onions, salt and pepper to wok. Stir once more and turn heat off. Sprinkle with coriander.

Toss in a bowl with soba noodles. Serve with sliced chicken breast on the side.

French Buckwheat Pancakes (Galettes)

Hello there again! After 2 weeks of absence I have found my way back to my sorely missed blog. I was on a detox adventure (may be I still am a little) and none of my concoctions looked worthy enough for this blog. I have however taught a “Spring Cleaning” class full of detoxing information and recipes and will write about that as soon as I have digested these wonderful ‘galettes’.

I got the idea last night, when I had to make a typical French finger food for my son’s school presentation of “Joan of Arc”. He had to dress up as her, decorate a booth with related trinkets, posters and paraphernalia and present a little taste of France. As it was also the day of my daughters birthday party, I was short on time and could only think of one quick dish, which was crepes. To the great dismay of my two younger children I didn’t have enough batter to make some for them as well, and instead I promised them to repeat the process today.

I decided to slightly change the plan and instead of making sugary white flour crepes, I made galettes instead. The difference (to my knowledge) is that galettes contain mostly buckwheat flour and are used with savoury toppings rather than sugar, jam or chocolate. I found this wonderful recipe at ‘Chocolate & Zucchini’, a delightful French food blog which makes mine look very pale in comparison. The recipe is easy and the the galettes turned out golden and delicate and looked and tasted just like the real thing. As for toppings, anything goes. Traditionally they include eggs ‘sunny-side-up’, ham and cheese, and/or sauteed spinach and mushrooms. I decided to use some tiny white eggs from our Bantam chickens, which don’t make you feel guilty if you eat more than one, plus some chard and kale from the garden, fresh mushrooms and free-range bacon bits. I had 3 pans going simultaneously and miraculously burnt none of the galettes. Since my pans are not as large as a typical crepes pan, the slightly smaller than ideal galettes weren’t as easy to fold as they could have been, but I managed and my family isn’t too bothered about aesthetics. Dinner was declared a great success and possible future birthday dinner contender and for me there was definitely no going back to the detox juice tonight.

Running out of vegetables, the last few galettes turned into dessert. I sprinkled them with light brown sugar, spread some lovely organic raspberry and blueberry jam (IKEA!) on top, and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the end. Vive la France! 


adapted from ‘Chocolate and Zucchini’

Makes 12 pancakes


For the galettes:

  • 200 g buckwheat flour
  • 50 g white spelt flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 ml milk
  • 500 ml water

For the topping:

  • one bunch kale (I used cavolo nero)
  • one bunch swiss chard
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 500 g field or other mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8 rashers of free-range bacon, cut into small bits
  • 6-10 small eggs
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • fine grain sea salt and pepper

extra butter for greasing the pans


Put flour in a large mixing bowl and dig a little well in the center. Add the eggs into the well and incorporate them into the flour, using a fork or whisk. Slowly add the milk, while continuing to whisk. When all the milk is incorporated add water in a slow stream. Whisk until you get a runny batter without any lumps. Place in the refrigerator.

Wash and dry leafy greens. Cut out thick stems and slice leaves into 1 cm (1/2″) strips. Fry garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil for about 1 minute in a wok or large frying pan. Add greens to garlic and stir fry until wilted, adding a tablespoon of water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In another pan fry mushrooms in a little butter and olive oil. Set aside when soft.

In a third pan, fry bacon bits until crispy. Set aside.

Now it’s time to make the galettes.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or frying pan on high heat. Add a small piece of butter, let it melt and with the help of paper towel, spread it all over pan. Don’t burn yourself!

Pour one ladle of batter into middle of pan and swirl until batter covers entire pan in a thin layer. Cook on medium to high heat for a few minutes, checking underside of galette regularly to prevent burning. When underside has turned golden, flip pancake with a spatula and cook for a few more minutes.

Take some of your toppings and spread them in the center of the galette. Don’t overdue it, otherwise the folding will become nearly impossible.

When the other side of the galette is slighly golden and the edges a bit crispy, fold the four sides in and make a square package. If making galettes with eggs ‘sunny-side-up’, make sure the whites have been cooked before folding the galette. If it’s too hard to make a square, just fold in two sides.

Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve straight away or place in a preheated oven to keep warm.

Bon Appetit!

Multigrain Waffles with Sesame

We Germans, we love our waffles. Not for breakfast, no, for lunch, dinner or anytime in between. Traditionally we eat waffles with apple sauce, but we also devour them with whipped cream and sour cherries or raspberries. Growing up, we probably had one sweet lunch or dinner per week. It was either rice pudding, pancakes, bread pudding or waffles. So it won’t come as a surprise to you, when I tell you that I kept with that tradition, and occasionally make sweet dinners for my family. I had a small box full of wrinkly, soft apples in my pantry that my children refused to take to school for snack time and I decided it was time to make apple sauce again. My oldest son has become a very fast apple peeler over the years and once again was recruited for the job. We ended up with a pasta pot full of peeled and chopped apples, which we slowly steamed with the addition of a little lemon juice. Once soft, we let them cool a bit, before turning them into a fine puree using our trusted immersion blender. I filled most of the apple sauce into containers, which I store in the freezer, but I left one bowl in the fridge for last nights waffle dinner.


These waffles are a relatively new recipe I came up with after reading “Good to the Grain“, a whole-grain baking book by Kim Boyce. She inspired me to dig deep in my pantry and experiment with a variety of flours in my baking. And oh Mama, am I glad I did! These waffles are so delicious, crisp on the outside, with the right amount of sweetness and none of the flours overpowering each other. To my favorite spelt flour, I added millet, amaranth and buckwheat flour for protein, barley for it’s blood-sugar stabilizing quality and b-vitamins and a little ground flaxseed for it’s omega-3 oils. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the different flours. Go ahead and experiment, you might come up with a recipe that will eventually be named after you and handed down generations…

After mixing the wet with the dry ingredients, I switched the waffle iron to the highest heat setting and brushed it with melted butter, to ensure crispy waffles. I then sprinkled the waffle iron with sesame seeds, which add a wonderful crunch. One set of waffles takes about 10 minutes, therefore it’s best to start early. Turn on your oven to a low setting and put the finished waffles next to each other on an oven rack, to keep them hot and crispy.

Makes 5 sets of waffles (2 each, see picture)


2 ounces (50g) butter, melted and cooled, to brush waffle iron

1/2 cup sesame seeds, to sprinkle over melted butter

Dry Mix:

  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup white spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup barley flour
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Mix:

  • 2 cups buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk, instead, I used 2 cups of fresh almond milk, mixed with 2 tablespoon lemon juice.You can substitute any milk for the almond milk. Let stand and do it’s thing for 5 minutes, before adding it to remaining ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola (rapeseed) oil


Turn waffle iron on highest setting.

Mix dry ingredients and sift into large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until well combined.

Gently combine wet and dry ingredients and let rest for a couple of minutes. The batter will start to bubble and thicken slightly.

Brush waffle iron and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Ladle batter onto waffle iron and sprinkle with more sesame seeds, so that both sides are covered in them. Close, and let bake for at least 5 minutes before taking your first peak. Every waffle iron is different, so just go with your experience on this one.

When waffles are done, either eat them straight away or put them on an oven rack to keep warm. Don’t put them on top of each other, as this will make them loose their crispiness.

Repeat process with remaining batter.

Serve with apple sauce.

These waffles make for a delicious breakfast the next day. Re-heat them in the toaster or just wrap them in foil and stick them in your kids lunch box.

A little trivia at the end. Did you know that you’re ready to get married once you manage to peel a whole apple in one go, without breaking the strip of apple peel? I think I was about 10 or 11 years old and mighty scared when I was told that it was time to get married. I probably didn’t touch another apple peeler for another decade, just to make sure that nobody would get the wrong idea.

Spelt and Buckwheat Banana Muffins

I know what you’re going to think. “Who needs another banana muffin recipe?” There are “only” about 304,000 results when you do a search on google. And I have tried many of them on my decade long quest to come up with the most delicious, healthy, light on the inside, crisp on the outside, sweet but not too sweet, banana muffin. It has to be whole grain and believe me, I have tried many variations. Whole wheat, spelt, buckwheat, barley, quinoa, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, apple sauce, eggs, no eggs, you name it. You see, my middle son, Frederick, loves banana muffins and has the sweetest smile on his face when he finds a batch in the kitchen. He would never eat a banana in any other state, after all the only fruit he likes is apple. But then again, he doesn’t appreciate those in muffins. He loves all of my experiments around the banana muffin, so when I found some sad looking bananas yesterday, I gave it another go. They turned out super delicious and therefore I wanted to share this recipe with you.  But be careful, after the great muffin onslaught in the afternoon, no one was hungry for dinner yesterday and for once we have lots of left-overs…

This recipe is equally suitable for banana bread. Just lightly grease a loaf pan, pour in all of the batter and bake at 180C (350 F) for 50 minutes to an hour or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Just a note, I usually use only maple syrup as a sweetener for my muffins and prefer organic, cold pressed canola oil to butter, but since I don’t have much of either at hand at the moment, I decided to use brown sugar and a mixture of butter and canola oil instead. If I would be in the States right now, I would use 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead of the sugar and 1/3 of a cup of canola oil plus 1/3 of a cup of apple sauce. Because of the extra liquid, I’d reduce the buttermilk to 1/4 of a cup. So depending on the inside of you cupboard, you can use whatever you prefer or have most of.

Makes 12 (+1)


  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 C (350F). Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners. I always have a bit too much batter and usually need a ramekin for an extra muffin.

Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, oil, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Add mashed banana.

Pour wet ingredients into flour bowl and stir in gently, careful not to overmix as that will make the muffins too dense. Fold in walnuts and divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and let cool on wire rack.

‘Triple B’ Pancakes

These pancakes are best with maple syrup, yogurt, and extra fruit on the side. Buckwheat gives them a nutty texture and adds protein, fibre, magnesium and B-vitamins to the mix. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar better than any other carbohydrates. Separating the eggs, beating the whites until stiff and gently folding them in the mix at the end will lead to lighter, fluffier pancakes. I like to sprinkle mine with chopped walnuts at the same time I add the fruit as they are cooking. Sorry, no photos yet.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger

Serves 5


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cups whole spelt and white spelt flour)                                                                                                                     3/4 buckwheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

3/4 cup skim milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

2 eggs, separated into whites and yolks

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

1 thinly sliced banana

Chopped walnuts, optional

Maple Syrup, extra fruit and yogurt for serving 


Switch on the oven to 200 degrees (100 C).

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft white peaks form. In a third bowl, mix the buttermilk, non-fat milk, maple syrup, egg yolks, oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. Gently fold in stiff egg whites and blueberries.

Preheat a large nonstick pan on medium heat. Ladle the batter onto the hot pan, use about a 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Sprinkle pancakes with banana slices. Flip the pancakes when they are golden brown on the bottom and the surface is covered with lots of small bubbles after approximately 2 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown. Stack on oven proof plate and place in oven until ready to eat, no more than 30 minutes. Serve hot with maple syrup, extra fruit and yogurt.