I have a friend who is a wizard in the garden. I mean, he can grow almost anything, and it will be the plumpest, sweetest, juiciest version of itself you’ve ever eaten. When I ran the cafe, he would visit daily and bring me buckets full of produce from his allotment; fresh peas, bunches of kale, windfall apples and, oh my, the berries! A sure sign that summer was with us would come in the form of trays of soft warm raspberries, pastle-blueberries, blood-red mulberries and stalks of jewel-like currants. He would order himself a ‘allotment special’ which would mean a selection of every fruit he had picked himself blended up with a frozen banana and almond milk, and sit at his table waiting for every other customer to ask for ‘what he’s having’ ; )
My dear old friend still brings me bags full of veggies now and then, but finding the energy to pick all of the berries his fruit bushes produce is becoming a struggle and he tells me to pick-my-own. A task I’m more than happy to oblige! Yesterday we filled our re-cycled containers with the biggest blueberries, strands of currants and the last of the early raspberries, destined for both our breakfast bowls, desserts and the freezer for smoothies. I really can’t get enough of berries when they’re in season, gorging at their sheer abundance whilst at their prime. I never buy out of season berries, as they’re just not even comparable when you’ve grown up on homegrown, and non-organic berries also list high on the ‘dirty-dozen’ list which I do my best to avoid. I’m more than happy to go without certain foods when their season draws to a close, knowing that I’ve appreciated every bit of their existence while they’re in their prime and that other amazing foods are on their way! All part of a beautiful cycle which being in tune with comes as natural as making this berry breakfast bowl in the morning. Let’s make this part of our radiant summer ritual!
Summer has me totally diggin’ the raw breakfasts, I’m sure you get that too, right? I’m so into my morning porridges come autumn and winter, but as soon as the mornings get lighter and those berries begin to colour, I start soaking my grains before bed ready for this berry-power bowl. It tastes to me like the creamiest, tangiest berry yogurt I used to love when I ate dairy. Think smooth, thick cream flavoured with tart, sweet berries topped off with crunchy seeds and juicy fresh berries. Yep, it really is as good as it sounds.
You’ll need to remember to soak the buckwheat before you go to bed, but other than that, this will take minutes to make in the morning. The chia seeds make it extra thick and creamy, do add them if you have them, and along with the hemp seeds pack a punch of omega 3 and 6 and protein. I use homemade almond milk as my milk, though any plant-based milk would work. You can also use any summer-berries/ currants you have to hand, frozen are totally fine too. The darker your fruit the more purple your buckwheat cream will become! I am loving the combination of black currants, raspberries and blueberries right now, but strawberries, blackberries or mulberries all work beautifully too.
Summer berry cream-of-buckwheat
2 cups buckwheat groats, soaked in plenty of water overnight
6 dates, soaked over night in enough water to cover (or dried figs)
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (or other plant based milk)
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
2 handfuls summer berries, plus extra for serving
Hemp/sesame/ poppy seeds
Matcha or barley-grass powder for sprinkling
Rinse the soaked buckwheat in a sieve under running water well, then transfer all but 1/2 a cup to an upright blender (keeping a few back for serving). Add all other ingredients, including the date-soak water (but except the toppings) and blend until smooth. You’re looking for a consistency like thick yogurt. If it seems too thick, add a bit more milk or water.
Pour into bowls and scatter with the remaining buckwheat, whole berries, seeds and a pinch of green powder. Enjoy straight away or leave to firm up slightly in the fridge before serving.
I’d love to hear what is part of your radiant summer ritual? Does it involve gorging on fresh berries, hula hooping and bowls of breakfast sunshine?! Let me know if you try this one out and what is totally rocking your summer this season.