by Niamh Burke Neff
I’m not much of a breakfast person, I find ‘traditional’ breakfasts first thing in the morning too heavy, instead I prefer to make a smoothie mid-morning. Before I turned vegan, if I was hungry first thing in the morning, I used to eat natural yoghurt with toasted nuts and honey, or fruit salad with yoghurt, but as I no longer eat dairy and do not eat soy yoghurt (GMO!!!), this option went out the window as there were no other yoghurt alternatives here in the Alps. That is of course, unless you make your own dairy free alternative. It being a new challenge meant that of course I’d give it a try. So I did.
A few weeks back I got a loan of a dehydrator and my domestic goddess went into overdrive with ideas. The caramelized sprouted buckwheat from this recipe was one of the things created that weekend, initially made to sprinkle over my smoothies, but ended up being added to everything from fruit salads to porridge and even over ice-cream. They’re even great on their own for nibbles! Eating them over yoghurt then of course made sense, and as I made lots of different infused honey back in April (thanks to a gift of 3kgs of local raw organic honey), the idea for this recipe, with fir tip infused honey, was born. Any type of flavored or non-flavored honey can be used here though.
I decided to make the yoghurt from oats (which I am now lovingly calling ‘o-ghurt’). Oats are easy to digest, they are gluten free (the non contaminated versions!), and more freely available than for instance, young coconuts (which is what I usually make dairy free yoghurt from). The results with oats are a very creamy mildly tangy yoghurt, which is the perfect breakfast or even a light post yoga/meditation treat. Or, if the weather is as damp and dreary as today, a lovely little mid afternoon ‘pick me up’…the combination of smooth creamy o-ghurt, sweet earthy honey and crunchy caramelized buckinis really is a taste and texture explosion!
Raw O-ghurt with activated caramelized ‘buckinis’ and fir tip honey
O-GHURT (makes about half a litre)
- 3 cups organic rolled oats (unprocessed)
- 3 cups distilled water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2-3 tablespoon coconut blossom nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
Rinse the oat flakes thoroughly and place in a large glass bowl. Cover with water and leave to soak overnight. The next day, rinse the oats and place in a high speed blender with the three cups of distilled water. Blend until very smooth.
Place the mixture into a large clean glass bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel (or small hand towel) and leave in a warm damp free place. Stir the mixture once a day with a wooden spoon and make sure the towel remains damp throughout the process.
The o-ghurt will start to activate within 24-48hrs, but this very much depends on the warmth, so just keep an eye on it. It should take 4-5 days to ferment, but again, this is dependent on how warm it is. We have had bad weather all week, leaving the window sill in the kitchen colder than usual, so this batch took 6 days to mature. Note that the mixture WILL smell sour, but this is totally normal, it will not taste that way.
Empty the mixture into a high speed blender, together with the seeds from the vanilla bean and sweetener, and blend until smooth. I’d recommend tasting the mixture to see if you would like it sweeter or not, I found the above quantity of honey to be enough for my personal taste.
Empty the o-ghurt mixture into a glass jar and refrigerate. It will last up to about 5 days.
Note: If the mixture is too thick, add a little water and blend again until you achieve the desired consistency. If you find the mixture too watery, you can always add a tablespoon of psyllium husks to thicken it up if necessary.
RAW ACTIVATED CARAMELIZED ‘BUCKINIS’
- 3 cups raw organic buckwheat groats
- 6-8 teasp organic cinnamon powder (I milled 3-4 large cinnamon sticks, but shop bought powder will do)
- 12 tablesp raw organic honey (or other sweetener of choice)
- half a level teasp of salt (I used pink Himalayan Rock Salt)
Rinse the buckwheat groats thoroughly and place in a large glass bowl. Cover with water and leave to soak and sprout overnight.
The next morning, rinse the groats and again soak them in fresh water for about 6 hours. They will release a lot of (slimy) starch in this activation process, so rinse well again and add the honey, cinnamon and salt to the groats. Mix well.
Spoon the mixture onto your dehydrator shelves*, making sure to spread it evenly and thinly. Turn it on the lowest setting and leave for about 8hrs, or overnight. They are then ready to eat. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
*If you do not have a dehydrator, you can do this by spooning the mixture onto a paper lined flat baking tray and placing in the oven at a temperature of 40°c for the same time period. You may need to check the outsides of the mixture every now and again to make sure they are evenly dehydrated. Note that if you go over this temperature, the sprouts are no longer considered raw.
Adding 3 tablesp raw cacao powder to this mixture before dehydrating is also great – kids LOVE it! 😉
RAW FIR TIP INFUSED HONEY
- 1 cup of bright green young wild fir tips
- 1 400g jar of raw organic honey
Wash the fir tips and place in a large jar. Cover with the honey, close the jar, and leave in a warm window to infuse for a few weeks, turning it upside down once a day. I found the flavor had infused after only 3 days, but the longer it is left the nicer it is.
This is the basic way of making solar infused honey. A few of the other flavors I made using this method were lavender blossom, rose petal, fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, all of which would work with this o-ghurt recipe. The possibilities are endless really…
To create this dish, we spooned some o-ghurt into a bowl, topped with buckinis and drizzled with honey. Simple as that! You can have fun with this by adding whatever flavors you want to the o-ghurt, and the dish would also be great with different toppings. Just use your imagination, have fun with it, and enjoy!!!