I am finding that I talk to a lot of people who have multiple food intolerances. Along with FODMAPs there is gluten, eggs, dairy, just to name a few. I was asked recently if I could suggest a gluten free alternative to oats for my Orange and cranberry bircher muesli. Now, there are plenty of great gluten free cereal options available; the question for me was would they would stand up to being soaked in yoghurt without turning to an unappetising mush.
I stopped by my local health food store, which has undergone a recent renovation. They now have a wall full of grains, seeds and nuts hanging, waiting for selection, and, to my delight, their range of stock seems to have expanded. The shelves were also stacked up with a variety of breads, flours, dried fruit, spreads and sweeteners, which is where I stumbled upon these rolled buckwheat flakes.
As you can see, the buckwheat flakes have a similar appearance to quick-cook oats, so I grabbed a packet and decided to give them a go. Into a container with some yoghurt, milk, fresh orange juice and a scattering of chopped dried cranberries.
Fast forward to the next day when I retrieved my yoghurt soaked buckwheat. I was hopeful and looking forward to passing this tip on to others needing to avoid gluten (can you see me already patting myself on the back??). A spoon for me and a spoon for G, a taste, a look, and…a unanimous shake of our heads. There was no arguing that the buckwheat did not work; the texture was gritty, the buckwheat flavour overpowering. No way I was serving this up to anyone.
So then I had this tub of dodgy bircher in my fridge. I didn’t want to waste it, after all, those buckwheat flakes were not cheap, not to mention all the good yoghurt that went in too. This is where the muffins come in. I was thinking that maybe this dodgy bircher could make a good base for a muffin mix. I recalled seeing some recipes online for muffins that used up leftover porridge (or oatmeal for some of you ;)) . With its similar consistency, hint of orange and occasional pops of cranberry, the dodgy bircher might just have its moment yet.
Fast forward to the 3 little people arriving home from school and looking for an afternoon snack… “Yum muffins” they exclaim. I don’t tell them what’s in the muffins (they don’t go for bircher), just offer one each, watch and wait. They pull back the muffin papers, take a bite, look inside, another bite and…”These are good Mum.” What a nice suprise
Here’s the recipe:
1 cup rolled toasted buckwheat
100g plain yoghurt, lactose free if required
¾ cup milk, lactose free if required
juice of 1 orange (approximately ¼ cup)
¼ cup (25g) dried cranberries (optional), chopped
In a non-metallic container combine all the ingredients. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight or up to 2 days.
buckwheat bircher mix, soaked at least overnight
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅔ cup brown rice flour
¼ corn flour
1 ½ tablespoons tapioca starch
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup optional add-ins, eg chocolate chips, lightly crushed raspberries, chopped strawberries or kiwi fruit
flaked almonds, optional
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, combine buckwheat bircher, eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla; mix well.
In another, blend the remaining ingredients with a whisk. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet and stir together until just combined. Fold through optional add-ins if using. Divide the mixture amongst the muffin papers and top each with a few pieces of flaked almonds. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden and muffins spring back when pressed lightly.
Cool on wire rack.
If your muffins are not devoured vigorously shortly after emerging from the oven, then you can freeze them. Just pop them into a zip-lock bag, squeeze out as much air as you can and seal. They make easy lunch box treats straight from the freezer.