buckwheat and quinoa granola


I prefer variations on a porridge theme for breakfast in winter. But as variety is so important,  I like to have a jar of this delicious granola on hand. This batch is a crunchy mix of buckwheat, quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds, sweetened with pureed dates and enriched with some tahini. As with all my recipes, most of the ingredients can be swapped for tastes you might prefer or half-packets of things you wish to use up.

buckwheat & quinoa granola

  • 300g buckwheat, raw
  • 150g quinoa flakes
  • 100g pepitas
  • 150g nuts (I used a mix of walnuts and brazil nuts)
  • 100g dates
  • 75g water
  • 25g olive oil
  • 25g tahini (or a mild nut butter)
  • pinch each of salt and cinnamon

Mix the buckwheat, quinoa, seeds and nuts together. Add the salt and cinnamon. Process the dates, water, olive oil and tahini until smooth. Add 1/3 of the dry mix to the processor and pulse a couple of times until roughly incorporated. Empty the date mix from the processor onto the remaining dry mix and stir until entirely mixed through. Distribute over 2 baking trays and bake in a 150’C oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and toasted. Allow to cool completely.

Kitchen tips: we like this granola with yoghurt and fruit and it is sweet enough for us. If you have a sweeter tooth, you could always add a dash of honey or maple syrup to the date puree.

lovely buttermilk soda bread


Soda bread is a lovely quick bread that can be mixed and popped in the oven in minutes. This recipe bows to the ingredients at hand and you can play around with the type of flour, the sweetener, the fat and any additions. The end result is a rustic loaf that pairs well with so many things. Smoked fish, cheeses of all varieties, leg ham, avocado or simply some excellent butter all raise this humble bread to glorious heights.

  • 2c buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/3c wholemeal spelt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4c golden syrup (or rice malt syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml buttermilk*
  • 1/4c olive oil or melted butter
  • OPTIONAL: fennel seeds, raisins, rosemary, thyme, etc.

*or half yoghurt or creme fraiche or sour cream/half milk.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add any optional extras. Make a well in the middle, add wet ingredients and mix. Knead lightly. I like to shape it into 2 loaves. Bake @ 170’C for 40 mins.

Shop your pantry: I have made this loaf using all sorts of flours. Less refined flours work best in terms of flavour and texture, I think, but use whatever you have at hand.

zucchini buckwheat bread



Once or twice a week I like to bake something with my 2 year old son. He loves mixing, cracking eggs and, of course, licking the bowl. We originally baked this gorgeous buckwheat loaf to have with breakfast one weekend.  This delicious bread is so good it is now the only bread we eat! We bake a loaf every Sunday.

It is absolutely divine…                                                                                                                                                            spread with avocado or sunflower seed butter.                                                                                                                     with poached eggs and smoked salmon.                                                                                                                                   with leg ham and chutney.                                                                                                                                                          with sliced tomato and ricotta.

I am keen to experiment with this recipe. I am sure that this loaf could become a beautiful Spiced Carrot and Raisin loaf, more suited to a sweet but nourishing morning tea loaf. This recipe is free of gluten and dairy.

Zucchini buckwheat bread

  • 2 c buckwheat flour
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c walnuts, toasted, crushed to coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup
  • scant 1/3 c coconut oil or olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 medium-large zucchini, grated

Whisk the syrup, oil, eggs and zucchini together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes at 170’C.

Shopping the pantry?  The buckwheat flour imparts a lovely earthy, nutty flavour to this loaf but you could use wholemeal flour (spelt would be perfect) as a substitute. I have used other nuts instead of walnuts – and they were sorely missed. The walnuts give such a beautiful depth of flavour that I haven’t found in other nuts.


copious cups of tea and nutty buckwheat cake


A latte is lovely but tea is heaven. As energising as a coffee but also offering more medicinal benefits, the very act of cupping a hot tea is calming and restorative. As the weather turns colder I can quite happily drink several cups a day. English Breakfast, toasty genmaicha, gingery chai and several herbal blends are on hand in the cupboard above the kettle. With 2 little people, I am most likely to rely on tea bags thrown in a mug but if I had the time to brew a pot and drink it from a beautiful cup, this is the cake I would enjoy with it. Failing that, we will probably eat slices of this at the park while I try not to drop crumbs on the baby’s head.

The batter for this rustic treat is not overly sweet and relies heavily on ripe, seasonal fruit to secure its place as a cake rather than a loaf. This is not the recipe for tart rhubarb or plums – favour soft, seasonal pears or sweet berries. Lovely eaten on its own or with sweetened, whipped ricotta, this recipe is adapted from one on the beautiful “101 Cookbooks” blog.

Nutty Buckwheat Cake

  • ½ c buckwheat flour
  • ½ c almond meal or spelt flour
  • 2 tb, heaped, rolled oats
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t bicarb soda
  • ½ t salt flakes
  • 60g butter, melted or mild olive oil
  • 1/3 c rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • ¼ c yoghurt or buttermilk or milk with a squeeze of lemon
  • 1 ½ c diced fruit or berries
  • 1tb buckinis
  • 1tb crushed almonds
  • 1tb, heaped, pepitas
  • 1tb, heaped, coconut flakes or shreds
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey

Mix the first 6 (dry) ingredients together. Whisk the butter, syrup and egg together until pale and creamy. Gently whisk in the yoghurt, vanilla and zest, then the dry ingredients and 1/2 c of the fruit. Place the batter into a greased, lined loaf tin. Combine the last 6 ingredients together and sprinkle half of this mix on top of the cake batter. Scatter the remaining fruit over this and finally scatter remaining nut/seed mix on top. Bake for 35-45 mins @ 175’C.