Good day to you dearest foodies! The first blog post of a new year, and, indeed, of quite some time! The five weeks leading up to Christmas saw me with paintbrush in hand at every possible moment, trying to get the huge amount of panelling in our hall, stairs and landing painted before my family came to join us for Christmas eve to Boxing day. It was especially important because my Grandad was coming, and I really wanted everything to be nice for him. He stayed a year ago and I don’t get to see him often any more, so I wanted things to feel really special for him, and also for my parents and sister. Unfortunately, my poor sis had actual flu over the whole break, and spent the whole time in bed, suffering, which was really sad. We all missed her company a lot, but were glad that at least she was in the house with us, and not alone at her own house.
It’s quite incredible what one can forget when one is otherwise occupied. Whenever I have a hiatus from Cooking for Sanity, of which there have been many, and for various reasons, I have to sit down with all my notebooks and go through everything, to remind myself of my intentions, plans, ideas, and whatever else I’ve jotted down over the last nearly four years. In fact, I’ve just popped back to my original blog, which I set up long before I started this website, and it’s hilarious to see how far it’s come! I started out just trying to encourage other people to get into their kitchens and cook; to be inspired by all the exciting recipes available out there from a plethora of sources; and to show people that really anyone can cook. I’m amazed where it’s actually taken me. Most excitingly so far has been the Library Project in our old area of Cardiff, for which I designed an example menu for the community café, led by the idea of using food delivered by the charity FareShare, to create healthy and exciting meals, and for which I created a huge showcase of a selection of those foods for a community open evening. We also held Christmas Tree festivals, for which I made mince pies and shortbread for several years. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out that I was able to continue to be involved after moving house. Although we don’t live too far from where we lived before, we are nonetheless in a new area, and to have a continuing involvement in a community project, I personally found, it is necessary to have a vested interest in the community. I’m very happy to report, however, that the Library Project is still going strong, and that I was able to visit before Christmas and see the new kitchen which was very kindly paid for and installed by a local pub. It was fantastic to see different community organisations supporting each other and appreciating each other’s work.
Like so many, I have been feeling the bloat after Christmas, and I’m on a mission to fill my body with nutrients, not just for the moment, but sustained. Over the last year there have been challenges in life, highs and lows, periods where I’ve questioned the point of what I’m doing in the light of the other things going on. But every time I am drawn back to this idea, this desire to inspire and motivate others, to facilitate and empower people to choose nutrient-rich, healthy, delicious, exciting food, and to realise the innate creativity in cooking a delicious meal, or preparing the simplest of breakfast bowls (of which this recipe is one). Since creation, sharing food and drink has been the focus of community, and I want to encourage that. But food doesn’t only have to be shared! I have always taken the time to cook, even on the rare occasion it’s just for myself. In fact, I frequently use cooked ingredients in my lunches, delighting in what I can put together from the fridge, saving produce unused from preparing a meal earlier in the week from wilting and going beyond use. Oh yes, preparing food can be one of the most creative activities in the day, whether that creativity is manifested in choosing one’s ingredients, or the way in which a meal is presented, or both.
With that in mind, why not start with this breakfast bowl? If you’ve never used frozen banana before, then you can try it with this recipe. Have you ever eaten persimmon? It’s the most delicious fruit, sweet yet subtly fragrant with a smooth texture. Grab one at the supermarket (I got mine in Lidl) and make this! Make your own almond butter for the first time to top it with, or if you have a shop-bought jar, use that. Have you used buckwheat in your breakfast before? Now’s your chance! Sprinkle your own choice of dried berries and seeds on top; I used mixed nuts, seeds and goji berries, again from Lidl. It’s all easy, adaptable, and accessible, and I hope you enjoy it! Just remember this recipe needs a little minimal preparation the previous day.
• 1 banana, frozen overnight
• Half a persimmon, peeled, chopped and frozen overnight
• 40g buckwheat
• Dessertspoon of honey
• Dollop of almond butter
• Handful of mixed seeds and berries
- Food processor
The night before: peel and chop the banana and persimmon and place in a freezer-proof container. Freeze overnight.
Place the buckwheat in a bowl and cover with water by about 1”.
In the morning: Twenty minutes before you want to eat, remove the container from the freezer (you could do this before you jump in the shower).
Rinse the buckwheat in a sieve under running water until no longer gloopy. Place in a food processor with the fruit and honey. Begin by pulsing the ingredients a few times to combine, then put on the regular setting until the mixture breaks down and becomes a delicious, ice-cream textured combination, being careful not to over-process: you want it to remain as thick as possible.
Scoop out of the food processor and serve into a bowl, topped with the almond butter and seeds.
I hope you enjoy and are inspired by this recipe to just try something different. This bowl is crammed with a variety of nutrients, and can easily be double, or increased to whatever amount of people you want to serve. It would look beautiful served in bowls to guests as a special breakfast treat. But this recipe isn’t restricted to breakfast only; try it as an afternoon pick-me-up, or serve it to your children as an ice-cream treat with none of the bad stuff. It’s a total winner!
Thank you so much, as ever, for reading.