Saturday, November 10, 2012

Very Basic Buckwheat Pikelets (GF)

Good morning!

What is this pile of deliciousness we see before us on an almost-summery Saturday?

Buckwheat pikelets!! I'm not sure if 'pikelets' is a kiwi-ism or not. A pikelet is a mini-pancake, and these are the most basic version you could imagine:


* Buckwheat
* Coconut milk (or other milk)
* Salt
* Toppings

Buckwheat is a food that I'd recommend for anyone aiming to reduce gluten (it's gluten-free) or anti-nutrients in their diet. Anti-nutrients are those substances in food that prevent you making full use of the nutrients in it: for example, the enzyme inhibitors that make un-sprouted (lately known as un-activated) nuts harder to digest. 

Phytates are a common class of anti-nutrient, present in nearly all grains. Phytates bind up minerals, making them less-accessible to you, the consumer. The cool thing about buckwheat is that, not only is it not really a grain (it's a kind of seed), but it is naturally low in phytates. It's also high in phytases, the enzymes which break down phytates under the right conditions, such as those created by soaking, smashing (official culinary terminology there) and allowing to ferment.

In short, to create a fermented buckwheat batter, you do this:

Soak buckwheat berries for 24-48 hours, rinsing every day. The amount of water at start should be a couple of cm's above the buckweat pile - of course, they do like to float, which makes it tricky. Just use your kitch-intuition.

Mash the buckwheat berries with a little water in your blender or processor until it is smooth. Transfer to a fresh bowl, cover, put in a warm place and let sit for another 24 hours. 

The resulting batter is the starting point for the buckwheat pikelets, which are really just a deconstructed, (or more carefully constructed?) version of the vegan, buckweat porridge. My ferment had dried out a bit, so I added some coconut milk to bring it to the consistency of pancake batter, and threw in a pinch of salt.

I then dropped the batter in large tablespoons-full onto a hot, non-stick pan which was primed with coconut oil, flipping them when they were firm enough to not break.

Then, because I'd forgotten to defrost the berries, I dumped some frozen blueberries and raspberries into the still-hot pan, sprinkled with erythritol and swooshed around until they were warm.

Some assembly required. Step one:

Step two:

I had planned to use coconut yogurt, making this a vegan breakfast. However, due to colder days, my coconut has not yet yogged, so I used Retro Organics cow's milk yogurt instead.

It's lactose free! I'm not lactose intolerant, but for this yogurt, I could be.

The final step. Making it all disappear. Too easy.

These are dense and somewhat stodgy, which is the way I like them. The consistency reminded me of some protein pancakes that Kek once made for The Programmer and I. You could puff them up with some baking powder if you like a fluffier pikelet, and I've seen recipes like this one, that use eggs. It's a pretty hard recipe to mess up, so feel free to make it your way. Just start with a little prayer to the gods of kitchen juju and it will probably come out ok.

If you do come up with a divinely inspired variation, please link to it in the comments here. 

I hope your weekend is looking full of fun. It's my last weekend of study for the semester, and this time next week I'll be celebrating the half-way point of my postgrad diploma in human nutrition. I'll be so glad to see the end of this semester; it has thoroughly spanked my butt. Rather than blazing through leaving a trail of stunning marks, I've managed to clock up the lowest grades of my academic career, especially in the first assignments. Those early, wine-session inducing results delivered a wake up call as to the standard required in the postgrad world, and my grades have improved as the semester progressed (even if my mood did not). Now it's just the biometrics (biostatistics) exam left, and that's what I'll be revising today. Really, is there anything more interesting than the specifics of the SAS output for ANOVA? Don't answer that.

Festive Fitness Focus Challengers: it's the last day of week one. Check in tomorrow!


  1. Amazing! I am going to make these this week - am getting my groats soaking NOW!

    1. I think these tick all the boxes for your nutritional needs. Is erythritol ok? I'd think that would work for you, seeing as it doesn't feed candida. A word of warning: these do require a non-stick frypan. Buckwheat is sticky stuff.

  2. Ooh, I remember making you those pancakes. You were just off an early trans-Tasman flight and I? I was doing my one and only scheduled low-carb day prior to competing. Pancakes for you guys, none for me. :(

    Thanks for the reminder, I am SO making some tomorrow. x

    1. that's right! But, you insisted. And.. well, who would say no? x

  3. Woooah Sara, I love what you've done with the place! Good luck with statistics, never my favourite subject..

    1. Thanks Matt! I find it's ok, as long as I don't psych myself out too much before even looking at it!


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