Chai-Spiced Buckwheat and Chia Seed Porridge

, from Issue #67. July, 2016
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Chai-Spiced Buckwheat and Chia Seed Porridge

This is my staple winter breakfast and the delicious toppings make it even more enjoyable to wake up to. I love the texture the buckwheat grain gives the porridge and the fresh grated fruit adds a natural sweetness. 

Serves: 6–8


1 cup buckwheat, rinsed
½ cup oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups milk (cow's, almond or soy)

2 cups water
1 each pear and apple, grated with skin on
1 teaspoon each ground ginger and cinnamon
½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and cardamom
2 tablespoons nut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey 

Mixed Berry Compote
500 grams mixed frozen berries
finely grated zest and juice 1 orange
⅓ cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water 


Put the buckwheat and oats in a bowl and cover well with cold water. Put the chia seeds in a separate bowl and add 1 cup of the milk. Leave both bowls on the bench to soak overnight.

Drain the buckwheat and oats in a fine sieve then rinse well under cold water.

Place the chia seeds with the milk in a medium saucepan along with the remaining 1 cup milk, the buckwheat and oats, water, grated pear and apple, all the spices, nut butter, vanilla and honey. Cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often until thick and creamy, adding more water or milk to keep it at a soft consistency. Serve in bowls topped with your choice of toppings.

Cook's tip: The porridge keeps well in the fridge for 5 days. Just heat each serving when needed, adding a little extra liquid if needed. 

Mixed Berry Compote

Put the berries, orange zest and juice and the caster sugar in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Mix the cornflour and water together in a bowl until smooth then stir into the berries. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the juices have thickened. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups

Topping suggestions

Milk or cream or a non-dairy milk such as almond or soy; coconut yoghurt or regular yoghurt – plain or fruit; roasted figs with honey; fresh berries when in season; cinnamon-roasted pears or apples; poached rhubarb with raspberries; sliced banana and maple syrup; toasted nuts and seeds – almonds, macadamias, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.