On Thursday S suggested that we go camping on the weekend. And so we did. We chose Springbrook National Park, mostly as it is close by and we were only going away for the one night. After a quick market run to stock up on supplies, we packed the car and drove up early Saturday morning. W snoozed in the back for much of the drive and we arrived at the park in time for lunch.
Once we turned off the main highway, the bush around us was all tall trees disappearing into the sky, pale green leaves dry and dusty, trunks blackened by an old bush fire that ripped through the region some fifteen years back. After we set up camp we took a stroll through the bush, along the ridge line looking down at the waterfall, clouds skimming across the sky drawing us in and out of the sunshine.
We spent most of Saturday afternoon lying around at the campsite reading and eating, drinking tea, watching the tiny little blue wrens and other bird life flitting about. As the sun set it got cold – much colder than expected. Although we’d come prepared for a wood fire it was no fires allowed, so after a quick cuppa (whiskey for S) and a few pieces of dark chocolate we jumped into the tent with a sleeping W. A quick read and then lights out and asleep by 8pm!
One of the best things about camping of course is waking up in the bush – blue skies, fresh air, noisy birds and a complete lack of busy-ness (no emails or phones to check!). W woke up literally smiling and the three of us tumbled out of the tent and into the clear morning. Coffee (and tea) was first on the agenda, quite naturally, but once that was out of the way the easiest way to have a hot breakfast when all you’ve got is a small camping stove is, of course, porridge.
This porridge is so easy to prepare, quite delicious, and makes a nice change from traditional oat porridge. Buckwheat, by the way, isn’t actually a form of wheat. It is a fruit seed and full of all kinds of health benefits; it is also gluten free, if you swing that way. If you’re time poor you don’t even need to toast the buckwheat beforehand – personally I prefer the nutty flavour of the toasted groats but even without this Blueberry Buckwheat Porridge is still one of my favourite new breakfasts.
Blueberry Buckwheat Porridge
½ cup buckwheat groats
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp cardamom
¼ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 ½ cups almond milk
Brown sugar or honey, to taste
Oven-roasted rhubarb and flaked almonds, to serve (optional)
Dry toast the buckwheat groats in a wide pan over a medium-high heat until they start to brown and smell nutty, approx. 5 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
In a bowl or jar combine the buckwheat groats, chia seeds, cardamom, blueberries and one cup of the almond milk. Cover and leave in the fridge (or someplace cool) for at least 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
In a small saucepan over a medium heat cook the soaked buckwheat along with the additional half cup of milk until the porridge becomes thick and creamy, approx. 8 – 10 minutes.
Serve the porridge with a generous teaspoon of honey or brown sugar and, if using, a few pieces of oven-roasted rhubarb and a sprinkling of flaked almonds.
Notes: if you don’t have any oven-roasted rhubarb you could just as easily top this porridge with some slices of fresh fig, or poached pear. Likewise, you can replace the flaked almonds with toasted walnuts, or crushed pistachios – whatever you have on hand!