When I was growing up, a staple weekday morning breakfast often included oatmeal. But it wasn't the kind of healthy, hearty oatmeal I'm eating nowadays. It was kid-style oatmeal. We always had the Quaker Instant variety packs on hand with (if memory serves), cinnamon spice, maple brown sugar, peaches and cream, and, yes, strawberries and cream flavors. I loved them all.
When I made today's healthy bowl of goodness, I couldn't help but be reminded of childhood bowls of strawberries and cream oatmeal. Both my version and Quaker's are a pretty, light pink color and both give off an impossibly delicious strawberry smell. But that is where the comparisons must end. I had a quick look at the nutrition facts for Quaker Instant Oatmeal Strawberries & Cream and was a little bit shocked. I mean, I didn't expect it to be surrounded by a health halo or anything but 12 grams of sugar?!?!?!?!? And don't get me started on the ingredients list:
Ok, so a lot of those weird sounding ingredients at the bottom are actually just fancy names for vitamins. But I had never realized that the "strawberry pieces" in the original were actually dehydrated apple pieces dressed up with artificial flavor and red #40.
In honor of strawberry season, let's make a cozy breakfast with real strawberries. Here in Oregon, the prize strawberries of summer are a variety called Hood strawberries. They are fleeting delight - usually available just 3 weeks of the year - but oh so worth the wait. Hoods have a beautiful strong aroma and are bright, bright red from their delicate outer skins all the way to their cores. Their soft texture made them perfect for mashing into this recipe. I really need to freeze some to enjoy later!! If you don't have access to Hood strawberries, just use the freshest, ripest strawberries you can find!
You might notice an unusual ingredient in this recipe: tocos. About a month ago, I suddenly started noticing this ingredient everywhere (here and here too!). Tocos is short for tocotrienols, which are a type of vitamin E. The ultra-fine powder derived from brown rice bran and it has a deliciously sweet and creamy taste. I've tried in it breakfast porridges, smoothies, and elixir drinks. Some people say that it can replace coffee creamer but that application just doesn't work for me. If you don't have tocos, use 1 Tbsp almond or cashew butter instead. Enjoy your breakfast!
Strawberries 'n Cream Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge
makes 1 serving
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup ripe strawberries
- 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Creamy Buckwheat Hot Cereal
- 1 Tbsp strawberry jam (adds a boost of strawberry flavor)
- 2 Tbsp freshly ground flax seed
- 1 Tbsp Tocos (substitute: almond or cashew butter)
- stevia to taste (optional)
- more strawberries
- drizzle coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp bee pollen
Heat almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. While almond milk is heating, mash strawberries in a bowl with a fork. When almond milk is just simmering, add buckwheat cereal, strawberries and strawberry jam. Set heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, or until porridge is thickened.
Remove porridge from heat and stir in flax seed and tocos or nut butter. You can also add stevia if you would like your porridge sweeter.
Pour into a bowl, add desired toppings, and enjoy!