Serves: 1

Gluten-free / Dairy-free / Vegan / Refined Sugar-free

For a long time now my breakfast has been a leafy green smoothie or a berry smoothie, but with the colder mornings we've been having I've been really craving warm creamy porridge. I don't normally eat grains and am gluten-free, so an oat porridge isn't really an option, but there is an alternative! 

Thinking back to when I did eat oat porridge it never seemed to keep me full long enough. I was always reaching for something else within the hour. This is probably due to the fact that most porridges for sale are quite processed. By the time it's ready for sale and has been heated by you at home, it doesn't have a lot more to offer nutritionally than cardboard. 

If porridge is something you love, then make sure you are buying organic gluten-free oats, as they will be minimally processed, or make your own. Heres how: Buy organic whole-grain oats, give them a quick whizz in the food processor until  you have the consistency of uncooked porridge oats. Soak overnight to remove the phytates (enzyme inhibitors) making them digest easily and the nutrients far more available to for your body to assimilate. Rinse off the soak water in the morning and then cook as you would normal porridge, or just eat as is with some hot water stirred through and lovely plant-based milk. 

The buckwheat bircher version is so delicious and really does satiate me, getting me through to the afternoon. I think the best part about this is that it requires no cooking or clean up, you can change the flavours to what is in season. It's also naturally sweet and doesn't need any sugar on top like porridge does - unless you want to of course, it does make for a scrumptious treat every once in a while! It's also the perfect baby food and has the most amazing texture.

If you like, you can heat this in the pot after soaking overnight with a little coconut or almond milk to make a hot buckwheat porridge. I usually just stir through a little hot water before I add my milk so it's nice and warm.

Gluten-free Apple, Lemon & Buckwheat Bircher


1/2 cup buckwheat groats*
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 apple, grated
zest and juice from half a lemon
filtered water for soaking
almond or coconut milk to serve
coconut nectar, honey or real maple syrup to serve, optional


  1. In a breakfast bowl, add buckwheat groats and cover with filtered water. Leave to soak overnight, or for at least 1-2 hours.
  2. In the morning, rinse the groats and return to the bowl. Stir through grated apple, lemon and coconut. Top with your favourite homemade plant milk and drizzle with a little sweetener if desired.


* Buckwheat groats can be found at the organic green grocer on Tasman Street if you live in Nelson, and would be available from any good organic/health shop nation wide.

*refined sugar-free


Hayley Richards

Hello! I'm Hayley - a certified nutritionist and holistic health coach by trade, a living & whole-foods chef and wellness enthusiast by passion. I'm amazingly blessed to live in sunny Nelson NZ with my gorgeous partner and three delicious daughters.