maple cinnamon buckwheat crispies and vanilla carob sesame milk with strawberries and bananas
i made my own cereal! it was most exciting, and i can’t wait to try out different variations. texturally and physically, they resemble corn flakes, but the flavor of these maple cinnamon buckwheat crispies far surpasses any storebought cereal i’ve ever had. and hello! they’re made of buckwheat, which is way better for you than corn. i used the recipe from raw food real world, only i cut back on the sweeteners. all you do, really, is soak buckwheat for an hour, drain it, and pulse it in the food processor with maple syrup, cinnamon, and a little salt (i omitted the stevia, since i’m not a fan). then spread it on some dehydrator sheets and let the fans do their thing for about 12 hours, flipping towards the end. then you break them up into “flakes” and store them in an airtight container. (if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also dry them in the sun. this will take more or less time depending on the humidity where you live.)
in addition the great taste, they stay crispy in milk for a long time! that is a big plus for me, as soggy cereal is one of the worst things i know. and speaking of milk, i’ve been experimenting beyond my usual almond milk, and most recently have been wanting to try out some nut-free milks. first i made pepita (raw pumpkin seed) milk, which was the faintest tint of green and probably would have tasted a lot better if i hadn’t oversalted it. not to be disheartened, i tried again, this time with sesame seeds. if you’re like me, you might be thinking what? sesame milk? and while it’s not as neutral as a nut milk or rice milk, the taste is quite a sophisticated base for other additions. i sampled it plain and nearly as thick as a creamer – it was drinking a subtle, thin tahini.
plain sesame “cream”
since i was planning to use it for breakfast-y, drink-y purposes, i decided to add some other things. i thinned it out with more water, sweetened it with agave nectar, added some raw carob powder, and scraped the seeds out of half a vanilla bean. i don’t buy vanilla beans very often; in fact, this is only the second time in my life i have (the first time was last fall). there is a huge difference between vanilla extract and a vanilla bean, beyond the fact that the extract contains alcohol or glycerin. there is something earthier and, for lack of a better term, sexier about that little dark wrinkled pod and its aroma. but my favorite part, really, is the tiny little black specks that color the neutral shade of a good homemade vegan milk (or ice cream!).
the only thing i would do differently with this milk next time is add more carob powder, for a richer color and a little more flavor. then again, i really love carob! i bet some cocoa powder would work just as well if you’re into that whole chocolate thing. and i apologize for the poor picture quality – i made this the day of a big dark storm:
vanilla carob sesame milk (makes about 1 quart):
1 c raw sesame seeds, plus soaking water
1 quart filtered water, divided
2-3 tbsp agave nectar (or to taste)
2 tbsp carob powder
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of salt
soak the sesame seeds in two or more cups water for 6 hours or overnight. drain and rinse. place the sesame seeds in a blender with two fresh cups of water and blend for a few minutes, until smooth. strain through a nutmilk bag (or several layers of cheesecloth) into a bowl and rinse out your blender. return strained milk to blender. if you want a really thick milk, you don’t need to add as much water, but i found the thinned version to still be quite creamy (and less intense on the tahini flavor). add the remaining water, carob, vanilla, and salt, and blend until thoroughly mix. store in the refrigerator, and shake before serving, as it will separate.
(alternatively, you could cheat and add a few tablespoons of tahini to a quart of water with the rest of the ingredients, and then blend those for a few minutes, if you’re short on time or don’t have access to bulk sesame seeds. i’ve done it with nut butters and found the taste to be a little different, but i can’t vouch for the tahini version by experience, although i know many people do make sesame milk this way.)
a tasty milk for a tasty cereal, topped off with strawberries and bananas. are there any flavor combinations you think would be a good idea for new batches of the cereal or the milk?