healthy + seasonal recipes that are gluten & dairy-free

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote

A naturally gluten free baked porridge that is vegan, healthy, and so lovely on a chilly day. Topped with a quick compote made with black plums, convenient frozen blueberries, maple syrup and lavender buds, plus whatever fresh fruits or superfoods you like.  I used golden berries, figs, and gogi berries but I think that pomegranate arils and clementine slices would be a lovely seasonal addition!

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote (gf + v) // my natural kitchen

There are so many recipes that I am excited to share, several in the domain of sweet treats and company-worthy/celebratory breakfasts, but at the moment what I’m really craving is a healthy breakfast and I’m wondering if you might be feeling the same way? The holidays have a way of tipping the healthy food vs. not-so scale. I embrace the celebrations and put my spin on the dishes and desserts at the table (so they’re a bit more healthfully inclined) but still end up eating much more (baking! drinks! chocolate!) than I usually do and it’s time to get back on track.

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote (gf + v) // my natural kitchen
Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote (gf + v) // my natural kitchen
Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote (gf + v) // my natural kitchen

Even though there has been snow around here on and off since November, we had a very mild Christmas this year. Not a snowflake in sight, and warm enough that on Saturday, there was a bonfire at my sister’s house. It feels so odd to see the shift that’s taken place the last few years – from consistently snowy and cold Ontario Christmases to some that are grey, green and temperate. The holiday feeling is still there, but overall things are just less picturesque (snow is so pretty!). It was so mild out that this weekend, I turned off our furnace and opened a window because our house was getting very hot thanks to my incessant use of the oven lately. A few hours later, we had a party to attend and so we left the house and returned only briefly to change clothes before heading to Zach’s show. I got home before he did and headed straight to bed. It was cold, but I just figured that it was my “normal” level of cold and the thermostat didn’t even come to mind. The next morning, we awoke to a frigid 63 degrees and a slightly irrational Zach telling me that the pipes could have froze when I explained that I had forgotten to turn the furnace back on (oops!) 

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote (gf + v) // my natural kitchen

Anyways, let’s move on to this porridge! Amaranth porridge quickly became a favourite of mine over the last year. I have already shared a version with you before (and still highly, highly recommend it) but this one is more of a hands-off, let the oven do the work type of affair, which is especially nice when you’ve got other things going on or would rather be sitting on the sofa than standing over the stove-top. The compote I serve it with takes about 10 minutes, tops. A healthy, nourishing, getyoubackonthehealthytrack type of deal ;) 

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote (gf + v) // my natural kitchen

Hope you all have had the most wonderful holiday this year!

 

Baked Amaranth Porridge with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote

Serves 2-3. I’ve included the option to slightly sweeten the porridge but the compote itself is pretty sweet, so you might find that the extra maple syrup in the porridge is unnecessary. You can easily omit the lavender if it’s not your thing or you don’t have any – the compote would be really nice as-is, or you could add a bit of cardamom in place of the lavender. If you’re into room-temperature porridge, leftovers keep well – I tend to bring extras with me to have for breakfast at work and it’s a really nice way to take a pause in the morning. 

½ cup amaranth, soaked overnight in a nut milk bag if you have one/think of it (skip this step if you need to)

1 cup coconut milk, canned

½ cup water

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp maple syrup (optional)

a pinch of sea salt

 

Plum, Blueberry + Lavender Compote

3 small black plums, sliced into eighths

½ cup frozen wild blueberries

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp coconut sugar, or granulated sugar of your choice

1/8 tsp lavender buds, crushed

¼ cup maple syrup

 

Additional toppings:

gogi berries

golden berries

fresh figs

pomegranate arils

clementine slices

bee pollen

zest from an orange or clementine

a very small amount of additional lavender buds (not too much, to avoid the “soapy” taste)

a splash of almond, cashew, or coconut milk

½ - 1 tsp maca powder (to stir into the porridge before serving)

activated chia gel (combine 2 tsp chia seeds with ½ cup water and set aside for 15 minutes)

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the porridge ingredients in an oven-safe dish, stir well, and set in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until a creamy porridge emerges. Amaranth seeds maintain their shape when cooked, but they should not remain hard (just firm).

Set a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp coconut oil to the pan. Once the coconut oil melts, add the plums and sauté for a few minutes. Add the coconut sugar and cook for another minute. Add the frozen blueberries, lavender buds, and maple syrup and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside as the porridge bakes.

If using gogi berries to garnish, set them to soak in a small amount of water now to soften them as the porridge bakes.

After 45 minutes, remove the dish of porridge from the oven and stir once more. Add any superfood additions now (like maca powder or activated chia gel), if you like. Portion the porridge into two large (or three smaller) servings, and top with Plum, Blueberry + Lavender compote, and any other additional toppings of your choice (I’ve included a list in the ingredients section, for inspiration).

Happy healthy eating!

 

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