Well, since Buckwheat is the December Whole Grain Council grain of the month, I thought I better not let the month go by without giving it the attention it deserves. With a truckload of allergies of my own and two allergen sensitive grandkids, I am always looking for wheat and gluten free foods. Buckwheat is both. If you haven’t tried it, now is a great time to start!
If you thinking “Oh no, cereal,” think again. Buckwheat – which is not a grain at all but actually a fruit seed, can be put to use in soba noodles, breads and almost anything you can think of where wheat or wheat flour might be used. It’s high in lysine and both soluble and insoluble fiber, and has been shown to help lower blood glucose and insulin responses.
It is higher in B-complex vitamins, than quinoa, especially riboflavin (vitamin B2) and sports a significant concentration of minerals like copper, and magnesium. Copper is necessary for the production of red blood cells, and magnesium relaxes blood vessels leading to brain. It has also been found to have curative effects on depression, and headache.
Whole buckwheats score highest of all “grains” in their ability to satisfy hunger, which is not surprising given its fiber content. Some evidence suggests it can help protect post menopausal women from breast cancer, and according to a study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, “Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can also help women avoid gallstones.”
Where to find Buckwheat:
This super food is easy to find in most food stores, but if you don’t want to go out shopping, you can order organic non GMO Buckwheat here.
Experiment on your own or try this, (and other) delicious recipes from The Healthy Foodie:
Buckwheat “Garden Salad”
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ chayotte, finely diced
- 12 large green olives, pitted and quartered
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
- 50g walnut, chopped
- ½ cup fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tbs fresh mint, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
1) In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add buckwheat groats, reduce heat, cover and cook until all water has absorbed, about 10 minutes.
2) Remove lid and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. You can also cook your buckwheat groats the previous day and let them cool overnight.
3) Add all ingredients, including cooled buckwheat to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
4) Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) to allow for flavors to develop.
Huffington Post has a list of ten mouthwatering recipes that are healthy and uncomplicated, including one for Buckwheat Risotto, Pita and even a Parfait!
Babble also has a list of fourteen yummy looking recipes. The one below for mushroom and swiss crepes is on my dinner of the week list. They recommend it as a summer dish, but it sure seems like a winter comfort meal to me. They also point out that “Having a big stack of pre-made crepes in your fridge or freezer makes for a host of quick lunch options.” Love that!
Directions say “Simply heat and add mushroom and swiss, sautéed greens, or a simple fruit and yogurt filling.”
Classic Buckwheat Crepes (adapted from David Lebovitz) – makes 20 or so crepes
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in all of the remaining ingredients. Cover bowl and chill overnight.
Set the batter out to come to room temperature for an hour before cooking. Preheat a large 10″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small pat of butter and use a paper towel to quickly spread the butter around the pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan so that the batter spreads into a circle. Cook each side for 1 – 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Unused crepes can easily be stored wrapped in the fridge for a couple of days, or frozen for several months.