Buckwheat, it’s not a grain at all, it is in fact a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. And being gluten-free, with a grain-like texture, it can be used as a great alternative to many gluten-containing grains.
Buckwheat has a wonderful nutty, earthy flavour. It has a low GI so it will give you sustained, slow-release energy. It also has a high protein content of around 13%, having all the essential amino acids, being especially high in Lysine, Tryptophan and Arginine. Tryptophan helps in the production of serotonin, so like one of our other favourite ingredients (cacao), buckwheat can help us feel good!
The list goes on, buckwheat is also high in dietary fibre (around 10%) and the essential minerals magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper. Finally, it is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant polyphenols, especially rutin, which can help to reduce blood pressure.
Buckwheat normally comes either as whole seeds (often referred to as groats) or flour. The groats can be used in many of the same ways as rice and other grains. Buckwheat porridge is a great way to start the day. Spices such as cinnamon and fruits such as banana and strawberries are great accompaniments that can be used.
At lunch-time you can make a salad using buckwheat in a similar way to pearl barley. The buckwheat needs to be cooked then allowed to cool, before being tossed through a nice garden salad.
Buckwheat flour is a great gluten-free option to replace wheat flour in recipes, although it is heavier and has a stronger flavour in comparison.
We often used buckwheat flour when making pancakes, and it can also be used to make noodles. You may have eaten Soba noodles at a Japanese restaurant, well soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat.
We hope this has inspired you to give buckwheat a try. It really is so good for you and its versatility means it can be used for any meal at any time of the day. If you’ve got a buckwheat recipe that you love, please let us know in the comments section!