Grain of the Week: Buckwheat

Buckwheat


Many who are trying to avoid grains find themselves limited to fruit and sweet potatoes as sources of good carbs. Even though it’s often included in lists of grains, buckwheat is not a grain. The edible portion is a seed from a plant related to greens like rhubarb and sorrel.

 

Heath Benefits of Buckwheat:

  • Because it is neither a grain nor related to wheat, buckwheat is gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
  • Buckwheat is high in essential nutrients. It is rich in many trace minerals, including manganese, magnesium and copper. It is also a good source of the B vitamins: B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, thiamin and cholin
  • Buckwheat has resistant fiber. Resistant fiber is a compound shown to lower blood sugar after meals, help weight loss, reduce food cravings and improve diabetes.
  • The protein level in buckwheat grains is in the range of 11-14 g per 100 g; relatively less than that in quinoa and pulses. Nonetheless, it composes almost all of the essential amino acids at right proportions, especially lysine which otherwise is a limiting amino acid in grains like wheat, maize, rice, etc.

 

How to use Buckwheat:

Buckwheat is easy to work with. It comes in the form of groats (toasted or raw), noodles and flour. The raw groats are available completely raw or sprouted. The completely raw groats work great for making a grain-free, hot cereal.

 

Tips for Preparing Buckwheat:

Like all grains, buckwheat should be rinsed thoroughly under running water before cooking, and any dirt or debris should be removed. After rinsing, add one part buckwheat to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

 

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Combine buckwheat flour with whole wheat flour to make delicious breads, muffins and pancakes.
  • Cook up a pot of buckwheat for a change of pace from hot oatmeal as a delicious hearty breakfast cereal.
  • Add cooked buckwheat to soups or stews to give them a hardier flavor and deeper texture.
  • Add chopped chicken, garden peas, pumpkin seeds and scallions to cooked and cooled buckwheat for a delightful lunch or dinner salad.

 

Nutrition Breakdown for ¼ cup Raw Buckwheat:

Calories 145, Fat 1.4g Carbs:30.4g, Fiber 4.2g Protein 5.6g, 

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