Buckwheat, despite the name, is actually a fruit related to the rhubarb plant. However, it is still considered a ‘psuedocereal’ because of it’s characteristics mimicking that of a cereal grain. Buckwheat is 100% naturally gluten free (ideal for people with celiac) but still 100% great tasting.
Among other things, it contains high amounts of vitamins and key nutrients such as zinc, copper, manganese, choline, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains 8 essential amino acids required by the body. Some studies have found possible protection or management of diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Furthermore, Buckwheat contains a relatively high amount of protein, second to oats, but the bioavailability has seen to be slightly lower. You can buy buckwheat flour in the grocery store next to all the other flours in the baking section. The darker flour contains the husk of the grain therefore providing more of the protein content.
I got curious one day to try buckwheat in the kitchen, I didn’t have a recipe but I wanted to start small and make pancakes. Buckwheat seemed to have recently exploded in popularity and I wanted to see what the hype was about. I didn’t quite know the consistency it needed to be nor did I know how thick the batter could get, it was an experiment to say the least.
If your palate is not yet used to it, buckwheat is quite different in the taste AND texture category. The flour it creates feels soft and refined but when added to a liquid it becomes lava-like and thick as oatmeal. Keep in mind these characteristics when using it as a base for pancakes or bread. The consistency should be somewhat watery, don’t worry because it will bulk up when heated.
makes 4 pancakes
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- Pre-heat a skillet over medium/low heat.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, baking powder, and baking soda until combined.
- Add the egg, butter, vanilla extract, and milk to the flour mixture. Whisk together well. Fold in the blueberries.
- Pour the prepared batter (into four pancakes) on the skillet and cook thoroughly. Serve with warmed fruit and syrup.
The Best Things You Can Eat. 2013. David Grotto RD LDN
Buckwheat: December Grain of the Month. wholegraincouncil.org
Healing Foods- eat your way to a healthier life. DK books. May 2013.
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