“Yes” and “No”.
“NO”: Buckwheat is NOT a grain!
Yes! Buckwheat is Gluten Free! Yay!
Buckwheat is gluten free. We use it all the time without issue even with an extreme sensitivity to gluten.
For those needing non-allergenic options, buckwheat in all it’s forms is a delicious and nutritious gluten-free food. So if you—or your loved ones—have allergic sensitivities to gluten or celiac disease can enjoy this powerhouse grain.
Oh but wait… it’s not a grain!
The Grain That’s Not a Grain
Confused? So were we! We thought buckwheat was a grain because it’s generally classified as a grain and used as flour. Related to rhubarb and sorrel, buckwheat is actually a seed fruit that can yield a plethora of health benefits!
The name buckwheat is said to come from the Anglo-Saxon words boc (beech), and whoet (wheat), because the seed resembles a small beechnut and is similar in size to a wheat kernel.
Typically, buckwheat is milled into flour using special equipment due to its unusual shape, and often is most commonly used in North America for those buckwheat pancakes you may have heard of. Buckwheat that is not ground is referred to as groats or kasha.
When you eat fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re getting more than any ingredient label would disclose: armies of little yellow Pacmen known as flavonoids flood your system.
(If you’re old enough—or geeky enough—to know about those).
Like the old Pacman video game, these bright yellow flavonoids gobble up the bad guy free radicals. These flavonoid phytonutrients (non-vitamin nutrients) belong to the antioxidant army of phytonutrients. These are your body’s soldiers fighting to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure by maintaining blood flow and regulating platelets.
Buckwheat is rich in magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, B vitamins, dietary fiber, 8 essential amino acids, and is also a source of high quality protein and even contain omega 3 oils! So when choosing flour, organic whole-groat buckwheat flour is a good and healthy choice.
- B Vitamins
- Dietary Fiber
- 8 Essential Amino Acids
- Omega 3
How to Cook Buckwheat?
Below are a few ideas to jump start your creativity when using buckwheat!
Slurp It: Soba noodles, made of buckwheat flour, can be used in a variety of hot and cold dishes, for when you must have noodles, though keep all processed foods to a minimum to keep health to a maximum.
Try this: Vegetarian Soba Noodle Soup
Bake It: A gluten-free substitute for other flours; just remember the taste and texture may be different, so be patient and experiment. As always, you can find lots of recipes online, so go with the healthier options.
Try these Buckwheat-Quinoa Biscuits
Boil It: cook buckwheat like you would oatmeal! Or blend with oatmeal!
Try this Buckwheat, Oatmeal and Amaranth Hot Cereal
Blend It: Blend into your smoothies with fruit and protein powder for a hearty and nutrient packed beverage.
Try this Berry Smoothie
Toss It: add grain like texture to salads using seasonings, herbs and spices!
Try this Lentil and Buckwheat salad recipe!
Love It? Like It…? Let us know what you think and how you prepared it.
Buckwheat is super awesome… and you can even sleep on it! Yep. It’s been used for centuries in Japan… for pillows, for hot and cold therapy wraps, as well as for migraine, neck and eye relief.
Reference: American Society for Nutrition