“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
Our Favorite Breakfast Bake
Gluten Free Buckwheat is an amazingly adaptable food. We use it in so many things, and one of our staple breakfast bakes is this GF bar that also has coconut and almond flours.
This next recipe was originally a buckwheat pancake recipe. We like to make things into coffee cake like breakfast bakes because it takes less time than standing at the griddle making pancakes. However, if you insist, you can still enjoy them with some butter and maple syrup. 😇 Speaking of butter, you may enjoy them with some excellent butter coffee, my daily favorite!
Now most important: adapt it using whatever your have on hand. It’s like coffee cake; the recipe is very adaptable to replacing one thing for another. We’ll list some replacement options we’ve tried at the end of the recipe.
Gluten Free Buckwheat Breakfast Bake
- 3 cups Buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup Coconut flour
- 1 cup Almond flour
- 3 tsp Baking powder
- 6 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 6 Tbsp Chia seeds
- 1.5 cups Applesauce, unsweetened
- 1/2 cups Maple syrup
- 12 eggs
- 2 cups Almond milk, unsweetened
- 2 cups Blueberries (optional)
All kinds of substitutions are possible. Our favorites include ripe elderberries, ripe bananas or occasionally, chocolate chunks.
- Preheat oven to 350℉
- Grease one 9″x14″ oven-safe baking dish (or two smaller ones) with coconut oil.
- Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix together until incorporated.
Pour batter into greased baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes until, like a cake, it bounces back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. So firm but moist.
We cut these into 12-15 pieces
If you don’t have all of these on hand, here are some of the substitutions we’ve done:
- Coconut Flower for other flours such as hazelnut, chestnut, oat
- Replace coconut oil with butter or reverse the quantities so that it’s more butter and less coconut oil if you’re not sure how you’ll like the coconut oil
- Omit chia seeds for flax seeds, hemp seeds, poppy, nuts, or nothing
- Maple syrup can be substituted with honey or more applesauce
- Almond milk for coconut, oat, hemp or regular milk
- Blueberries for elderberries, bananas, raisins, nuts, chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)
Experiment and enjoy!!