Though Buckwheat has the word “Wheat” in its name it has nothing to do with wheat at all. It is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel.
It is becoming very popular as a food for some very good reasons.
It is both highly nutritious and very tasty. It works really well as a replacement for rice, couscous, bulgur wheat and makes a lovely porridge too.
To use Buckwheat as a replacement for rice, couscous and bulgur wheat you would need to use the Buckwheat groats/chips. Whereas for porridge you would use Buckwheat flakes.
Buckwheat is a great source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.
Buckwheat’s beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly Rutin. Flavonoids are phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the action of vitamin C and acting as antioxidants.
It may be helpful in the management of diabetes. Canadian researchers in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry have found that it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat products.
Buckwheat is also a good source of magnesium. This mineral relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure—the perfect combination for a healthy cardiovascular system. So it is good for maintaining a healthy heart.
It is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.
Buckwheat seeds are also a very rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre.
100 g provide 10 g or 26% of daily requirement of fibre. Fibre increases the bulkiness of the food and helps prevent constipation problems by speeding up bowel movements through the gut.
Buckwheat is not a grain, so it is good for those who are coeliac and those on grain and gluten free diets.
Buckwheat is also ground and is available as flour. This is great for making gluten free pancakes.
Vegetable Buckwheat Risotto
Gluten, dairy, and yeast free
175gms/6oz buckwheat grains rinsed
1 litre/2.2 pints Kallo yeast free vegetable stock
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
225gms/8oz of Broccoli, divided into florets and with slices of stalk
225gms/8oz carrots, grated
1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced and chopped into small pieces
Cook the buckwheat in the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes add the broccoli and the carrots and continue cooking. Drain the buckwheat.
Heat the olive oil and gently fry the onions and the garlic until translucent.
Stir in the buckwheat and vegetables and chopped parsley.
Serve with your favourite green vegetable.