What is buckwheat?:
Buckwheat is thought to have originated in China but it most often appears in recipes from Russia, France and Japan for pancakes, blinis, crêpes and soba noodles.
Other than being used in pancake mixes, buckwheat isn't much of a mainstay in recipes in the US. That's too bad because this unique GF food tastes great and can really boost the nutritional value of gluten-free recipes.
How is buckwheat sold?:
Buckwheat contains high quality plant proteins:
Buckwheat is a rich source of antioxidants:
Like citrus fruits, buckwheat is a rich source of rutin, a powerful flavonoid antioxidant. It's also is a good source of Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants prevent cell damage and support good health. A gluten-free flour that's high in antioxidants is a real bonus!
Buckwheat is an excellent source of minerals:
- 4 times more iron
- 3 times more calcium
- Over 9 times more magnesium
- Almost 6 times more potassium
- About twice as much zinc, copper and manganese
Source: Nutritional comparison in mineral characteristics between buckwheat and cereals, Sayoko Ikeda, et al, Gakuin University, Kobe Japan, August 2006
Buckwheat is a good source of soluble dietary fiber:
1 cup of hulled buckwheat cereal contains about 4.5 grams of fiber. In comparison 1 cup of oatmeal contains about 3.96 grams of fiber.Source: USDA Standard Reference Version 20
How to Use Buckwheat in Gluten-Free Recipes:
Use whole dark buckwheat flour to make earthy Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crêpes and Gluten-Free Pancakes.
- Use light buckwheat flour to replace up to half the rice, bean, sorghum or soy flour used in gluten-free recipes for cookies, muffins, rolls and bread. Gluten-Free English Muffins are a good example of a recipe in which a portion of the total gluten-free flour blend was replaced with light buckwheat flour with great results. Light buckwheat flour also works extremely well as a thickener for soups, stews and sauces.
- Buckwheat groats are milled by hulling the whole buckwheat kernel and lightly crushing it. Groats can be served as a hot cereal or used to grind homemade light buckwheat flour.
- Kasha is made by toasting buckwheat groats. Toasted kasha has a delicious nutty flavor. It can be used in granola recipes, served as a hot comforting cereal or as an Easy Kasha Side Dish.
More gluten-free recipes that contain buckwheat: