Have You Tried It: Buckwheat

Buckwheat Field

Buckwheat Field

Buckwheat is actually not a wheat or grass but a member of the sorrel family. It originated in Southeast Asia and is primarily grown as a cover crop. (A cover crop is commonly used during “off-season” growing to protect and enhance the soil.) It’s a short-season crop that loves acidic soil and lots of drainage making it perfect for mountainous regions and sandy soils.

Buckwheat is used for its seeds, which look like little pyramids, and is gluten-free so it’s a great food to try if you or someone in your family has wheat allergies.

Buckwheat Groats (Seeds)

Buckwheat Groats (Seeds)

One cup of cooked buckwheat has about 155 calories and about 18% of your daily recommended value of fiber.  It also has 6 grams of protein and is a good source of iron and magnesium.

Probably the most familiar product using buckwheat are buckwheat pancakes, as buckwheat is often milled into flour and used in bakery items.  But, soba noodles, a popular Asian noodle, are made from buckwheat as well.  We’re also seeing buckwheat used in cereals, crackers and granola bars.

Products we found in our local grocery stores using buckwheat.

Products we found in our local grocery stores using buckwheat.

There are lots of ways you can cook with buckwheat.  For example, buckwheat flour can be substituted for about 50% of your all-purpose flour in cookie or muffin recipes. Click here to learn more about baking with buckwheat flour.

Buckweat groats (the seeds) can be heated with some hot water or milk and combined with your favorite fruit or sweetener for a hot cereal in on a cold morning. It’s also great in soups and stews or in salads.

If you’re interested in purchasing bulk quantities (50-pounds or more) of certified organic buckwheat, please contact us via www.HQOrganics.com. To learn more about buckwheat, read these informative articles:

Buckwheat 101 by the Washington Post

Buckwheat flour in backing and cooking by the L.A. Times

Buck-wild for buckwheat by the Wall Street Journal

Dr. Perricone’s No. 5 Superfood: Buckwheat via Oprah.com

3 responses to “Have You Tried It: Buckwheat

  1. I love buckwheat, and I’m excited to see you drawing attention to it! I definitely think it’s an under-appreciated grain in the U.S.

    My dad is allergic to wheat, so I grew up around a lot of “unusual” grains, and buckwheat was one of them. I like it because it has some of the characteristics of rice, and can be cooked somewhat like it, but has a radically different flavor…much more meaty and robust.

    We most frequently ate it in the form of “Kasha”, lightly toasted buckwheat kernels which we’d then cook up kinda like rice. I love it…I’ve even made my own by buying raw buckwheat kernels and then toasting it in a pan on the stove before cooking it like rice.

    And I’ve also had the buckwheat pancakes you mention, and love them too!

    • Alex, Thanks so much for your comment! We’re having fun exploring ancient grains and learning about new ways to cook and bake with them. Please feel free to share your favorite recipes! What other ancient grains do you cook with? Any favorites? Kindly, Angela HQO Marketing Manager

  2. I regularly use quinoa. I’ve also had amaranth, teff, and millet, all as whole grains–I’ve never baked with these, although I’ve baked with rye and rice flour. I used to work at a bakery, and we used several grain mixes with a variety of ancient grains in them, but I don’t have enough experience working with each flour individually to know its consistency.

    Quinoa and buckwheat are my favorites to cook as whole grains. I like quinoa most in cold, salad forms, like with finely diced cucumber and red pepper, with olive oil, coriander, and the like to make a mild dressing.

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