Amazing and versatile buckwheat is one of the corner stones of my kitchen and recipe developement.
Buckwheat facts and myths
Buckwheat has been cultivated for thousands of years. It’s origins lies somewhere in China and even in Finland it has been grown already 7000 years ago. Nowadays it’s cultivated all around the world, it’s easy to grow in cold climate and poor soil. The biggest producers are Russia and China.
Despite it’s name Buckwheat is not a grain but retaled to rhubarb. It’s naturally gluten free, but if you are celiac make sure to purchase buckwheat products that haven’t been handled in the same production lines as grains. The same as with oat, buckwheat has to be “clean”.
For the past decades buckwheat has been some what under appreciated but it’s making its way back to be an honoured part of modern cuisine all over the world. Classical cuisines, such as French, Italian, Russian and Japanese all have buckwheat dishes that are known everywhere, such as galettes, pizzoccheri, blinis and soba noodles.
Buckwheat helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and it might prevent diabetes. It’s carbohydrates don’t cause a peak in blood sugar levels but help to keep them solid.
Buckwheat is mostly carbohydrates and it has a very good protein profile including all the amino acids. It’s protein is not very well absorbing though. It’s not very rich in vitamins but the riboflavin and niacin levels are good in it. Eating 100 grams of buckwheat will cover the daily intake values as presented below:
- Magnesium 58 %
- Phosphorus 35 %
- Copper 55 %
- Magnanese 65 %
Buckwheat is a good source of iron, zinc, selenium and potassium.
How to buy and consume buckwheat?
Buckwheat can be bought in groats – whole or broken, flour, and meal. There is no need to wash the groats before boiling but soaking them makes them to cook faster. Roasted groats are called kasha. The groats can be sprouted.