Learn how to cook buckwheat in my step-by-step tutorial. Add buckwheat to your menu for its nutritional benefit and include my creative recipes in your meals.
What is buckwheat?
Buckwheat is cereal and part of the rhubarb family, although it’s not related to wheat or other grains and therefore gluten-free. Buckwheat is also rich in fiber and antioxidants.
It has a distinct flavor that may take some getting used to for beginners, but it pairs well with root vegetables so you can try making roasted broccoli cheese potato topped with cooked buckwheat groats (also known as kasha).
Buckwheat also makes great salads; one popular combination is Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Sweet Potatoes, sprinkle with cooked buckwheat: Rinse your buckwheat well before cooking.
Cook it like rice in boiling water or broth (ratio of 1 cup buckwheat to 1 1/2 cups liquid) for 12-15 minutes until tender.
Cooking tips: If you wish to sprinkle buckwheat on a soup or stew, instead of cooking it in a pot, simply toast the groats over medium heat in a dry pan for two to three minutes, then add them directly to your pot for a crunchy texture.
Make it healthy!: Despite its health benefits, most commercially grown buckwheat is heavily sprayed with chemicals. This is why buying organic whenever possible is so important.
How to cook buckwheat
Buckwheat is usually used to make porridge, pancakes, and noodles.
Rinse your buckwheat to remove any dirt or impurities.
Add one part buckwheat to 1 1/2 cups water, cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed by the grain; then serve.
Recipes for cooking with buckwheat
- Heat a large dry saucepan over medium heat. Add buckwheat and cook, stirring frequently for two to three minutes until all kernels are toasted and fragrant.
- Pour water into the saucepan with the buckwheat and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until water is absorbed for about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes before serving or add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon vegan butter if desired and fluff with fork before serving.
- Serve with salt and your choice of toppings such as non-dairy milk, sliced fruit, chopped nuts or seeds, nut/seed butter, jam/preserves, maple syrup, or agave nectar.
- You can also add cooked buckwheat to bread or muffin recipes for an extra crunchy texture and flavor. Add it to soups and stews for a nutritious base instead of barley.
Here are a few suggestions on how to cook
-Use buckwheat in place of rice in your favorite Vegan Rice Recipes.
-Buckwheat can be dry-roasted, sauteed, or boiled with seasoning to create flavor.
-Buckwheat is also an excellent substitute for rice in soup or stew recipes.
-Add buckwheat to bread or muffin recipes for extra texture and crunch.
-Use buckwheat in place of barley in your favorite soup recipe.
-For an easy side dish, mix cooked buckwheat with olive oil or vegan butter, and salt.
What are some of the health benefits of buckwheat?
Buckwheat is not a cereal, rather it is an herb that is related to rhubarb, knotweed, and sorrel. It was originally cultivated in Asia with the most modern production occurring in Russia, Poland, and China.
Buckwheat has been eaten for generations by people who live in mountainous regions where other crops do not grow well.
It has also become popular with people who follow vegetarian diets because it contains large amounts of proteins even though it isn’t a legume.
Today, many cultures have embraced this versatile whole grain which can be cooked into porridge similar to oatmeal or ground into flour that can be used to make or noodles.
The flavor of buckwheat is subtle but distinct, which makes it suitable for pairing with a variety of foods. It can be served as part of the main course or snack and tastes great in salads.
Most buckwheat is light tan-colored but some varieties are dark brown or even black.
The kernels contain two distinct parts – the outer husk and the germ that contains the endosperm, embryo, bran layer, and aleurone layer. The germ accounts for about 15 percent of the total weight.
Buckwheat has an earthy flavor that tastes bitter to Some people but it doesn’t have any bitterness until it becomes overcooked. It is also gluten-free making it a healthy alternative for people who suffer from Celiac disease or wheat intolerance.
The two most popular types are whole buckwheat, which is simply the entire kernel, and buckwheat groats.
The latter has had the husk removed to reduce bitterness. Groats can also be milled into flour or used as a thickener in soups and stews.
Buckwheat is available at many grocery stores but it is best to purchase organic varieties from health food markets and specialty food stores because they tend to come from small local growers and may be grown without pesticides and herbicides that can contaminate other crops.
Organic buckwheat kernels are also available but the kernels need to be separated before cooking
There are many ways to cook buckwheat, whether it’s dry-roasted, sauteed/boiled with seasoning, used in place of rice and in pasta dishes, mixed with fruit and consumed as cereal, added into soups or casseroles like barley, or combined with nuts and seeds for an easy healthy snack. Buckwheat is gluten-free and contains high amounts of proteins. It can be bought at health food markets or supermarkets; organic varieties tend to come from small local growers which means they may not carry pesticides/herbicides that contaminate other crops.
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