We’re committed to discovering new healthy and delicious food trends. This month we’re putting buckwheat, considered one of the healthiest and easy to cook grains, in the spotlight.
What makes Buckwheat healthy?
Buckwheat is not a type of wheat. It’s a seed harvested from a flowering plant related to rhubarb. It is naturally gluten-free and rich in fibre and minerals.
It’s considered an excellent source of plant-based protein, which means that it’s a great choice for vegetarian and vegan diets. This protein contains all 9 essential amino acids that humans do not produce naturally and must consume through food.
Buckwheat contains many minerals including potassium, magnesium, B-6, vitamin K and folate to name a few. It also ranks low on the Glycaemic scale and is a great source of fibre to support digestive health.
Great benefits and great taste
Buckwheat has a wonderfully nutty and robust ﬂavour, welcoming comparisons to hops (of beer). It maybe trendy with bakers now, but boasts a long history in Asia, where it’s consumed in the form of noodles such as soba, as buckwheat crepes (available at Suzette in Mumbai), and used to make a type of Eastern European porridge called kasha. Recently Amazon India has started retailing roasted and raw buckwheat.
How do you cook it?
Buckwheat is earthy and robust, it pairs well with beetroot, dark spices, mushrooms, dried fruit and walnuts.
Whole buckwheat groats are usually sold raw or roasted. Roasted buckwheat is richer in flavour and soft once cooked compared to raw groats, which aren’t as flavourful and more chewy. Both options have to be cooked as you would cook rice.
To cook whole buckwheat groats: Add one cup of dried grain with 2 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. This will yield 4 cups of cooked grain. It can be used as a side dish for a curry or to replace rice in a salad or can be served as a standalone porridge, risotto-style dish.
Cooked buckwheat can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, so you can cook up a big batch and use it throughout the week.
We recommend roasted buckwheat for any of the following recipes:
Breakfast recipe (15 mins cooking time)
Season cooked buckwheat with rock salt, black paper and black truffle paste or truffle oil. It’s an excellent pairing and a deeply satisfying dish.
Lunch recipe (25 mins cooking time)
The easiest and delicious buckwheat and mushroom pairing.
Melt 1 tea spoon of butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned (about 6-10 mins). Add buckwheat. Mix well on medium heat for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnish with parsley, if desired. Herbs are always a welcome addition of minerals and antioxidants.
Dinner recipe (30 mins cooking time)
- 1 cup cooked buckwheat
- ½ fresh cucumber
- 1 large yellow pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4-5 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt for seasoning
- A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Wash and cut the vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Transfer them into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley (add as much as you like). Add cooked buckwheat and mix well.
Serve it warm or cold.
The beauty of this salad recipe is that it’s so versatile! You can play around with the recipe by adding different vegetables and salad leaves such as arugula, fresh baby spinach or herbs. Those who don’t follow a vegan diet can add a boiled egg or goat cheese or feta.
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