Buckwheat Should Be a New Pantry Staple


Country Moon

Growing up I remember many a morning waking up to the smell of buckwheat pancakes. Those stacks of sweet, nutty wholesomeness slathered with rich maple syrup made for the best breakfast ever.

That was over 40 years ago and today buckwheat is making a comeback into folks’ kitchens. A lot of this renewed interest is because of the gluten free movement. It is more readily available than other non-wheat flours. Wait a minute, did I say non-wheat? Yep, buckwheat is literally in a class of its own.

Buckwheat is a pseudo-cereal, neither grass nor grain and has nothing to do with wheat. Instead, it is a fruit that is related to wild rhubarb. Its name came from the Dutch which means “the fruit of.” It is a popular plant to grow in many parts of the world because it is hardy and survives difficult conditions without requiring many pesticides or herbicides.

It matures quickly and is often planted as a cover crop. The entire plant is harvested and allowed to dry before removing the outer husks. The inner part of the fruit is what is used to make flour.  Buckwheat flour can be either light or dark, depending on how much hull is preserved. Light buckwheat flour is made from hulled kernels and the dark is derived from un-hulled and has dark specks in it. As it stands to reason, the dark has more fiber than the light.

Besides being gluten-free and high in fiber, it has a host of other health benefits to offer. Buckwheat is rich in, potassium, phosphorous, iron and calcium. It is one of the best sources of protein from plants and contains all of the essential amino acids.

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