Buckwheat – The Healthy Pseudocereal

Buckwheat has been cultivated in Europe for centuries – it’s time for the pseudo-grain to completely shed its antiquated image. Because buckwheat is healthy, well-tolerated and versatile.

Buckwheat is not a grain, but one of the pseudo-grains.
You can boil or roast buckwheat grains in water, and buckwheat flour can be used in many ways in baking.
Buckwheat (also called heather grain) contains valuable ingredients, is gluten-free and can even alleviate mild vein problems.
Contrary to what the name might suggest, buckwheat is not a grain. Like quinoa, it is therefore referred to as a pseudocereal. The buckwheat plant belongs to the knotweed family and is therefore related to sorrel. The buckwheat fruit is a brown triangular nut resembling beechnuts. Hence the name buckwheat. The grain of the plant contains white flour rich in starch.

Buckwheat, also known as heather grain or heather barley, is an annual herbaceous plant. Originally it comes from Asia. The earliest references to buckwheat cultivation in Germany date back to the Middle Ages.

Buckwheat prefers loose, sandy soil and is a heat-loving plant that does not tolerate sub-zero temperatures well. Farmers often use buckwheat as a cover crop because it grows quickly. Since the herb flowers for a long time, it is also well suited as bee pasture.

Buckwheat: Nutritious flour and grains

Both the grains of buckwheat and the grain processed into flour can be eaten. Buckwheat has a nutty taste. The leaves are primarily used for pharmaceutical purposes (source: Technologie- und Förderzentrum Bayern).

Is Buckwheat Healthy?

Buckwheat consists mainly of carbohydrates and protein, but contains other important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. Important vitamins can also be found in buckwheat.

Since buckwheat is not a grain, it does not contain the grain protein gluten. It is therefore a good source of carbohydrates for people with gluten intolerance.

The glycemic load of a food indicates how quickly the food raises blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of buckwheat is slightly higher than that of quinoa but lower than that of wheat. People with blood sugar problems can therefore also use buckwheat.

Buckwheat also contains flavonoids, secondary plant substances. On the one hand, these have an anti-inflammatory effect, on the other hand they probably improve the blood circulation in the blood vessels. Buckwheat can therefore help with mild vein problems.

However, you should buy buckwheat peeled or wash it thoroughly. Because the red dye in the shell can make the skin more sensitive to light and thus lead to skin irritation in the sun.

How to cook buckwheat properly

Roasted buckwheat grains taste delicious in salads or muesli, for example. You can prepare buckwheat flour for baking bread, for pancakes or as a porridge. Buckwheat flour is therefore a good alternative to wheat flour.

Like rice, buckwheat is boiled in water and tastes great as an accompaniment to many dishes.

Place the buckwheat grains in a saucepan with twice the amount of cold water.
Let the buckwheat boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat.
Let the buckwheat grains simmer until they have absorbed all the water.
Then take the buckwheat off the stove and let it rest for a moment before serving.
Our tip: Let the buckwheat grains germinate and then use them as a side dish in muesli or salad.

Prepare buckwheat: blinis, poffertjes and soy noodles

Buckwheat is grown in many parts of Europe and is prepared differently depending on the region. Buckwheat groats are very popular in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia, Poland and Ukraine. Russians also make blinis, small pancakes, often made from buckwheat flour.

In France, buckwheat is used for galettes, a type of savory crepes. In the Netherlands, poffertjes, sweet pancakes or pancakes, are baked from a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour. In Italy and Switzerland, buckwheat is used for polenta.

Buckwheat is also popular in Japan: Soba noodles (similar to spaghetti) are made from buckwheat flour.

Buy buckwheat

You can buy buckwheat in (organic) supermarkets, health food stores and drugstores. You can also buy ready-made buckwheat groats there. It is best to choose organic buckwheat to support organic farming and avoid contaminating the product.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top