The Power of Buckwheat
Buckwheat may be one of the healthiest foods you’re not eating. Along with having numerous health benefits, it is tasty, easy to prepare and inexpensive. Energizing and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge.
Here are some things I love about it
While most people think of buckwheat as a whole grain, it’s actually a seed that is high in both protein and fiber. It supports heart and heart health and can help prevent diabetes and digestive disorders. In fact, buckwheat seeds, also called “groats,” are so packed with nutrients and antioxidants − like rutin, tannins and catechin −that they are often called “superfoods.”
Because it is neither a grain nor related to wheat, buckwheat is gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
Here are the most abundant minerals found in common buckwheat groats
- Manganese: Found in high amounts in whole grains, manganese is essential for healthy metabolism, growth, development and the body’s antioxidant defenses.
- Copper: Often lacking in the Western diet, copper is an essential trace element that may have beneficial effects on heart health when eaten in small amounts.
- Magnesium: When present in sufficient amounts in the diet, this essential mineral may lower the risk of various chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Iron: Deficiency in this important mineral leads to anemia, a condition characterized by reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
- Phosphorus: This mineral plays an essential role in the growth and maintenance of body tissues.
Compared to other grains, the minerals in cooked buckwheat groats are particularly well absorbed. This is because buckwheat is relatively low in phytic acid a common inhibitor of mineral absorption found in most grains
Types of buckwheat groats
If you’ve never made it before, don’t worry. Buckwheat is easy to work with. It comes in the form of groats (toasted or raw), noodles and flour. The raw groats are available completely raw or sprouted. The completely raw groats work great for making a grain-free, hot cereal.
How to cook buckwheat groats
- 1 cup Buckwheat Groats
- 2 cups water
- Combine 1 cup buckwheat groats and 2 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Drain off any excess liquid. If using in a salad, rinse with cold water and drain well. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.
How to sprout raw buckwheat groats
Soak in two thirds the amount of water, for the required time stated, drain and rinse. Place in a jar and cover or allow to sit in a dark corner at room temp away from direct sunlight. Rinse and drain every 8 hrs.
When sprouting time is completed rinse and drain one last time and allow to sit in the sunlight for approx 1 hr to allow the sprouts to get green and dry out. This is due to wet soaking sprouts tend to spoil quickly.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and enjoying them in salads, as a vegetable accompaniment, sprinkled on soups and smoothies.