Buckwheat: The Gluten-Free and Delicious Alternative
Delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, and easy to use in recipes – what could possibly be better? Buckwheat is actually not technically a grain as most assume, it is the seed of a fruit – but it functions much like a grain. It can be used to make fabulous raw pizza crusts and breads, and it is perfect for granola and cereal (mmmmm with some fruit and almond milk…).
One of the marvelous qualities of buckwheat is that is contains all eight essential amino acids – so it is great for all you lovely vegans and vegetarians out there (though if you eat whole raw foods there is no reason to worry about protein). Buckwheat is also a great source of magnesium, fiber, manganese, phosphorous, and pantothenic acid.
Good for your heart:
- It contains the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, which act as antioxidants, extend the action of vitamin C, maintain blood flow, prevent platelets from excessive clotting, and keep free-radical oxidation from turning low-density lipoproteins into possibly destructive cholesterol oxides.
- It may help lower the risk of heart disease as it has been linked to a lower risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
So… how should one use buckwheat? There are several amazing recipes out there. I most frequently eat buckwheat for breakfast in a cereal when I am craving something more substantial than juice or a smoothie. RECIPE: I soak buckwheat, raw oats, and goji berries in filtered water while I make some nut or seed milk and chop up some fruit (bananas and strawberries are my favorite), then drain my ingredients, throw them into a bowl, throw the fruit on top and pour my nut milk over the creation… HEAVEN! Sometimes I sprinkle some cinnamon on top as well.
As with all seeds, it is important to soak (“sprout”) the buckwheat to release the enzyme inhibitors and increase the nutritional value. If you plan to make buckwheat flour for bread, first soak the buckwheat, then dehydrate at low temperatures until dry before blending your buckwheat into powder.
Here are some other tasty buckwheat recipes – enjoy!
Happy buckwheat adventures!