This tasty and fun "grain" can be steamed, toasted, roasted, ground into flour, or boiled. Use buckwheat groats in any recipe that calls for whole grains: pilafs, salads, casseroles, soups, granola's, stews, or as a cereal on its own. Buckwheat groats are also the key ingredient in traditional Eastern European cuisine.
Buckwheat is sold either unroasted or roasted. Unroasted buckwheat has a soft, subtle flavor while roasted has a more nutty taste. Roasted buckwheat is oftentimes called "kasha. Buckwheat ranges in color from tannish-pink to brown.
Buckwheat does not contain gluten, it's often mixed with some type of gluten-containing flour (such as wheat) for baking. If you are sensitive to wheat, buckwheat is an alternate you can try.
If you are a vegetable gardener in this area you might use buckwheat as a cover crop on your garden during the winter months. It grows quickly and controls erosion. The nectar from the buckwheat flower makes a unique tasting dark-colored honey if you keep bees.
Buckwheat is available thru the Country Life Natural Foods Co-Op in many forms from 5 pounds to 25 pounds in size. Organic Brown Roasted (Kasha), Hulled White Organic, and Organic Buckwheat Unhulled for sprouting.
Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat's beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. The flavonoids compounds help maintain blood flow, and keep platelets from clotting excessively.
Buckwheat is also a good source of magnesium which relaxes the blood vessels. This improves blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure. A great combination for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Better Blood Sugar Control
The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control. In a test that compared the effect on blood sugar of whole buckwheat groats to bread made from refined wheat flour, buckwheat groats significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses. Whole buckwheat also scored highest on it's ability to satisfy hunger a plus if you are on a diet.
Foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
The Worlds Healthiest Foods whfoods.org