Buckwheat. What’s all the fuss about?

Green buckwheatEveryone from Kourtney Kardashian to Gwyneth Paltrow is biggin’ up Buckwheat. So what’s all the fuss about?

Well for starters, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. It is not related to wheat, nor is it a cereal grain. So you got to love it for that. What’s more the tiny, beautifully-shaped triangles that make up the seed can be milled into flour to make things like pancakes, bread, crackers and pasta or used in the unground form, as a rice substitute or to make porridge.

In Russia, where the fruit seed has been a staple of the nation’s diet for a good 1000 years, people love the seed so much they launched a bulk-buying frenzy last winter. Everyone from mothers to military men posted pictures of themselves clutching the superfood close to their heart, so scared were they that it might run out after a poor annual harvest… So when you next see a bag of beautiful buckwheat, make sure you grab it, hug it and eat it.

7 good reasons why buckwheat should be in your diet

  1. Buckwheat is a great source of high-quality, easily-digestible protein, making it a brilliant meat substitute.
  2. Buckwheat is gluten-free and not a grain.
  3. Buckwheat is incredibly nutritious. It contains all nine essential amino acids, including lysine. It is rich in iron, high in antioxidants, filled with many minerals and vitamins such as zinc and niacin and contains a high level of flavonoids such as rutin
  4. Evidence shows that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes and that there is a correlation between low cholesterol and increased consumption of buckwheat.
  5. Buckwheat grows so fast it usually doesn’t require pesticides or other chemicals to grow well.
  6. Buckwheat is considered a “yang food” in macrobiotics, i.e. great for eating in the cold winter months.
  7. Buckwheat is great for digestion. According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Wholefoods, “it cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite.”

Image: Buckwheat Flower in full bloom.

Here are four of The Living Food Kitchen’s favourite ways to prepare this food jewel:

Best salad

Gwyneth Paltrow’s buckwheat soba noodle salad

Featured on the annual Goop Detox, this salad is perfect as a packed lunch for work or on a hot summer’s eve… Click here for the recipe.

Best buckwheat porridge

Deliciously Ella’s banana buckwheat porridge

This creamy banana buckwheat porridge made with almond milk, cinnamon and Manuka honey is a winner on colder mornings. The gluten-free, grain-free breakfast is incredibly comforting and the high fibre content means you won’t go hungry for hours. Click here for the recipe.

Buckwheat burritos

Hemsley & Hemsley buckwheat burritos

Who doesn’t love a burrito filled with all things nice – and this superfood version will have you whispering, “Te quiero, buckwheat” before you’ve taken your first bite. Check out the recipe here.

Best granola

The Living Food Kitchen’s raw sprouted buckwheat granola

The Living Food Kitchen, who have been championing this little fruit seed for years, use raw sprouted buckwheat as their key ingredient in their breakfast cereal. Click here to eat.

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