Break the Boredom with Buckwheat

Buckwheat is not wheat, not even a distant relative! But it is delicious, simple to prepare and packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Tired of the same old same old? No problem! This month, I have been focusing on many of my favorite whole grains, offering tips and ideas about how you might enjoy adding them to your own menu plan. Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant compounds that may help benefit our heart, blood sugar levels and overall health. This week, let’s break the boredom with buckwheat!“It’s not wheat; it’s buckwheat!” I can’t tell you how many times I have said that to nervous people who have just learned that they can’t eat wheat. In fact, not only is buckwheat not wheat, it’s not even a distant relative. It’s a seed from the rhubarb family. But, like wheat, it can be used in all kinds of recipes, and it has plenty of good taste and good benefits. In my youth, buckwheat was something that came on occasion in pancakes on a restaurant menu. Now-a-days, it is far more readily available in its many diverse forms:

  • Groats – the hulled whole, raw kernels

  • Kasha – toasted buckwheat groats – a popular, tasty way to eat buckwheat! (Toasting adds flavor and aroma to naturally bitter, unprocessed groats.)

  • Flour – great in many favorite recipes

  • Noodles – called Soba in Japan

  • Breakfast cereals – hot and cold

On the health front, buckwheat has some big benefits such as high quality protein, good amounts of fiber and magnesium along with manganese, phosphorus and copper. Just one cup of cooked groats provides 4.5 grams of fiber, 5.6 grams of protein, 1.3 mg of iron, 1 mg of zinc plus other important minerals. All that and it’s low in fat and has no cholesterol.

If you have never tried buckwheat, I think you’ll really like it. Here are some of my favorite ways:

And finally, for a real treat you’ll never regret, seek out some buckwheat honey! Dark and rich and amazingly delicious…a little bit goes a long way.Is your life better with buckwheat? Mine is. Got a favorite recipe or way you enjoy it? Let me know!

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