Seed and wither flower of buckwheat 6

What is Buckwheat? 02/21/12

Ever wondered what buckwheat is? Rolene Sher gives you an introduction to this nutritious food.

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Buckwheat flowers and withers

Buckwheat porridge

What is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat, which is commonly found in raw food diet recipes, has a slightly deceptive name that can easily cause confusion. Buckwheat is not wheat, nor is it related to wheat. It is neither a grain nor a cereal and is gluten-free. So where does it come from? Well, buckwheat is actually derived from the seeds of a flowering plant.

Culinary Uses of Buckwheat
The triangular seeds, known as buckwheat groats, are frequently made into flour for use in noodles, crepes, and many gluten-free products on the market these days. For those practicing a raw food diet, raw buckwheat groats can be found in many recipes for things like granola, cookies, cakes, crackers, and other bread-like products. Buckwheat is a good binding agent and, when soaked, becomes very gelatinous. Soaking, rinsing, and re-drying the groats produces a crunchy buckwheat crispy that is nice as well.

Raw Buckwheat and Kasha
Toasted buckwheat is used to make traditional dishes in several different cultures. Generally toasted buckwheat is referred to as kasha. If you are looking for raw buckwheat groats, you’ll want to avoid kasha. You can always tell by the colour and the aroma. Kasha is a much darker reddish-brown colour and has a strong nutty, toasted scent to it. Raw buckwheat groats are light brown or green and don’t have much of an aroma at all.

Nutritional Benefits of Buckwheat
Buckwheat is high in protein and fibre. It also is rich with magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, omega 3 and 6, niacin and folate. Buckwheat is fantastic because it is so versatile and can be used in numerous ways.

Interestingly, buckwheat is currently being studied for its nutritional benefits. It is used to relieve some of the symptoms of Type II diabetes as well as high blood pressure. Buckwheat contains rutin, known to strengthen capillary walls.

Rolene, or RAWlean as many know her, runs a variety of raw workshops. Take a look at a review of an earlier workshop or go direct to her facebook page for more on her upcoming workshops.

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Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.

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6 Responses to this article

Paul July 20, 2012 Reply

Hi. Buckwheat crackers are they also suitable for someone struggling with high sugar?

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Laura Cooke – Editor July 22, 2012 Reply

Hi there. I imagine that you would have to check the recipe to be sure that crackers are not made with sugar. Interestingly, studies have shown that buckwheat may improve long-term glucose tolerance in people with diabetes. As always check with your healthcare practitioner if you are not sure.

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Ninette August 28, 2012 Reply

Hi! I would like to know whether raw buckwheat crackers would be suitable for my diabetic dog. I am on a raw diet myself and include veggies like carrots, tomato, zucchini etc and then soaked nuts, seeds and herbs into my cracker recipe. It just seems more beneficial to give her something more natural than formulated pet food. I hope you can clarify this for me

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Laura Cooke – Editor August 28, 2012 Reply

Hi Ninette,
I will see if Paul Jacobson of Vondis can weigh in on this one as I am not too sure.

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Wira Latham August 10, 2013 Reply

where in KZN south africa can one purchase buckwheat closest to Eshowe?

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Laura Cooke – Editor August 18, 2013 Reply

Hi there,

Faithful to Nature sells buckwheat online here

Or try Health Connection for stockists in your area

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