All over the world doctors as well as nutritionists are mentioning health problems linked to the consumption of cereals containing gluten as sources of allergies and intolerances. Rice, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are proposed as alternatives.
Among them buckwheat is a very interesting solution.
What is this plant?
Buckwheat is a native plant of China and Central Asia. Despite the name buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Buckwheat is in fact a seed related to the flowering plants the polygonaceae family like rhubarb or sorrel.
It is considered a pseudo-cereal as it is consumed in the same way as cereal grains. Buckwheat doesn’t contain any gluten so it can fit perfectly in a diet low or free from gluten.
The seed are referred as groats.
Buckwheat is considered the “wheat of the poor” as its culture has a low environmental impact; the plant is resistant to diseases and has the capacity to help control weeds. It is easy to grow organically.
The biggest producers are China and Russia but it is also grown in France in Brittany, in Auvergne and Savoie. It can then be consumed locally.
How to consume?
Buckwheat has a rich nutty taste.
How to Cook Buckwheat?
Rinse quickly as buckwheat when soaked, becomes very gelatinous. Cook in a 1:2 ratio to water. That means, if you're cooking one cup of buckwheat, you'll need two cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, and allow your buckwheat to cook for 20 minutes.
The seeds are rich in minerals and nutrients (calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc), B vitamins, fibers and proteins (11% of their weight) along with the essential amino acids (building blocks of proteins) such as lysine, an amino acid very interesting for people on a vegetarian diet.
Buckwheat is one of the richest vegetal protein foods.
Buckwheat has been traditionally used as a medicinal plant throughout the world for treating chronic venous insufficiency as herbal tea or decoction.
Over consumption can lead to some kind of photosensitivity to sun. It can be on rare occasion a source of allergies.
Buckwheat flour can go stale easily during the summer months; do not keep it for too long.