My acupuncturist has been trying to get me to incorporate buckwheat into my diet for months, but I’ve been on a strict low-carb regimen for medical reasons and feared I would have a poor reaction — I tried a few bites of rice a couple months ago and experienced debilitating stomach problems for days following, so I definitely didn’t jump on the buckwheat train very quickly. My reluctance to incorporate certain foods into my diet stems from a year and a half of battling unexplained gastrointestinal problems. However, after learning about the nutritional advantages of soaking and sprouting in my functional nutrition training I realized properly prepared buckwheat might not be such a bad idea after all. Perhaps my reluctance actually stemmed from ignorance.
Buckwheat is a pseudo-cereal — seeds that are consumed in the same way as cereal grains, but do not grow on grasses. Other common pseudo-cereals are quinoa and amaranth. Buckwheat is processed into groats, flour and noodles. Groats can be prepared similarly to oats or rice, and are a main ingredient in many traditional European and Asian dishes. It’s common to toast buckwheat groats before cooking them to bring out their nutty flavor. Toasted groats are referred to as Kasha.
Buckwheat has a low glycemic index and is a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper. Another major benefit of buckwheat compared to other grains is that it has a unique amino acid composition that gives it special biological activities. These include cholesterol-lowering effects, anti-hypertension effects and the ability to improve digestion, such as by relieving constipation. Buckwheat contains two essential amino acids — types you cannot make on your own and must get through diet. The two are lysine and arginine and together they help to aid in the formation of collagen, which is good news for your hair, skin, nails, and gut. My acupuncturist was onto something…
Contrary to my anxious feelings, buckwheat groats did not cause me a slew of GI symptoms. I plan to experiment with some savory buckwheat recipes, but for today I’ll leave you with this buckwheat porridge. I prefer this bowl of groats over oats hands down, but I’ll let you make your own rules. This recipe will be a new staple in my diet no doubt.
Prep time: 5-7 min || Cook time: 10-12 min || Yield: 1 serving
In a pan, toast the buckwheat groats in ghee for about 5 minutes. This process shortens the overall cook time and yields a fluffier groat. While toasting the groats, bring 1.5 cups filtered water to a boil — a 2:1 ratio. Once the groats are slightly browned and fragrant, add them to the boiling water and cook until the oats become al dente and all the water is absorbed.
During the last few minutes of cooking the groats, add in the collagen, cinnamon, nutmeg, Celtic sea salt, and vanilla extract. Top the groats as you please. I used organic blueberries, 1/2 banana, flax seeds, and raw honey. I also added a splash of sprouted almond milk to serve.
3/4 cup sprouted buckwheat groats
1 tbsp (vanilla bean) ghee
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of Celtic sea salt
2 scoops collagen peptides (optional)
Nut milk (optional)