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What the buck (wheat)? The gluten free grain game | Jenna Verhoeven

I’ve been trying to convince my mother to go gluten free for years. Years. Throughout these years, anytime I have stayed for a visit, or popped over for a meal I have brought some form of buckwheat with me. Be it kernels/groats. Buckinis (activated buckwheat). Buckwheat flour and pasta.  Almost every time my mother comments, “I didn’t think it was gluten free cause it has ‘wheat’ in the name.”

Ahhh buckwheat. Nothing confuses more gluten free converts like the grain (seed) with the enemy (wheat) ibn the title.

Gluten free wheat?

Such a powerful little seed. It’s often referred to as a pseudo -cereal. This means it’s a seed that doesn’t grow into grass but is eaten in the same manner as cereal grains (such as wheat). Other pseudo-cereals include amaranth and quinoa. I’ll be posting about quinoa later this month, keep your eyes peeled!

Same nutritional value as wheat?

Full disclosure, whenever I’m writing about the nutritional value of food, I use the data provided by The Foods Standard of Australia and New Zealand, NUTTAB. NUTTAB is an evidence-based data base of many common foods and their nutritional value. I love it because it’s a trusted resource, and because they give data per 100g. This is great for comparison, but not always practical for home cooking info.

Per 100g, buckwheat packs in 14g of protein! That’s the same protein as in 2 eggs. It also has about 58g of total carbohydrate, making it a complex carb and a starchy carb. Even though it’s lower in vitamins than fresh fruits and veggies, it has one of the highest mineral content out of many grains and pseudo cereals. Buckwheat is a great source of manganese, magnesium, copper, and iron.

What do I do with it?

Buckwheat comes in many forms and can be so versatile in the kitchen. You can use activated buckwheat Buckinis in breakfast granola mixes, sprinkled on yogurt and in homemade muesli bars. You can use the flour in baked goods and pancakes; just make sure you combine with another lighter flour, or your baked goods will be dense.

In my kitchen, I use buckwheat the same one would use rice or oats. As a breakfast, you can boil up your buckwheat the same way you would make oat porridge. Bring to the boil, add some spices like cinnamon or ginger, and serve with yogurt and fruit. For dinners, I like to make buckwheat base ‘risottos’, one pot chilli, or as a side to stir-fry, Yum!

To cook, first rinse the seeds under cold water, and then pop in a saucepan. You can toast it first on medium heat for a minute or too if you’d like. Once toasted (or if skipping this part) pour in the water. The ratio is 1 part buckwheat to 3 parts water. I find a 1/3 cup is enough for me, as it doubles in size like rice. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Once it hits boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer (covered) for about 20mins. I like to check it at 10 and 15 minutes. If it’s sticking or looking dry, I add a little bit more water. Done. To easy.

Buying buckwheat.

Buckwheat is getting easier to source, main chin supermarkets such as Coles and Woolies both have their own range of buckwheat grouts/kernels and flours. I’m currently loving Honest to Goodness kernels and buckwheat flour, and when I want a treat, I buy these Buckinis.

Buck the trend

So this week I challenge you to have a play with buckwheat. If your normally a rice as a side dish kinda person, try some buckwheat. Or, add some puffed to your breakfast cereal. If you want to dive a lil deeper into understanding how your body uses your fuel for exercise, training, and getting everything done – reach out to me here for your one on one consult.


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