Why A Buckwheat?
I know you heard about buckwheat. It is a ‘healthy grain’ that doesn’t contain gluten, but is rich in protein and iron. You can find in organic cereals, bread and pastry. Raw folks sprout it and the French make their famous galettes. Blah-blah. You probably know it already.
By the way, do you know buckwheat isn’t a cereal at all? Wheat, rice, millet, oats, barley, corn and rye, they all are Monocotyledons (Poaceae family), while buckwheat comes from Polygonaceae family and is a Dicotyledon (together with amaranth and quinoa also known as healthy grains).
Now let us finish with botany and start some real talk.
Brown vs. Green
Buckwheat (‘grechka’ or ‘grecha’) is very common in Russia. You won’t believe me, but we even have a very popular monodiet where all you’re supposed to eat is plain cooked buckwheat (sometimes without salt)! Ha-ha. But that isn’t how you should use buckwheat anyway.
Let’s look how buckwheat looks like here – you gotta be surpised.
Yep, it’s brown – because it’s roasted.
This difference is familiar to every Russian who ever tried to buy buckwheat abroad. In healthy shops in Europe and America you probably see something like this:
Green (not roasted) buckwheat is actually very good too. You can sprout it which is impossible with roasted one. But it tastes differently, it’s not typisch Russisch and it’ll get mushy after cooking. Buckwheat we eat in Russia is nice and fluffy so you can see every little grain.
Don’t worry. Wherever in Europe/North America you are, there’re probably some Russians too. In that case, there are Russian shops somewhere. You can get a real stuff there.
Put On Your Apron
Cooking buckwheat is so simple even kids can do it. You only need to follow these rules:
#1. Stick to 1:2 (volume) ratio of buckwheat and water. That means you need to take 2 cups of water for 1 cup of dry buckwheat (you gonna have a BIG pot of it!). Put some salt in water.
#2. Put buckwheat in water only when it boils (not at the beginning!). Note: you need a pot with a tight lid.
#3. When you’ve done with #2, let the water boil for the second time, then reduce heat to very low.
#4. After that, forget about it for 15 – 20 minutes. If you still want to check, you should see fluffy grains on top and no water within view. After that turn the heat off and let the super-duper-grain stay covered for another 10 – 20 minutes.
You should see something like that then:
Fluff it slightly with a fork:
And now it’s ready to be eaten!
Note: it’s ok with buckwheat if you undercook it (leave some water on the bottom) if you let it stay with heat off. Some people even simply pour boiled water on the grains and let it stay overnight (or some hours). But it’s not how it’s commonly done.
Quick Note On Fats
Since buckwheat is so fluffy and a little dry you definitely want to put some fats in it. (Or sauces. Or both.)
First of all, olive oil came to Russia not that long ago. So I suggest you save it for other dishes.
I heard about idea that you can get real Russian taste of buckwheat porridge only if you add butter. I’d tell you I quite agree with it, although I usually add ghee (just because I mostly have ghee on hand). Or clarified butter. And you don’t even need much of it: 4 – 10 g per portion would work very well.
Note: animal fat (e.g. from poultry) pairs very well with buckwheat too.
Butter is probably the best option. But sometimes we dress it with oils too. It’s mostly those crappy plant-based and tasteless oils and they don’t add anything to a taste. What I personally like is another typical Russian food item – unrefined sunflower seed oil. It has very peculiar taste of roasted sunflower seeds and it’s really good paired with buckwheat. (Sounds interesting? I bet they have it in Russian shop!)
If you want to season your buckwheat with fats (I hope you get that you should), do it when you turn off the heat (so the butter would melt nicely), when fluffing or right in your plate.
Legit Ways To Eat Buckwheat
There are 3 most common ways to eat your awesome kasha:
1. On it’s own (purist way)
2. As a side (for meat, poultry)
3. As a milk porridge
Let’s dig into it.
Eating plain buckwheat is probably the oldest way. The minimum you need is a butter or oil, as I mentioned above. Other good options are:
– chopped greens (green onion, dill, parsley, basil)
– dried mushroom flakes (preferably Russian mushroom, of course) or sautéed fresh mushrooms
– some sautéed or caramelized onion (yum!)
– chopped hardboiled egg
– any gravy you happened to have
Awesome. Only some chopped greens on top could have made it even better.
Despite high class cooks educating about veggies being the best side, here in Russia thousands of people still believe in Soviet-style sides. Those are: mashed potatoes, rice, buckwheat and pasta. But I won’t lie, buckwheat goes very well with beef, pork and poultry as well as with meatballs and burgers from them. It’s not that good with fish though.
Buckwheat, homemade beef stroganoff, gravy and some veggies. Perfect combo.
Note: I won’t recommend cooking buckwheat pilaf-style (in one pot with other ingredients such as meat, veggies etc.). It gets soggy that way.
I’m firm believer in savory buckwheat, but many people do like their buckwheat sweetened (again, it’s Soviet heritage). Funny thing is you don’t need to cook buckwheat in milk for a porridge. You just heat a milk and then pour it over cooked buckwheat, as you do with any cereals. You may add some sugar or a piece of butter to it (I skip it).
Not the best pic, but hopefully you get the idea.
Of course, there are other ways to use of buckwheat. Sometimes it’s used for stuffing (e.g. pies) or you can use leftovers to make a bake or burgers. But it’s not that common on an average Jane’s kitchen.
Wow, this post turned to be kinda long, huh? Thanks for staying with me till the end. And if you have any suggestion or thoughts, feel free to contact me, I’d LOVE to have any feedback from my readers.
image credit (for green buckwheat):
Proper nutrition – it’s not only the rejection of the “harmful” food, but also a variety of useful products in the diet. Chronic use is strictly limited menu permissible as far from a truly healthy lifestyle, as an abuse of sweets, meats and other heavy food. But the development of new and original dishes – a pledge that you will not bother to eat a balanced diet and a balanced diet is not for you to become a routine. For example, you can try the green sprouts of grain. They are very popular with the raw food diet adherents and perfectly complement the power of all the other people who risked to taste this, it is not an ordinary meal. You can grow almost any living grain, but we advise you to choose the buckwheat. Its seedlings differ particularly pleasant taste and appear very quickly – ideal for beginners! Although we note that the green germ buckwheat love vegetarians “experienced.” And this they have plenty of reasons.
The composition and the use of green buckwheat Buckwheat is familiar to all from chil
dhood, but we are used to seeing it brown. A green, that is, raw buckwheat – it is a relatively new product for the majority of our compatriots. But it is not subjected to heat treatment, grain retains the best of their natural properties. Its chemical composition remains intact, including the ratio of the components is maintained between them, which is especially important for their full assimilation. The amino acid composition of buckwheat puts it in a special position in relation to other cereals: lysine and miotin of it absorbed by a person of 75%, which is a record figure for a product of plant origin. Also valuable protein in the nuclei of many green buckwheat starch, natural sugars, organic acids (citric, oxalic, malic, etc.), And very little fat oil. Buckwheat – one of the leaders on the content of iron and calcium, vitamin E and Group B. Concerning a lot in it potassium, phosphorus, iodine, fluorine, zinc, cobalt and molybdenum.
Buckwheat has the ability to be stored for a long time without getting bitter with time, and not covered with mold (it provided her a permanent place in army warehouses of food). Useful properties while too little decrease (making buckwheat popular product in traditional medicine). It is traditionally used in cases of anemia to increase the quantity and quality of hemoglobin, to stimulate hematopoiesis and resistance to radioactive radiation. Colds, the fall of immunity – also testify to receive buckwheat. It helps regenerate cells and organs, to become stronger and resist adverse environmental factors, prevents the absorption and promotes the excretion of toxic substances. People who can not eat bread and potatoes because of the propensity to diabetes, buckwheat replaces both products. And in the practice of oriental medicine for preparing a plurality of medical drugs and food, until the tea is used exclusively green roasted buckwheat. In our latitudes, the core made of buckwheat frying, which significantly reduces its nutritional value and therapeutic potential.
Suffice it once to overcome the stereotypes and try to eat buckwheat otherwise to forever change the perception. After all the green, that is, living buckwheat, can germinate and benefit not only its grain, but also the power of young shoots. Sprouts are incredibly powerful charge of vitality, dedicated to the growth and development of young plants. The human body responds to his active tissue regeneration, renewal cells, activation of the internal organs. If themselves buckwheat grain quality feed, warm, and provide a feeling of satiety for a long time, the buckwheat sprouts also gives impetus to increased body metabolism slows down oxidative processes and enhances the absorption of vitamins in the most natural form. It contains enzymes that would be destroyed by the heat treatment but remain intact seedlings. In addition, short-term, but a very important stage of plant life, which occurs in the first days after germination of seeds, powerful biological trigger mechanisms to ensure its survival and growth. For this destroyed inhibitors, and proteins are broken down into amino acids, fats are separated into fatty acid and starch is converted into malt. All these processes are very similar to those that occur in the digestion of food by the digestive system. Just by eating sprouts internal organs is much easier, and the percentage of acquired components – increased significantly. So the potential inherent in each grain of the development of a new life, it can be used for its own sake, if you learn how to germinate and have green buckwheat.
How to sprout buckwheatGreen buckwheat sprouts – a natural product that is useful for the whole year, but especially in its properties the body needs in the off-season, ie spring and autumn, when it is most vulnerable. But it is not only the time of germination is important – important to choose the grain itself. If the plan is not just to cook buckwheat porridge, and learn how to germinate seed, organic look, not treated with chemical reagents buckwheat most recent harvest. Pay attention to the integrity of the kernels of their uniform greenish beige color and damage. Suitable for germination but not fried or steamed buckwheat. It does not matter where the cereals are sold: the market in bulk or in a supermarket in their original packaging. The main thing that it did not cause the quality is not the slightest doubt. If you have purchased the grain to meet these requirements, you can proceed to their germination:
- Take 1 cup full of green buckwheat.
- Wash the green buckwheat under running cold water for at least 1 minute to remove excess starch.
- The washed buckwheat place in a large jar and fill with drinking water at room temperature at the rate of 3 cups water to 1 cup of beans.
- Drain the water from the can (it can be used for watering potted plants), remove the grains that have emerged (they messed up), and good grain swollen several times, rinse with clean water until until it becomes transparent.
- Clean wet core put into a jar or other container made of glass , porcelain or stoneware with lid . Close and place in a warm place. After about 4-5 hours, gently mix the grain so that they are uniformly wetted and received the same amount of oxygen.
- Green sprouts seem in 8-10 hours. Sometimes it takes a little longer – depending on the characteristics of cereals and the environment. When the seedlings reach 1 mm in length , they can be used as food. But the most useful and delicious sprouts are considered from 2 to 4 days .
- Sprouted grains gently rinse with clean water – they are now fully ready for use.
Green sprouts without problems fit into any diet. They can be eaten as a separate meal or add to salads, add them porridge and sandwiches. One of the most popular recipes, appealing to their taste and simplicity incarnation – a salad of green sprouts 200 grams of buckwheat cereal breads and fresh greens, seasoned with vegetable oil and lemon juice. But the full range of possible use of buckwheat sprouts are much wider. The main thing – do not expose them to excessive heat and avoid several common errors in germination.
Secrets of a tasty green buckwheatImproperly prepared and / or buckwheat sprouts is not that tasty , and it makes it difficult to appreciate its benefits. Usually it becomes slippery and seemed ” snotty ” because mucus plaque . Harm such seedlings do not bring , but they taste really is not what it could be. If your first attempts to germinate green buckwheat is led to such a result , you may make a mistake in one of these cases :
- You have used too much water.
- You left too long buckwheat.
- You are not mixed buckwheat.
Green buckwheat, sprouted in compliance with all the nuances , has a pleasant taste and enriches any dish . It is no problem stored in the refrigerator without losing its vitality. Make it extraordinary favor a common component of their diet , and soon notice how the energy arrives , improves mood and gaining immunity. All these remarkable properties of green buckwheat long known adherents of natural foods – and now you , too, among them. Health to you and bon appetit !
Green buckwheat is buckwheat kernels that are peeled by ancient process without heat treatment. These kernels are able to sprout. Such buckwheat keeps the whole complex of nutrients. To get the full benefits from the grains, we recommend eating it sprouted.
3 Facts About Green Buckwheat:
- Green buckwheat is a rich source of proteins and amino acids. 8 of 20 amino acids contained in food proteins are indispensable. These are tryptophan, lysine, methionine, valine, threonine, leucine, isoleucine, and phenylalanine. All the 8 indispensable amino acids are contained in green buckwheat in a quite considerable amount, and the most important thing is that they are balanced and digestible, unlike the products of animal origin. Green buckwheat is also rich in lysine that is entirely absent in other plants.
- Green buckwheat is a strong antioxidant, it contains up to 155 mg/100 g of antioxidants (e.g. rise contains only 5 mg/100 g). Our young healthy skin, hair and body depend on the quantity of antioxidants consumed.
- Green buckwheat contains no gluten, which means that it can be consumed by those who follow a gluten-free diet and are allergic to gluten.
|Dietary fibres||11 g|
|Mono- and disaccharides||1,4 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||0,6 g|
|Vitamin PP||4,2 mg|
|Vitamin E||6,65 mg|
|Vitamin A (retinol)||2 mcg|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||0,43 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||0,2 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxin)||0,4 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (folic acid)||32 mcg|
|Vitamin E (tocopherol)||0,8 mg|
|Vitamin PP (B3, niacin equivalent)||7,2 mg|
|Cup 250 ml = 210 g (646.8 kcal)|
|Cup 200 ml = 170 g (523.6 kcal)|
|Tablespoonful (heaped spoon, except liquid products) = 25 g (77 kcal)|
|Teaspoonful (heaped spoon except liquid products) = 8 g (24.6 kcal)|
Chemical composition of a product is characterized by calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, dietary fibres and vitamins. For organic products, these parameters significantly depend on natural factors – air temperature and precipitation during vegetational season, dry or rainy season, geographic latitude and longitude of cultivation, botanical grain varieties, and soil type.
It is impossible to foresee all the factors, so these values are average and indicative only.
Easy Ways to Cook Green Buckwheat
Easy Ways to Sprout Green Buckwheat Healthy Recipes with Green Buckwheat Salad of Green Buckwheat and Kefir
Ingredients: 2 cups green buckwheat groats, 1 cup kefir, few sprigs parsley and dill, few fresh garlic leaves, olive oil, salt to taste.
Directions: Cook buckwheat in a little water for 10 minutes, cut greens, add kefir and oil, salt to taste. Serve the salad warm.
Salad with Rucola and Green Buckwheat
Ingredients: 1 bunch rucola salad, 1 avocado, 1 medium cucumber, 2-3 peeled slices grapefruit, 4 tablespoonfulls sprouted green buckwheat, organic vegetable oil, sea salt.
Directions: Put rucola salad and sprouted green buckwheat in a bowl, cut avocado, cucumber and a couple of grapefruit slices, season the salad with organic vegetable oil and juice of one grapefruit slice, and add a little sea salt.
Supercharged with fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and a number of other nutrients, wheat germ – whether raw or toasted – is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you will find anywhere. You can sprinkle it over your favorite cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or salad, or use it to boost the nutrient profile and texture of smoothies and baked goods. If you haven’t bought wheat germ before – or just want to get more out of your next purchase – here are a few tips on where to find wheat germ and what to look for.
Should You Buy Raw or Toasted Wheat Germ?
From a nutritional point of view, there seems to be no huge difference between raw and toasted wheat germ. Both are packed with fiber, protein, B vitamins (such as thiamin, vitamin B6, and folic acid), iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. That said, FDA data show that there are some differences in the exact amounts of specific nutrients found in toasted vs raw wheat germ – sometimes in favor of raw wheat germ, sometimes in favor of its toasted counterpart – but these differences could be due to batch-to-batch variation.
From a culinary point of view, some people prefer the mildly nutty flavor and crunchier texture of lightly toasted wheat germ, while others like the slightly moist texture of raw wheat germ. If you haven’t tried wheat germ before and don’t known which version you like better, you can always go for raw wheat germ and toast it yourself at home (you’ll find instructions on how to do this later in this article).
Keep in Mind Wheat Germ is Prone to Oxidation
The germ is the reproductive part of the wheat plant. When wheat germinates, the new wheat plant emerges from the germ and is nourished by the nutrients concentrated in the germ. Unfortunately, exposure to oxygen and heat after milling causes the germ to start losing its vitamins and the quality of its delicate oils. That’s why you’ll want to buy wheat germ from a reputable supplier, and store it in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.
Where to Get Wheat Germ in the US (or Canada)?
If you live in the US, there’s a good chance you will find Kretschmer’s Toasted Wheat Germ at your local grocery store – expect the price to be somewhere around 4 to 6 dollars per a 12-oz jar of toasted wheat germ. That’s certainly not a high price to pay for the nutrient punch you’ll get, but if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, buying wheat germ in bulk online may be even cheaper. Bob’s Red Mill offers good value for money – see their offer for raw wheat germ on Amazon.com). Like toasted wheat germ better? Not to worry, the package should come with instructions on how you can toast wheat germ at home (it only takes 5 to 10 minutes!). And for those who can’t wait to learn how it is done, here are the instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C)
- Spread a thin layer of raw wheat germ evenly over a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Keep a close watch on the wheat germ and stir frequently as it browns fast.
Where to Buy Wheat Germ in the UK?
Finding wheat germ in the UK is more difficult than in the US, and you may have to head to a health food store, instead of a supermarket, to get it. Or, you can buy wheat germ online (try, for example, Shipton Mills’ Organic Wheatgerm from the UK.
Can You Buy Wheat Germ in Bulk and Freeze It?
Wheat germ, especially raw wheat germ, has a relatively short shelf. If you’re planning to buy wheat germ in bulk in order to save money, you’ll be pleased to learn that wheat germ stores well in the freezer. Store what you think you’ll be eating within a few weeks in an airtight container in a dark cupboard, and freeze the rest for future use!
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