I experimented with buckwheat flour before I cooked buckwheat groats. Despite having the dreaded “wheat” in their name, they are totally wheat and gluten-free. They are actually considered to be a pseudocereal, related to grass, rather than wheat. They are very closely related to rhubarb! But their nutty flavour bears no resemble to rhubarb at all.
These gluten-free “groats”, as they’re technically called, are funny looking things. I had a hellish time finding them but eventually I found them in Whole Foods. Now I’ve seen them in Holland and Barrett, ASDA, Tesco, and Lidl. Guess I was just ahead of the game…
In their green form, the seeds are called buckwheat groats. When brown and toasted, they become kasha.
You can stop at the toasting stage if you like, and sprinkle these on top of porridge, eat them as a wee snack, or use them in granola for some extra crunch!
Like most of the ingredients in these how-to’s, buckwheat is fab in sweet and savoury dishes. I always seem to experiment with these grains in a sweet, breakfast form first before I venture into savoury.
Buckwheat makes a tasty, chewy porridge and is delish when boiled in salt and tossed into a warm salad or baked in a vegetable casserole. I really like using buckwheat in middle-eastern recipes and I think it pairs really well with lamb.
It boasts similar nutritional stats to amaranth and quinoa, at 145 calories per serving, with 4g fibre and 6g protein. So stop worrying about where you’re getting your fibre from without gluten-y bread!
Buckwheat may not be your cup of tea. It might be too difficult for you to hunt down or seem to pricey. It’s not for everyone but I’ve grown to really enjoy it! It’s nice to shake things up from time to time, and it just goes to show that a gluten-free diet is not restrictive. II had never even heard of it before I started cooking gluten-free, so it’s opened up my eyes to all these weird and wonderful new foods.
If you are coeliac or gluten intolerant, make sure that you check the buckwheat packaging to ensure that it is free from traces of gluten. Often they are processed in factories that also handle wheat, which is clearly no good! Sometimes I rinse these types things thoroughly to try and get rid of trace gluten – following the advice of Coeliac UK in regards to lentils – but it’s better to be on the same side and source some completely uncontaminated groats.
Now on to the how-to…
- 1 cup/170g dry, uncooked buckwheat groats
- 2 cups/500 ml water
- Rinse the buckwheat thoroughly using a fine mesh sieve.
- Toss into a pan with a tight-fitting lid on a medium-high heat. Move the groats around the pan until all the water evaporates. Keep doing so until the groats turn close to brown in colour. This takes around 5 minutes.
- Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Place the lid on the pan and turn the heat down low.
- After around 20 minutes, the water should have been absorbed by the groats. Take off the heat and fluff up the groats.
- Place the lid back on for another 10 minutes so they become even fluffier.