Buckwheat is totally unrelated to wheat and is a gluten-free superfood that is inexpensive to buy and versatile to use! It is perfect for making porridge, granola, risotto or salads and the flour form is great to use for baking. Though it is usually thought of as a grain, buckwheat is actually the seed of a broadleaf plant related to rhubarb. While it is not a true grain, it is used like one in cooking, and it surpasses rice, wheat and corn on almost every measure of healthfulness including the fact that it ranks low on the glycemic scale.
Buckwheat has more protein than rice, wheat, millet or corn and is high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine, in which major cereal crops are deficient. Its unique amino acid profile gives buckwheat the power to boost the protein value of beans and cereal grains eaten the same day. Yet, buckwheat contains no gluten—the source of protein in true grains—and is therefore safe for people with gluten allergy or celiac disease.
Buckwheat is sensitive to most chemicals so you can usually guarantee that very little tampering has been done in the growing process, and it is iron rich and also filled with many vitamins and minerals that will help to keep you healthy.
Buckwheat has been cultivated for at least 1,000 years in China, Korea and Japan, where it is often enjoyed in the form of buckwheat “soba” noodles—a form that’s become increasingly popular in the West as a healthy substitute for wheat pasta.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 115g buckwheat
- 115g onion diced
- 225g mushrooms, chopped
- 140ml red wine
- 140ml vegetable stock
- 115g walnuts
- 225g spinach
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tbsp soya flour mixed with 2 tbsp water (acts as a binding agent)
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 190°C
- Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté the buckwheat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Then add onions and mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, then pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, adding more stock if necessary. Chop the walnuts finely. Wash and cook spinach in just the water left on the leaves for 6 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid from spinach and chop thoroughly.
- When buckwheat is cooked, remove pan from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in walnuts and spinach and mix in the herbs and mix well. Add soya flour mixture and mix in well, seasoning to taste. If baking, divide mixture into 6 burgers, grease a baking tray and place burgers on it carefully. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are dark brown. Turn over carefully and repeat.
- Alternatively, use oil spray and fry gently in a non-stick frying pan for a minute or two each side.