The Grocer: Buckwheat
Don’t let its name fool you – buckwheat is neither wheat, nor grain. This little trickster is a triangular seed derived from a flowering plant.
Despite its swindling nature, this gluten-free ingredient can actually be used in place of grains in recipes – try switching it for quinoa, brown rice or barley for example.
Buckwheat is favoured for its nutritional value – it possesses high levels of protein and amino acids – and outlandish versatility, particularly in Eastern Europe where it was once considered a peasant food. Buckwheat is often known as kasha, which is essentially the toasted seed with a rich, nutty flavour. Many cultures also make use of buckwheat in the form of flour, as it can be easily shaped into noodles or pastas as well as being added to sweet recipes.
This seedy character is a versatile ingredient to keep in the pantry, and can be used as an everyday savoury staple – try it in an Asian buckwheat bowl, stuffed inside squash, or mixed into a risotto. Fry up buckwheat blinis or pancakes, or bake these savoury buckwheat cookies. Come dinnertime, buckwheat noodles or gnocchi may satiate your appetite.
For those with a preference for sweeter snacks, try your hand at this buckwheat chia porridge, these buckwheat waffles, a loaf of buckwheat bread, or these buckwheat cookies. The seed can be purchased from most supermarkets and grocers, and can be added to just about any of your favourite dishes.
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