When it comes to ancient grains, buckwheat is a standout. This gluten-free grain from Eastern Europe is making a comeback big time, showing up in kitchens and restaurants from Napa to New York.
Energizing and nutritious, buckwheat is one of the most versatile grains in our healthy aging arsenal and makes a perfect alternative to oatmeal, rice, pasta, quinoa or any other complex carb of choice.
Buckwheat grains – called groats – are actually seeds from a plant related to rhubarb. The nutty flavor of buckwheat makes it particularly appealing for savory breakfast, lunch or dinner bowls, or even as a mainstay for salads and soups.
Nutrient Rich, Gluten-Free Grain
With just 160 calories (1/4 cup uncooked), buckwheat is one of the most protein-rich grains, at 6 grams of protein per serving. According to the Whole Grains Council, buckwheat is also the only grain known to have high levels of the antioxidant rutin, which studies show improves circulation and prevents LDL cholesterol from blocking blood vessels.
Extra Easy Preparation
Preparation is as easy as boiling water. Heat 1 part groats to 2 parts water, heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender and water is absorbed (about 10 minutes). Toasted buckwheat is also especially tasty in savory dishes.
To toast buckwheat, heat a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, add buckwheat and stir frequently until brown, about 5 minutes. Organic buckwheat is widely available at most natural food retailers. Our favorite is Bob’s Red Mill brand.
Veggie & Feta Buckwheat Bowl
- 2 cups cooked buckwheat
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup carrots, chopped
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prepare buckwheat. Cook until slightly chewy. Set aside.
- While buckwheat is cooking, place broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, chopped carrots, onions and garlic into large skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and sauté until tender. If needed, add additional broth until veggies are cooked.
- Add buckwheat, olive oil, cumin, and salt & pepper to the veggies and toss gently.
- Divide mixture into bowls, top with crumbled feta cheese and serve immediately.
Mushroom & Onion Buckwheat Bowl
- 2 cups cooked buckwheat
- 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup thin-sliced onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- Chopped fresh basil, cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
- Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- Prepare buckwheat. Cook until slightly chewy and set aside.
- While buckwheat is cooking, place onions, garlic and mushrooms into a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil and sauté until tender.
- Return buckwheat to skillet and toss together with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.
- Top with fresh chopped herbs of choice and serve immediately.