With a rise in gluten intolerance, there is currently a greater-than-ever demand for gluten free alternatives.
And buckwheat has proved to be one fantastic solution to this, coming with its own range of health benefits.
Not only that, this gluten-free grain is also incredibly versatile, and can used in a wide variety of different ways.
So we have gathered together a selection of our favourite buckwheat recipes for you to try out at home.
What is buckwheat?
A highly nutritious source of protein, fibre and energy, buckwheat (despite its somewhat misleading name) is actually a fruit seed, closely related to sorrel, rhubarb and knotweed.
Once harvested, its grain-like seeds are processed into flour, noodles and groats, which can be used in the same way as rice. It can even be made into buckwheat tea!
The majority of buckwheat is grown in the northern hemisphere, including Russia, China, Kazakhstan as well as Central and Eastern Europe.
How do you cook with buckwheat?
Fancy giving buckwheat a try?
Here are three of our top buckwheat recipes:
1. Buckwheat pancakes
We all love a soft, fluffy pancake, and this buckwheat recipe gives them rich, warm and earthy taste that the whole family will love.
Start by sifting four rounded tablespoons of buckwheat flour and four tablespoons of gluten-free plain flour with one and a half teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Separately, beat an egg with 150ml of milk and one tablespoon of light olive oil, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix together until there are no traces of the flour.
Next, heat a non-stick pan with drizzle of oil and gently spoon the batter into the hot pan.
The batter should start to bubble and after a minute the edges should be set.
At this point, flip your pancake with a spatula (or in the air if you are feeling brave) and cook for a further 30 seconds.
Then set it aside while you cook the rest, stack them up and serve drizzled with maple syrup or topped with yoghurt and berries.
2. Buckwheat porridge
We all want a tasty and healthy start to the day, and buckwheat porridge not only fills your tummy, but also provides you with a great winter warmer on a cold morning.
Begin by soaking 100g of raw buckwheat groats overnight before draining.
Add them to a food processor along with 500ml of milk and blend until smooth.
Add the mixture to a saucepan, bring it to the boil and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
This is an incredibly versatile recipe as you can serve it with any number of different toppings, including fresh or dried fruits, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, coconut, banana, almonds or maple syrup.
Leftovers can be kept in sealed container in the fridge for up to four days.
3. Mushroom buckwheat risotto
This filling vegetarian risotto is both healthy and tastes amazing.
Before you start, soak 15g of dried porcini mushrooms in 800ml of water. Mix together 200g of grated cooked beetroot, 100ml of crème fraiche, 1 tablespoon of creamed horseradish, half of a small pack of chopped dill and the juice of half a lemon to make a buraczki.
Then melt 15g of butter in a pan and add chopped shallot and a pinch of salt, cooking for several minutes until it is softened but not coloured.
Add two chopped cloves of garlic and a bay leaf before adding 300g of buckwheat which you will need to toast for a minute.
At this point, pour in 150 ml of white wine and some of the water from the mushrooms, stirring until it is absorbed.
Continue to add the mushroom water, stirring occasionally until the water has all been absorbed and the buckwheat is tender. The whole process should take around 20 minutes.
Whilst cooking the buckwheat, heat 30g of butter in a frying pan and add the porcini mushrooms, 200g of Portobello mushrooms and 250g of chestnut mushrooms.
Fry these for five minutes until they are golden and add them to the mushrooms. Season to taste and serve in bowls with the buraczki.
Buckwheat can be used in a number of different ways, so don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy this fantastic, gluten-free ingredient.
Last updated: 11 December 2020