Today we will talk about green buckwheat – the staple of Ukrainian cuisine. Personally, I did not like buckwheat as a child and the only way I would eat it was with milk, kind of like the modern concept of cereal with milk. The only difference is that toasted and cooked buckwheat has a very mild taste and does not have a crunch of a modern cereal. The seeds that we used to buy in the store were brown and roasted, then cooked and used as a side dish like we use quinoa here in the U.S. But the unprocessed green buckwheat is a thousand times healthier and tastier. Sprouted green buckwheat is rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, iron and is great for both main dishes and desserts! In winter and spring, buckwheat is one of the foundations of my diet. In Ukraine, it is also much cheaper than fancy foreign quinoa! Buying in bulk is always a good idea, as you can save a lot of money this way!
Sprouting green buckwheat is very simple – soak a glass of buckwheat with a glass or more of water (you can soak in any bowl) and leave it open overnight. In the morning, buckwheat will be ready for use, and if you leave it for another 5-6 hours, then small spouts will hatch. Before use, rinse slightly. Since buckwheat secretes mucus that is good for the stomach it is imperative to rinse it a little bit to preserve the mucus formed with the soaking. It also helps during baking as it keeps things together, just like gluten does during baking with wheat. If you remove the seeds in the refrigerator, they will continue to germinate there, only more slowly.
Buckwheat can be cooked just like quinoa and can be paired with multiple veggies, spices, and seeds to give it more flavor: ideally with tomatoes, avocado, seaweed (especially wakame), lettuce, cucumbers, sauerkraut, pine nuts, any type of seeds, salsas, guacamole. It could be used in veggie bowls or even in shakes and puddings!
Buckwheat is truly universal and can be used in desserts – sprouted and dried in a dehydrator – as a crispy addition to sweets (like granola); and ground with dates and dried – like cookies.
The color of the flour from green buckwheat is a little gray, it does not at all look like flour from the usual brown buckwheat. I have tried many times to make buckwheat crepes with the roasted buckwheat flour and after a few epic fails I gave up! But green buckwheat flour is a completely different matter.
Whole-ground buckwheat flour is made from live buckwheat and is very useful since with this treatment all useful substances are preserved.
Useful properties of green buckwheat
Green buckwheat is a living substance, due to the fact that groats are not subject to heat-treatment, it contains much more useful elements and vitamins. By the way, the calorie content of green buckwheat is lower – per 100 grams of the product, only 295 kcal.
Nutritionists also love this cereal because of its energy value and antioxidant content. So, for example, 100 grams of product contains:
protein – 13-15%
fat – 2.5 -3%
sugar – 2.0-2.5%
starch – 70%
fiber – 1.1-1.3 fiber, by the way, 1.5-2 times more than in oats, barley, millet and rice
At the same time, green buckwheat is one of the strongest antioxidants, so about 182 mg of antioxidants per 100 grams of cereal. For example, in rice, only 5 mg of antioxidants per 100 grams of the product.
Useful properties of green buckwheat
Green buckwheat is an excellent source of B vitamins, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, in a form well absorbed by the body. Unlike even whole wheat products, green buckwheat has a low glycemic index allows and is tolerated better by people with blood sugar abnormalities. It means it does not spike blood sugar too fast and you do not experience the fast drop in blood sugar that makes you feel fatigued.
Complex carbohydrates that are contained in green buckwheat provide the body with energy and also allow to maintain a feeling of satiety for a long time. In addition, this cereal has a beneficial effect on the normalization of metabolism.
By the way, this cereal also does not contain gluten, and therefore is suitable for those who follow a gluten-free diet.
What diseases should include green buckwheat in the diet:
gastrointestinal tract diseases (including stomach and intestinal ulcers, bowel obstruction)
diseases of the cardiovascular system
high blood pressure
a weakness of the walls of blood vessels and varicose veins
obesity, metabolic disorder
liver and kidney problems.
Note that even when boiled, green buckwheat contains 182 mg of antioxidants in 1/4 cup of the product. However, in the germinated their amount is twice as much – 383 mg per 1/4 cup of the product.
Have you tried green buckwheat flour or whole green buckwheat in cooking?
Zhanna Tarjeft, FNP-BC is a Functional Medicine Family Nurse Practitioner specializing in gut health issues such as SIFO (Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth), SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), leaky gut, IBS, Mold illness (CIRS, Biotoxin illness) and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis). For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office.
Zhanna Tarjeft, FNP is a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and a founder of Sprouts Health Functional Medicine Practice in Gilbert, Arizona. Her articles are a matter of personal opinion and do not constitute direct medical advice. All conditions are unique and require the direct review and care of your own physician. To book an appointment with Zhanna Tarjeft contact her at (480) 550-9551