Dr Libby on buckwheat
Though it is commonly referred to as a grain, buckwheat is actually the seed of a broadleaf plant related to rhubarb. Despite the name, it is not related to wheat and is gluten free. It can be used in cooking like other grains but it has a superior nutritional profile. Buckwheat has more protein than rice, wheat, millet or corn and is high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine, in which cereal crops are often deficient. Its unique amino acid profile gives buckwheat the ability to boost the protein value of beans and cereal grains supplying the amino acids they’re short in - to help form a complete protein.
This is known as protein combining and is of particular importance for vegetarians and vegans. Buckwheat’s beneficial effects are also due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids. Flavonoids are phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the antioxidant action of vitamin C – also acting as antioxidants themselves.
Soba noodles and buckwheat pancakes are probably the most common ways we eat buckwheat but here’s a more innovative recipe for buckwheat crackle slice for snack time.
Buckwheat crackle slice
Buckwheat gives this crackle slice its crunch. It’s a delicious snack or dessert and best-served straight from the fridge. This recipe makes 28-30 little squares.
1 cup whole buckwheat groats (dehydrated)*
1 cup currants
1 cup shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
¾ cup coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla paste
- Mix all ingredients into a bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon.
- Line a 27 x 17.5cm slice pan with baking paper.
- Spread mixture evenly into the pan and press downfirmly.
- Set in the fridge until ready to slice and serve.
*Look for buckwheat at healthfood stores. You can dehydrate buckwheat groats yourself by spreading them on a baking tray and baking on the lowest heat in the oven for 30 minutes.