For those of you who are unable to tolerate gluten, you probably already know so much about buckwheat. But I don’t. We made buckwheat pancakes in class several weeks ago (using buckwheat flour) that were light and tender- not exactly what I’d expected from the flour’s coarse, dark appearance. The pancake was a winner, but I hadn’t really thought about buckwheat since.
Then I finally tried making Laura’s granola with buckwheat groats this weekend. I was a bit skeptical as the buckwheat groats (buckwheat kernels with the inedible hulls removed) looked suspiciously like tiny pebbles mixed in with my trusty oats.
But the end product had such a different, new, tender crunch that I don’t think I’ll make granola without buckwheat anymore. And, of course, I’ve had to begin my own little research on buckwheat and what it can turn into in the kitchen…
Buckwheat isn’t actually wheat at all. In fact, it’s not even a grain. It’s a fruit seed related to plants like rhubarb and sorrel. But this pyramid-shaped little gem can be treated much like other grains in the kitchen: hot cereals, cold salads, pilaf-style with nearly any flavor profile.
So buckwheat may pop its little nutritious head up now and again. Just give it the benefit of the doubt. And definitely share any tips and recipes you may have with the rest of us who are just discovering buckwheat.