Raw Buckwheat Porridge – 3 ways

This post took a while to put together because I really wanted to do a good job of it. Today I’m going to be sharing a bit more about the main ingredient in one of my new favourite breakfasts ๐Ÿ™‚ Buckwheat.

Buckwheat is a pretty interesting ingredient. Although it has the word โ€˜wheatโ€™ in its name, it is 100% gluten-free and not actually related to wheat at all. Buckwheat is known as a pseudo-cereal, similar to other crops like quinoa and amaranth [1]. Buckwheat groats are not whole grains but are rather seeds of the buckwheat plant [2]. Buckwheat is a traditional crop grown in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe that has been cultivated since at least the year 1000 BC in China [1,3]. Interest in the crop has been renewed in the last decade due to its potential as a health food [3]. As a crop, it has shown a strong ability to adapt to adverse environments in a very short period of time [3].

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Nutrition Facts

One cup of cooked buckwheat contains the following macronutrients [2]:

  • 6 g high biological protein
  • 1 g fat
  • 33 g carbohydrates
  • 5 g of dietary fibre

Unique components that are found in buckwheat seeds include flavones, which have demonstrated a number of potential health benefits, and phytosterols, which have important cholesterol-lowering effects [3,4,5,6]. Buckwheat groats have special biological activities of cholesterol-lowering and antihypertension effects and have been shown to improve both constipation and obesity due to their dietary fibre content [3].

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Health Benefits

  1. Heart health โ€“ Buckwheat has been shown to help lower inflammation and high cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a balanced diet in place of refined carbohydrate-based foods [7,8].
  2. Antioxidant content โ€“ Buckwheat contains antioxidants, which play a role in preventing inflammation, preventing the development of cancer, as well as supporting brain, liver, and digestive health [9].
  3. High-quality protein โ€“ In contrast to cereals, buckwheat protein is of a high quality due to its relatively high lysine, threonine, and methionine content [1,3]. For the vegetarians and vegans out there, buckwheat is a great plant-based food to include in your diet as it provides essential amino acids that are not commonly found in cereal or whole grains [2].
  4. Improved digestion โ€“ Buckwheat provides six grams of dietary fibre per one cup serving [4]. Dietary fibre helps to regulate the transit of food through the gastrointestinal tract and has been shown to protect the gut from negative symptoms associated with inflammation [2].
  5. Diabetes prevention โ€“ Buckwheat is a low GI carbohydrate thanks to its protein content and complex carbohydrate makeup [2]. This means that the carbohydrates found in buckwheat are broken down and absorbed more slowly, leading to controlled blood sugar levels and sustainable energy [2].

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Soaking Buckwheat

All of this is great to hear, but studies have shown that buckwheat has poor digestibility in the human body due to the presence of tannins, phytic acid, and protease inhibitors [1]. This is where the importance of soaking comes in. Soaking improves the nutritional and functional properties of buckwheat groats by increasing the digestibility of proteins and other nutritional components [1]. In addition to this, soaking buckwheat helps to increase phytase enzyme activity that breaks down antinutrients such as phytates, which prevent the absorption of important minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium [10]. This porridge is awesome as soaking the buckwheat is an important step in its preparation! If you choose to use buckwheat for other dishes, make sure to soak it for at least 20 minutes in clean water before rinsing well and cooking [10].

Now for the good stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

So now to share my go-to recipe at the moment for a good, wholesome breakfast option. This raw buckwheat porridge is adapted a bit from this one shared on Green Kitchen Stories. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had such fun coming up with a few delicious flavour options that suit my taste, and hopefully will tickle your taste buds too! So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the following yummy raw buckwheat porridges.

Blueberries give this porridge the most beautiful purple colour. Interestingly enough, upon doing a Google search to find out what flavours pair well with blueberries, I discovered that lemon is unanimously one of the best complimentary tastes there is for blueberries. Read a bit more about blueberries in my previous post here. Top with dessicated coconut, nuts, seeds, and even some lemon zest for a bit of extra flavour.

Strawberry & coconut make the most delicious spring flavour combination. YUM! Fresh berries give the porridge a natural sweetness, and coconut makes it a bit more creamy.

Cacao can pretty much turn anything into a pudding, or at least into something that you can kid yourself into believing is a pudding. Enjoy this porridge with a teaspoon of peanut butter, topped with a couple of almonds or cacao nibs for an extra crunch.

Let me know if you give any of these a try ๐Ÿ™‚ Remember to tag @tasteandseeblog or use #tasteandseeblog so that I don’t miss anything that you share!  Have a beautiful week xx

Raw Buckwheat Porridge - 3 ways
Serves 1
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The night before
  1. 1/4 cup raw buckwheat
  2. 2 Tbsp raw almonds/pecans/cashews
Blueberry & Lemon Porridge
  1. 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  2. 1/4 cup plain yoghurt/milk/milk alternative
  3. 2 dried dates
  4. Juice of 1/2 lemon (to taste)
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Cacao & Almond Porridge
  1. 2 tsp cacao powder
  2. 2 dried dates
  3. 1/2 apple, chopped roughly
  4. 1/4 cup plain yoghurt/milk/milk alternative
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Strawberry & Coconut Porridge
  1. 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  2. 2 dried dates
  3. 1/4 cup coconut milk/plain yoghurt/milk/milk alternative
  4. 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
The night before
  1. Soak the raw buckwheat groats and nuts in two separate bowls. Cover with sufficient water.
In the morning
  1. Drain and rinse both the buckwheat and nuts well.
  2. Place the soaked buckwheat and nuts, as well as all of the other ingredients for your porridge of choice into a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse until well purรฉed and mixed. Alternatively you can use a hand-held immersion blender to do this.
  3. Spoon the porridge into a bowl and sprinkle with toppings of your choice!
Enjoy with toppings such as
  1. - Raw nuts
  2. - Extra fruit
  3. - Cacao nibs
  4. - Desiccated coconut
  5. - Seeds
  6. - Cinnamon
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Taste & See http://tasteandseeblog.co.za/

References 

[1] Wijngaard HH, Arendt EK. Buckwheat. Cereal Chem. 2006 Jul/Aug;83(4):391-401.

[2] Dr Axe [Internet]. Buckwheat Nutrition & Health Benefits; 2016 [cited 2016 Oct 10]. Available from: https://draxe.com/buckwheat-nutrition/.

[3] Li S, Zhang QH. Advances in the development of functional foods from buckwheat. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2001 Jan;41(6):451-64.

[4] Moon YJ et al. Dietary flavonoids: effects on xenobiotic and carcinogen metabolism. Toxicol In Vitro. 2006 Mar;20(2):187-210.

[5] Dajas F et al. Neuroprotection by flavonoids. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2003 Dec;36(12):1613-20.

[6] Woodman OL, Chan ECH. Vascular and anti-oxidant actions of flavonols and flavones. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2004 Nov;31(11):786-90.

[7] Wieslander G, Fabjan N, Vogrinic M, Kreft I, Janson C, Spetz-Nystrรถm U, Vombergar B, Tagesson C, Leanderson P, Norbรคck D. Eating buckwheat cookies is associated with the reduction in serum levels of myeloperoxidase and cholesterol: a double blind crossover study in day-car centre staffs.Tohoku J Exp Med. 2011;225(2):123-30.

[8] He J, Klag MJ, Whelton PK, Mo JP, Chen JY, Qian MC, Mo PS, HE GQ. Oats and buckwheat intakes and cardiovascular disease risk factors in an ethnic minority of China. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Feb;61(2):366-72.

[9] Quettier-Deleu C, Gressier B, Vasseur J, Dine T, Brunet C, Luyckx M, Cazin M, Cazin JC, Bailleul F, Trotin F. Phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) hulls and flour. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Sep;72(1-2):35-42.

[10] Hill, M. Nutrition Stripped: 100 Whole-Food Recipes Made Deliciously Simple. USA:William Morrow Cookbooks; 2016. 305 p.

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2 Comments

  1. Monique Kade Stegmann

    You make the seemingly simplest ingredients come to Life. Well done, Kirsty! Love the combos and appreciate your info’ inserts esp re Buckwheat.

    • kirstinlouisem

      Yum Yum! You’re going to have to give this one a try some time. Thanks Monique x

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