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Buckwheat

 

BENEFITS

A good source of iron and magnesium

High in starches, protein, and fiber

 

DRAWBACKS

Whole kernels are prepared with mixed egg or egg white, which may cause an allergic reaction in those susceptible.

 

Although it's not a grain and is unrelated to wheat, buckwheat is generally used as if it were. North Americans are most familiar with buckwheat in pancakes, which are made from the flour of the plant's seeds. The hulled roasted seeds, commonly called groats or kasha, can be boiled to make cereal, pudding, or a side dish similar to bulgur wheat.

 

When cooked, the buckwheat groats have a nutty flavor that goes well with lamb and strong-tasting vegetables like cabbage. Typically, the dry groats are mixed with a beaten egg, sauteed briefly, then boiled in water. The protein in the egg white keeps the kernels from sticking together as the seeds expand and break their hulls. The amino acids from the egg combine with the amino acids in buckwheat to provide a complete protein dish. to avoid the fat and cholesterol in eggs, discard the yolk.

 

Nutritional Content

A half-cup serving of buckwheat groats contains about 90 calories, 3 g protein, and 51 mg of magnesium, a mineral needed for proper energy metabolism. It also contributes 0.8 mg of iron.

 

Sprouted buckwheat sees are a nutritious and tasty addition to salads, stir-fried foods, and other dishes. Fresh unhulled seeds suitable for sprouting are available from health food stores.

 

Rutin, found in buckwheat, is a known cancer fighter. It also helps to lower cholesterol levels, strengthen blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.

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