• A good source of
iron and magnesium
• High in
starches, protein, and fiber
• 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.
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.