Buckwheat is an energizing and nutritious food with a nutty and delicious taste that is a great alternative to rice. Many people think that Buckwheat is a cereal grain but it is not related to wheat and is actually an eaten fruit seed which is related to rhubarb. It is often referred to as a pseudocereal and is a great choice for people who are sensitive to wheat and other grains that contain protein glutens.

There are great health benefits to choosing to eat Buckwheat;

Buckwheat is good for your cardiovascular system, it has been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat’s beneficial effects are due to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. Its also a good source of magnesium and also improves blood flow.

Canadian researchers found new evidence in their latest published ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemisty’ that buckwheat may help in the management of diabetes. In a placebo-controlled study, a single dose of buckwheat seed extract, lowered blood glucose levels by 12-19% when fed to laboratory animals with chemically-induced diabetes. No glucose reduction was seen in the animals given the pacebo.

Eating buckwheat and other foods high in insoluble fiber also helps prevent gallstones. Researchers show that insoluble fibre not only speeds how quickly food moves through the intestines but it also reduces the secretion of bile acids, which contributes to gallstone formation.

Fibre from whole grains such as buckwheat also protect against breast cancer. Researchers from a UK Womens Cohort Study showed significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women who had a diet rich in fibre from wholegrains, such as buckwheat.

As well as the many health benefits of buckwheat, I fine this seed is a great addition to many recipes. One of my most favourite being the below risotto recipe. Buckwheat is easy to cook with and tastes delicious.

Buckwheat Mushroom and Pumpkin Risotto

  • 2 cups of raw buckwheat
  • 500g pumpkin, peeled and roughly diced in 2cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 large fennel, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 thyme springs (leaves only) or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 8-10 button, swiss brown or portabello mushrooms, diced
  • 4 cups packed of shredded silver beet greens
  • 3-4 tbsp pitted olives
  • ½ cup almond/cashew/coconut milk

Preheat oven 180’C and bake pumpkin on baking tray with baking paper approx. 20mins or until cooked, set aside to cool till needed.

In meantime, cook buckwheat, approx. 20mins, set aside until needed

Once pumpkin and buckwheat are cooked and you have prepped the veges, heat oil in large saucepan/wok/pot. Then sweat fennel for 5 mins then add chili, garlic and thyme. Saute for a few minutes then add lemon zest and mushrooms. Stir continuously for 5 mins until mushrooms start to cook. Then add cooked buckwheat and silver beet. Stir through until silver has wilted. Then add olives and pumpkin, mix through and add milk.

Allow the pumpkin and milk to heat through. Turn of heat and stir in lemon juice, then serve

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