Despite its misleading name, buckwheat is not actually a type of true wheat or even a cereal grain. The name is derived from the Dutch word bockweit, meaning “beech-wheat,” referring to its beechnut shape and wheat-like characteristics. It is actually a fruit seed more closely related to sorrel and rhubarb and doesn’t contain gluten, making it ideal for those with Celiac disease. Buckwheat is a hardy crop and can be found throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Buckwheat is an excellent source of copper, magnesium, dietary fiber and phosphorus. It also contains a high amount of protein as well as eight essential amino acids, including lysine. Buckwheat is made edible by a special milling process that removes the outer hull. Roasted buckwheat is sometimes referred to as “kasha” and features prominently in traditional European dishes. Whole buckwheat can be served as a cereal or a rice alternative and ground buckwheat is frequently mixed with a gluten containing flour, such as wheat, to make pancakes or crepes.
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