By Dr Megan Chircop
Buckwheat is a seed related to rhubarb.
Find out why it so good for us and how to include it in our diet for not only improved health but also weight management.
It has a wonderful nutty flavour and is gluten-free, low GI carbohydrate and high in amino acids, fibre and essential minerals manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper. The fibre is soluble, which helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and promote bowel health. Buckwheat is also rich in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant polyphenols like rutin, which helps to reduce blood pressure. It also contains the amino acid tryptophan which helps to make serotonin – the FEEL GOOD hormone responsible for feelings of wellbeing and happy digestive health!
Here are out top recipe ideas to incorporate buckwheat in to your diet:
1) Buckwheat pancakes
This is a great breakfast. Loaded with protein and fibre to keep you satisfied till lunch time. Make a large batch and store them in portion sizes in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer in zip-locked bags. Reheat for a quick breakfast.
Sift buckwheat flour into a large bowl (you can make your own by processing raw buckwheat in a food processor). Make a well in the centre and slowly incorporate a similar amount of almond milk. Whisk in an egg and some flaked almonds. Add more or less almond milk to get thinner or thicker pancakes. Mixture can be store in the fridge for 1-2 days until ready to cook.
To cook, heat a frypan, spray with coconut oil or melt a little butter. Add pancake mixture in small ladlefuls. When bubbles start to form on the surface, flip pancakes over and cook the other side. Top with fresh banana slices, strawberries and some extra flaked almonds. Drizzle with a little sugar-free maple syrup.
FLAVOUR BOOST: Grill banana slices till they are caramelised to bring out their natural sweetness. Instead of banana, try blueberries and fold some through the pancake batter before cooking.
2) Buckwheat noodles with ponzu dressing
Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is tart, with a thin, watery consistency and a dark brown colour. Ponzu is ponzu sauce with soy sauce added, and the mixed product is widely referred to as simply ponzu. It is typically made in to a dressing and served with soba noodles and often seared sushi-grade tuna and vegies such as edamame (soy beans), shallots and snow peas.
Here we substitute the soba noodles for buckwheat noodles. Cook the buckwheat noodles. Drain and set aside. In the meantime, sear tuna that has been coated in black and white sesame seeds, thinly slice. Set aside. (Or for a vegetarian option leave out the tuna or use tofu or tempeh). Blanch vegies. Refresh in ice-water. Drain.
To make whisk the dressing ingredients together in a jar (or put the lid on and shake) - ponzu (citrus soy), mirin, wasabi paste (as much or as little as you like), mirin (Japanese rice wine), fish sauce, juice of a lime and a little caster sugar.
Toss noodles and vegies with half of the dressing. Divide between bowls. Serve topped with seared tuna slices, drizzle over remaining dressing and sprinkle over some extra sesame seeds.
Take your favourite tabbouleh recipe and substitute the bourghul for buckwheat. It is that simple. In a large bowl add a few cups of chopped parsley, a cup of fresh mint and a finely diced shallot or red onion, and 1-2 finely diced tomatoes (discard the juice and seeds). Toss through ½ cup of cooked buckwheat with some lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Perfect to accompany any summer lunch BBQ. An ideal salad to make in advance.
SPICE IT UP: Sumac is a reddish-purple powder used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a tart, lemony taste to salads or meat. Try adding a pinch to your dressing.
4) Spaghetti Bolognese (One of our most popular recipes)
For those that can not eat gluten, this meal will satisfy your comfort-food cravings. Whip up your favourite bolognese sauce and toss through cooked buckwheat noodles. Divide between bowls and grate over some parmesan cheese. Any easy family dinner ready in a flash, especially if you already have some home-made bolognese sauce pre-prepared that you have stored in the freezer. All you have to do is heat it up in the microwave.
MIX IT UP: Try any pasta sauce.
5) Buckwheat, beef and roast vegie salad
This easy roast vegie salad is ready in just 35 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights! Plus, it is super cheap at less than $5 a serve.
To make, cut pumpkin, red onion and capsicum up into bite sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with sumac. Roast vegies in a moderate oven for 25-30 minutes. In the meantime, cook buckwheat (about 50g per serve) in boiling water. Drain and pat dry.
Char grill steak fillets to your liking. Set aside. Make a mustard vinaigrette dressing.
To assembly the salad, toss roasted vegies and buckwheat with some parsley and half of the dressing. Divide between plates and top with slices of steak. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
FLAVOUR BOOST: Toast buckwheat in a dry pan for a few minutes before cooking to bring out their nutty flavour.
The Body Sculptors Australia team prides itself on developing nutritious recipes that are absolutely delicious. You will wonder why you have not eaten like this your whole life when food tastes this good.
Our mission is to help as many people as possible achieve their ideal healthy, lean and active body to have confidence and happiness in their everyday lives.
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