My family loves the earthy flavor of buckwheat pancakes, especially when served with lots of butter and a little real maple syrup. However, buckwheat doesn’t just taste good, it is also very nutritious.
Buckwheat is not wheat. It’s not even a grain but comes from the seeds of a plant related to sorrel and rhubarb. It was first cultivated in Asia maybe as early as 6000 BC and had spread to Europe by 4000 BC. Buckwheat contains about 18% protein, and is especially high in lysine, threonine, and tryptophan. It is also rich in iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and antioxidants. [source]
Another big plus for buckwheat: it is “especially noted for its high nitriloside, or B17, content, which plays an important role in the body’s defense against cancer.” [Nourishing Traditions, p. 464]
Buckwheat is used in many traditional foods, including soba noodles in Japan, groats (kasha) in western Asia and eastern Europe, and many versions of pancakes – blinis in Russia, galettes in France, and ployes in Acadia. [source]
Our favorite buckwheat recipe is Buckwheat Pancakes. Here’s how we make them:
2 cups raw milk buttermilk (yoghurt or kefir works too)
2 eggs, lightly beaten, preferably from pastured chickens
1 teaspoon baking powder, aluminum free, [I use Rumford]
1 teaspoon baking soda [I use Bob’s Red Mill]
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted [I use Kerrygold butter or Tropical Traditions coconut oil]
1 cup buckwheat flour, [I use Bob’s Red Mill]
1 cup whole wheat flour, freshly ground if possible [I use sprouted whole wheat or Einkorn] (see below for gluten and grain-free version)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt [I use Celtic Sea Salt]
Combine buckwheat flour and whole wheat flour in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and soak overnight (12 to 24 hours). Add remaining ingredients and mix with a wire whisk until large lumps disappear. Thin with a little water if the batter is too thick. Cook on a lightly oiled (use coconut oil) griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.
We ate these pancakes with Kerrygold butter and organic maple syrup, but you could top them with raw honey, fresh fruit, or fruit syrup.
This recipe makes about 16 4″ pancakes. Leftovers, if any, can be frozen and reheated in a toaster or toaster oven. They’re still delicious!
Gluten and grain-free pancakes: Since my family really likes buckwheat, I’ve used up to 1-1/2 cups buckwheat flour with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, and the pancakes are super good. If you are gluten and wheat-free, you could use all buckwheat flour. I have heard that they are still delicious, but I haven’t tried 100% buckwheat yet.
This is a photo of buckwheat from Bob’s Red Mill:
Update July 3, 2013: Buckwheat – 9 Great Reasons to Know it, Plant it, Grow it and Eat it! This is a great article that adds many more benefits to eating buckwheat, including it is a clean crop (ancient and not modified), and it is an appetite suppressant).
This post is shared on Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager.