All about BUCKWHEAT featuring delicious buckwheat pancakes


Recipe and blog post courtesy of Sandra Clark, member at Alfalfa House

Closely related to Rhubarb, buckwheat seeds or grouts can be used in a variety of ways. They are not a grain, but as the seeds or grouts they can be used as a grain substitute. By grinding the grouts you can make your own buckwheat flour, the base for Sarasen crepes made in Brittany in France and soba noodles, popular in Japan.

Native to south east Asia, the first recorded use dates back to China in the 5th Century. The name buckwheat however is derived from the Dutch word “beechwheat” as the triangular shaped seeds resemble beech nuts. It was first introduced into Europe in the middle ages where it became popular as a minor crop. It was also grown in North America, Africa and Brazil.

The Buckwheat plant is very hardy and grows in cold climates with poor soil. It can be used as a whole grain or as a flour but cannot be used to make bread. The most famous buckwheat of all buckwheat dishes is the Kasha, a specialty of Russia.

How do you use buckwheat?

Porridge:
Soak whole buckwheat grouts overnight then strain. Cover with water and cook for around 30 minutes and serve hot with poached fruits.

Bircher buckwheat:
Use cold porridge mix above and stir through natural yoghurt, honey, banana and dates.

Pancakes:
Use buckwheat flour to make breakfast pancakes or blinis which can be topped with anything you like

Buckwheat pancakes with pineapple, banana and toasted coconut flakes

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Equipment Needed: 2 bowls, coffee/spice grinder, sieve, whisk, non-stick fry pan

Ingredients

3 free range eggs (separated)
65 g ground buckwheat grouts
60 g plain organic soft flour
1 tablespoon honey
1 tsp baking powder
140 ml milk
Pinch sea salt
¼ Pineapple- peeled, core removed and finely sliced
1 banana
50g coconut flakes
Maple syrup
Natural Yoghurt ( optional)

Cooking method

1. Pre heat oven to 150 degrees C.
2. DRY INGREDIENTS: Make buckwheat flour by placing grouts in a coffee grinder and grind until fine. Measure flour then add to plain flour. Sieve into a bowl. Add baking powder and salt
3. Toast coconut flakes (dry) in the oven on a baking tray for around 10 minutes until golden
4. WET INGREDIENTS: Separate eggs, place yolks in a bowl and beat lightly with a whisk or fork then add milk.
5. Make a well in the centre of the DRY ingredients and slowly add WET ingredients.
6. Finally add honey.
7. Whisk egg whites until they form firm peaks, ( will hold firm on the whisk) then gently fold through batter.
8. Heat a non-stick frypan to medium heat, spoon in batter leaving space around each. Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Keep warm on a plate in the oven while making next batch.
9. Serve with sliced pineapple, sliced banana, toasted coconut flakes and a drizzle of maple syrup and maybe a spoon of homemade natural yoghurt.

Tips:
For coeliacs and gluten free diets simply use 125g buckwheat flour and no plain four.
Other topping ideas:
Blueberry, banana and agave syrup
Caramelised apple or pear and chopped roasted hazelnuts


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