Buckwheat (Fagopyrum Esculentum)
Having no relationship or connection with wheat, the triangular black or dark brown buckwheat seed is produced by a member of the rhubarb family. Growing to a metre in height, producing distinctive small pink flowers in late summer, the seed ripens in the late autumn.
Buckwheat is a short season crop that does well on low-fertility or acidic soils, but the soil must be well drained. Mechanical removal of the inedible outer husk is required to yield the sweet tasting buckwheat.
This is a traditional food in many parts of Russia and Northern China where, after hulling, the whole grain sometimes known as 'kasha' is boiled and eaten.
Buckwheat has also been adopted by many other cultures and is typically used for both pancakes in Northern France and Noodles in the Far East.
Buckwheat produces a sweet and speckled flour. Whilst it is naturally gluten free, buckwheat flour can contain traces of gluten from adjacent or previous crops of wheat, storage and processing. Buckwheat imparts a distinctive and pleasing flavour to baked goods.
The specific characteristics of buckwheat proteins, and the relative proportions of its amino acids, make buckwheat the unsurpassed cholesterol-lowering food studied to date.
Compared with true grains, buckwheat is high in minerals: especially zinc, copper, and manganese.
Healthier fat profile. Unlike true grains, buckwheat’s low fat content is skewed toward monounsaturated fatty acids—the type that makes olive oil so heart-healthful.