Probably a native of Persia and a vast triangle around Lake Baikal, buckwheat, also called " black wheat " due to the color of the stem of the plant and seeds, is a pseudo-cereal belonging to the family of the Polygonaceae, like the sorrel and rhubarb, not Gramineae, like the main cereals.
Today it is abundantly cultivated in Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and in Brittany, where it is very consumed to prepare the characteristic biscuits, species of cheese crepes, soups and excellent polenta.
Saracen polenta is also typical of some areas of Treviso and Valtellina, where the same grain is grown to make the famous pizzocheri and the most famous polenta taragna. Buckwheat, not containing gluten, is an ideal wheat for celiacs .
Benefits of buckwheat seeds
Known since Roman times, buckwheat (so called because it was marketed by the Turks), was used as a basic ingredient for a polenta that was seasoned with sheep's cheese, asparagus and wild artichokes, onions and almonds.
Fallen into disuse for years, lately the remarkable properties are being rediscovered, also and above all to enrich foods like those provided by the vegan and vegetarian diet .
With a composition similar to that of cereals, the seeds of buckwheat are much richer than lysine, an essential amino acid; 100 grams of product contain almost 12 grams of protein, very little fat and many minerals, including potassium, calcium, chlorine, iron and phosphorus. The vitamins we find here are PP, B1 and B2.
Formally it is located halfway between cereals and legumes, so it is a food that is more than noble and respectable, perfect for preparing various and excellent recipes, from salads to gnocchi.
Ideal in the winter season, the seeds of buckwheat and the resulting flour heat, tone and strengthen the body. They are good for everyone, especially children and the elderly, and to particularly debilitated subjects or those suffering from arthritis, poor circulation, digestive disorders.
Also important is the level of lecithin contained in buckwheat, a very useful substance in the balance of fat in the blood.
Discover the other gluten-free cereals
Recipes with buckwheat seeds
First of all it must be said that buckwheat can very well substitute recipes based on pasta, spelled, rice, barley or other cereals.
So here is the basic procedure for making boiled buckwheat, which you can then do with it: make salads, sauté with vegetables, make vegetarian meatballs.
Soaking for buckwheat is optional, at most you can leave it for six hours in cold water. If you don't use the soak, you can toast it.
Ingredients for a couple of people:
> a cup of buckwheat,
> half a liter of water,
> a nice pinch of salt.
Procedure : put the salted water to boil, then add the well rinsed wheat and cook for about fifteen / twenty minutes, leave to rest five minutes before draining and season with extra virgin olive oil and vegetables to taste.
To accentuate the slightly nutty flavor, there are those who also lightly sauté them in a couple of tablespoons of oil before boiling them.
Buckwheat, steamed potatoes and rosemary
> a cup of buckwheat,
> a potato,
> a sprig of fresh rosemary,
> salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil
Procedure : use the metal basket or, if you have it, the steamer; put the buckwheat and the potatoes cut into small cubes. Cook in the steamer for about half an hour, place on a plate and season with fresh chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
It can be served as an accompaniment to a beautiful salad, or as a side dish with tofu, seitan, eggs or with a nice cream of zucchini next to it.