We are down to week three in our superfoods series. Superfoods, as you know, are the new rage this year. These are nutrient-dense foods that pack quite a wallop of health with every portion and are the closest thing to a healthy shortcut. But we aren’t really discovering new food species here. In fact, we are travelling back over thousands of years to a really old grain – buckwheat.
Buckwheat isn’t really wheat. It’s nutty, delicious and completely gluten-free, in fact. The very absence of gluten has suddenly made it a much sought-after grain in the past decade. “It’s a very good alternative for people who are sensitive to gluten,” says Dr Niti Desai, a nutritionist at Cumbala Hill Hospital. “It is very high in fibre and it won’t spike up your sugar levels like most other grains.” Dr Desai adds that buckwheat also has a higher protein value than grains, although it’s lesser than lentils. “Switching over from rice and wheat to buckwheat will increase your daily protein intake,” she says. Besides, buckwheat is also very versatile in flavour and can be used in savoury and sweet dishes, thus making it the perfect substitute for wheat.
Buckwheat is not new to India. Indians have been consuming buckwheat for centuries. Locally, it’s known as kuttu and is a very popular choice for upvas or fasting meals, especially during Navratri. “But it doesn’t really have to be consumed only during fasting days,” points out Dr Desai, “Kuttu is healthy enough to be eaten everyday.” Since upvas meals are extra delicious (to make up for the fasting) and quite filling, this recipe for kuttu atta ka paratha is something you definitely want to try out. Some of you may have already tasted it during Navratri.
Kuttu Atte Ka Paratha
2 cups buckwheat flour
2 boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
Rock salt to taste
Ghee for shallow fry
Combine buckwheat flour, mashed potatoes and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Knead into a smooth and flexible dough by adding enough water. Set aside for about 30 minutes. Divide dough into equal-sized balls and roll out each ball into a paratha. Roast each paratha on heated tawa, by applying ghee layer on each side until golden-brown.Remove the paratha from tawa when both sides are roasted well. Serve hot with raita.
Recipe and Image Courtesy: Rasoimenu
If you find your oatmeal porridge boring, try buckwheat for a glorious start to your day. Buckwheat has a nutty, toasty flavour that makes for a delicious porridge; far better than bland oats. Just soak them a night in advance for quick cooking and pair it with your favourite combination – vanilla and mashed banana, or roasted figs with cinnamon and honey.
Ingredients (serves 2):
½ cup roasted buckwheat (kasha or groats)
2 tablespoons chia seed or flaxseed
1 cup plant milk (almond, coconut, dairy, rice, soy, seed)
1 cup water (see notes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
A pinch of cinnamon
1 red apple, grated
Handful of muscatels or large raisins
Fruit to serve
Combine the buckwheat, chia, milk, muscatels, vanilla and cinnamon into a bowl. Sit overnight in the fridge to allow seeds to soften. Add grated apple and cook over a low heat for five minutes until thick and creamy. Add more water or milk if needed. Serve in bowls topped with your choice of fruit and a little honey.
Recipe and Image Courtesy: The Healthy Chef
Buckwheat is a brilliant substitute for wheat when it comes to making muffins, pancakes and cakes. Just mash up a banana with raw honey and buckwheat for delicious muffins. But if you want to try your hand at something easier, here’s a recipe for buckwheat pancakes. They are light and fluffy and a quick recourse to a Saturday morning breakfast.
Light & Fluffy Buckwheat Pancakes
1 large egg
½ cup buckwheat flour
⅓ cup plant milk / filtered water
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp coconut oil, for cooking
Whisk together the egg with your choice of liquid. Add the buckwheat flour and baking powder. Whisk until smooth. The batter should be thick but pourable, so feel free to add a touch more liquid or flour to achieve your desired consistency. Heat a frying pan on low to medium heat. Roughly pour ¼ cup of the pancake batter into the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until small bubbles appear. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the remaining batter.
Recipe and Image Courtesy: Goodness to Glow
Like this article? Also read: #Superfoods: How To Cook With Watermelon Seeds
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