The Flour Series: Buckwheat Flour

In the second installment to the Flour Series on different gluten-free flours, we are going to look into Buckwheat!

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What is it?

So… Buckwheat is a plant with grain-like seeds, sometimes referred to as buckwheat groats. It is not related to wheat, which is in the grass family, but is actually in the seed family and closely related to rhubarb! (I thought buckwheat had gluten for a long time because I assumed it was similar to wheat, but I was wrong!)

Buckwheat has been heralded, like many other foods recently, as a Superfood. I thought I had discussed previously about the dangers of Superfood labeling, because it can cause us to be less balanced in our struggle to eat the most “Superfoods” possible… but now I can’t find any reference to the topic on my blog and I decided to save you from my rants for now.

But why is it considered a Superfood by some? The major characteristic claims include ranking lower on the glycemic index than rice or corn, which means it will be less likely to cause your blood sugar to spike. Buckwheat and buckwheat flour contain high sources of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  They are pretty high in protein and fiber, as well as Vitamin B (for energy).

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What do you do with it?

A lot of websites I looked at had recipes combining buckwheat flour with other flours like a gluten-free all-purpose flour.  I personally do not think that is necessary.  I have been successful in cookie recipes using the flour as a one for one replacement for another nutty flour like almond flour (which I use often). So you can either replace 20% of your flour with a coconut flour or all-purpose flour or use it as a stand alone flour.

A Huffington Post article titled “20 Buckwheat Recipes You Never Even Knew You Wanted” has recipes including muffins, waffles, crepes, cakes, crackers, pitas, biscuits, pancakes, cookies, bread and more!

I only tried one recipe, from Cooking a la Mel, for buckwheat chocolate chip cookies and then I made my own recipe up and pinned them against each other in my own personal bake-off of sorts. 0729171613

As you can see the buckwheat flour gives the cookies a darker speckled look than typical flours may, almost mimicking cocoa.

Mel’s recipe (although half the size) is on the left and my recipe is on the right. Both contained the same amount of batter although mine spread out like a cookie more.  I thought mine looked better, but I will say Mel’s were pretty moist because they didn’t spread and dry out. I feel like I can’t give her the victory on my own blog, but I think I will.  Nicely done, Mel.

What does BTN do with it?

My mocha protein cookies actually utilize both coffee flour and buckwheat flour… but other than that I do nothing with buckwheat at this point. I had fun experimenting this weekend, but that’s where I’ll stay for now. Check out some more photos below, including one from the crawfish boil where I brought both sets of cookies. I’ll try to get a good buckwheat flour cookie recipe of my own out in the next few weeks for everyone to have fun trying!

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Have a cookie!

Lauren

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The Flour Series

I am going to be starting a series on different types of gluten-free flours, what they are best used for, key nutritional benefits and some of my favorite recipes. Stay tuned! I will come back and link them all here as I post them.  Comment below if I don’t have a flour listed that you are particularly interested in.

POSTS COMING SOON:

Coffee Flour

Buckwheat Flour
Banana Flour

Chickpea Flour

Almond Flour vs Almond Meal

Coconut Flour

Oat Flour

Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

Rice Flour

Oktoberfest at Baked True North

I am reading this great book right now called “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist. My fiend Kim lent it to me and I have been TEARING through it.  Nick is thoroughly surprised as I usually do not read through book suggestions this quickly… or through any books at all! I have this wonderful habit of reading a book 1/2 to 3/4 through and then starting another book and forgetting about it.  I actually did this twice consecutively this summer leading up to this book.  But it won’t happen this time as I can hardly put it down and will definitely have it finished within the 2 week mark.

Shauna’s simple and honest chapters have drawn me in and I have connected with them.  They seem to be teaching me a few things.  One, to experiment more with food and test and grow my boundaries. Two, she has rekindled my love for entertaining and instilled in me a desire to throw fantastically normal get-togethers at our house.  What I mean by normal… is just, the reminder that things don’t have to be perfect, they will never go how you planned, but people, love, and community are the important parts to make central to the event.

I got to practice this “let go and host” mentality for an Oktoberfest event for our small group.  I was only asked to provide dessert and open my doors and everyone else would bring the rest.  I invited a few last minute guests as well to test my welcoming spirit and 2 out 3 invites came and made the party so much better!

The recipe I chose for Oktoberfest challenged me as a baker to make something pretty, not just good tasting.  Most of the things I make are not difficult or detailed in presentation and I am not a detailed person so I do not often try complicated recipes. “The Best German Chocolate Cake in All the Land” was the base for my cake. I made a few adjustments based on need and preference, but just about followed this recipe from Yammie’s Noshery.

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This picture describes the massive, messy, chocolaty German cake we had.

The alterations I made to the recipe (linked above) was as follows:

  • Cake:
    • Midnight Cocoa (high in protein) instead of dark cocoa
    • Canned coconut milk instead of cow’s milk
    • 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia instead of 3 cups sugar
    • All-purpose gluten-free flour instead of rice flour
  • German frosting:
    • Unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened
    • Pecans only for the top layer, not throughout
  • Milk Chocolate Frosting:
    • 4 cups powdered sugar instead of 5 cups
    • Leftover evaporated milk instead of cow’s milk

So, a few of those things I changed out of necessity and might not have otherwise… like the pecans.  I didn’t have any and by the time Nick got home with them the cake was done, so I sprinkled them on top. I do try to replace some sugar with Stevia when I can, and there is SOOO much sugar in this recipe that you will NOT notice a difference in taste. I also almost never put as much powdered sugar into frosting recipes as they call for, just on general principle that I am appalled at how much sugar it takes to make frosting!

Although I am not adding it to the Baked True North menu, it has inspired a few new recipes that I will be experimenting with and you may see those on the menu in the next month (German chocolate cookies…?)!

Overall I had a blast making this recipe and everyone loved how rich it was, even though they couldn’t eat more than a small piece.

HAPPY OKTOBERFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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