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