Buckwheat Groats are the hulled heart-shaped seeds of the buckwheat plant. Nutritionally, buckwheat is close to wheat but it is not a wheat at all. It is actually a cereal grain and contains no gluten. For people who struggle with wheat allergies or gluten intolerance, buckwheat is a nutritionally ideal substitute.
Buckwheat has a nutty flavor, soft texture and is available in many forms:
Raw groats – light tan in color with very mild flavor
Toasted groats – rich dark brown color with nutty flavor and aroma
Toasted grits – harder to find, used as cereals
Flour – used for pancakes and added to breads and muffins
Buckwheat groats are rich in complex carbohydrates, the preferred source of energy for your cells, especially the muscles and nervous system. They are a better source of fiber than brown rice. The fiber in the buckwheat takes longer for your body to digest, aiding in hunger control so you’ll stay full longer.
Buckwheat groats also provide some protein and B vitamins but it is rich in phosphorus, potassium, iron, and calcium. The protein in buckwheat does not provide all of the essential amino acids so pairing it with a richer source of protein ensures a heartier and more nutritionally complete meal.
Buckwheat is a versatile grain. You can season them with sweet spices and serve them as a replacement for hot breakfast cereal or season them with savory spices and serve as a starchy side dish at dinner. Cooked buckwheat groats make a nutritious addition to soups and stews, adding a hardy texture and flavor.
How to cook Buckwheat Groats
Rinse buckwheat groats prior to cooking to remove any debris or dirt.
Just like rice, cook them in a 1:2 ratio: one part groats to two parts boiling water or other liquid, such as diluted juice or broth.
Turn heat down to low, and cook 12 to 15 minutes.
Check the buckwheat halfway through. These grains absorb water so quickly, you want to make sure there is enough liquid to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.