Are you looking for an easy whole grain to make great hot cereal and side dishes with? Buckwheat groats are a great option, and it’s easy and quick to cook.
Cooked buckwheat goes great with soups and salads. Buckwheat is an easy whole grain to cook; you can cook buckwheat on the stove or in a pressure cooker, such as an instant pot.
Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed making it a great option for those on a gluten-free diet and those with celiac disease. Although buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, if you do have dietary restrictions around gluten, make sure to purchase buckwheat that is certified gluten-free to avoid any possible cross-contamination.
How to Cook Buckwheat Groats
Cooking groats is much like cooking oats or quinoa. Buckwheat groats are simple and easy to make at home in about ten minutes. You can choose to flavor them for breakfast groats, leave them plain or add them to a salad.
Plain and Simple Buckwheat Groats
Although there are many cooking methods for making groats. The easiest way to cook buckwheat groats is on the stovetop as you would rice or quinoa. Buckwheat is quick and easy to make in about ten minutes. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can also cook buckwheat groats in an instant pot.
Ingredients: 2 cups of water, 1 cup of buckwheat groats
- Rinse buckwheat under cold water until the water runs clear.
- Add 2 cups of water to a large pot and boil at high heat.
3. Add 1 cup of buckwheat to a pot of water, cover, and reduce to a simmer at low heat.
4. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed or until you reach your desired consistency, about 10-12 minutes. The longer they cook, and the more liquid they absorb, the softer they will be.
5. After cooking, allow groats to “rest” in the pot, covered for 15 minutes.
6. Add optional flavoring if desired- see below. Fluff with a fork and serve.
*Allow cooling if adding to salads. For breakfast, groats add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring and 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon. For a more basic dish, add in a small amount of butter and a pinch of salt if desired.
Cooking Tips and Tricks for Buckwheat Groats
- Sprouting buckwheat groats by pre-soaking them for about 6 hours will help cut the cooking time in about half and enhance the nutritional benefits of the buckwheat groats.
- You can use bone broth or soup stock as a substitute for water for a more savory taste. For sweeter groats, you can use a milk as a substitute for water.
- Top breakfast groats off with fresh fruit and a bit of maple syrup for added sweetness.
- The best way to avoid mushy buckwheat is to not overcook it. You want to monitor it as the cooking time approaches 10 minutes and if you do add additional time, continue to watch it, so it does not overcook.
- Softer oats make a great breakfast porridge, while firmer oats are great to add to a salad or as a substitute for rice.
What are Buckwheat Groats?
Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. They may also be called buckwheat kernels. They have a mild, earthy flavor with a chewy texture. they look and taste much steel-cut oats.
Buckwheat groats can be cooked like white rice and added to salads or enjoyed as a side dish. Contrary to what their name suggests, buckwheat is not related to wheat; rather, it is the fruit seed of a flowering plant related to rhubarb.
However, from a culinary and nutritional perspective, they are treated much like a cereal grain or what we call a pseudo-grain. But, the pyramid-shaped buckwheat kernels are naturally gluten-free. This makes them a great option for anyone with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity; it is best to look for buckwheat groats that are certified gluten-free in order to avoid cross-contamination.
Buckwheat can be found in larger or more health-focused grocery stores. I often find buckwheat groats in the Bulk foods area, so make sure to look there. It can also be ordered online through a variety of resellers.
Types of Buckwheat
Buckwheat Groats: Buckwheat groats are the hearty hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. They can be cooked and eaten similarly to oatmeal or quinoa. They can also be toasted on a dry skillet over medium heat or in the oven and enjoyed as a crunchy granola-like topper added to soups, salads, yogurt, or cereals.
Kasha: Kasha is buckwheat groats that have been roasted. Roasting buckwheat brings out the nutty flavor. You can roast buckwheat groats in the oven or buy buckwheat groats that have already been roasted.
Buckwheat Flour: Buckwheat flour is commonly used in soba noodles and is often used in making crepes, buckwheat pancakes, and other gluten-free baked goods. Buckwheat flour is made from the ground-up seed hulls of the buckwheat plant.
Raw Groats: Buckwheat groats are commonly sold as raw buckwheat groats, meaning they have not been cooked, toasted, or sprouted.
Toasted Groats: Toasted buckwheat groats have been roasted, which gives them a nutty flavor. They may also be referred to as buckwheat kasha.
Sprouted Groats: You can buy sprouted buckwheat groats or sprout your own. Many people prefer grains and pseudo-grains such as buckwheat to be sprouted first to enhance nutritional benefits. To sprout your own buckwheat groats, add buckwheat groats to a jar of water for at least 6 hours, and drain and cook as desired.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat Groats
Buckwheat is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and a great source of plant protein. It has also been proven to help lower the risk of heart disease, lower bad cholesterol, and promotes good circulation, among other health benefits.
With a low glycemic index, buckwheat is a healthier choice over wheat and other cereal grains for those looking to reduce their risk of diabetes and manage their weight.
Buckwheat groats, like quinoa, are a great source of vegetarian protein. Containing all nine essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. Buckwheat groats are also high in iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Buckwheat groats are a great source of whole grains, a complete protein, and a source of other nutrients. They are quick and easy to make in ten minutes or less. As a versatile grain, they go great on top of salads, as a breakfast porridge, or side dish. Buckwheat groats are a great choice for anyone looking for a healthier whole grain to add to their diet.
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Karla Kueber is a Certified Evidence Based EFT Practioner and Health Coach, with a double Masters Degree in Education. She works with people to overcome emotional eating, curb cravings, and overcome resistance to eating new healthy foods. You can learn more about coaching with her here.