Perhaps the most deceiving of the naturally gluten free grains is buckwheat. Contrary to what the name implies, buckwheat doesn’t contain any wheat and is naturally gluten free. Rather than a grain, it is a seed and belongs to the pseudocereal group, which means it is consumed like other cereal grains but doesn’t grow as a grass. Other common pseudo cereals are quinoa and amaranth. Buckwheat is an ancient grain that has been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years, but it is gaining Western popularity for its nutritionally dense profile and positive effects on heart health and blood sugar.
- Add buckwheat, coconut milk, water, diced apple & cinnamon to pressure cooker and lock lid
- Turn the heat up to high until pressure is reached then cook 2-4 min
- Let the pressure come down
- Scoop porridge into a bowl and top with chopped walnuts
Starting your day with a high fiber, low glycemic index food like buckwheat helps you feel fuller longer and avoid spikes in blood sugar levels. Buckwheat has been shown to have a significantly lower effect on blood sugar than wheat.
Both soluble fiber and resistant starch pass through the GI tract avoiding digestion. They, in turn, feed the good bacteria in your colon. The husk of buckwheat is where the soluble fiber and resistant starch can be found, along with important antioxidants. That is why it is important to look for unprocessed buckwheat. We love the Pocono Cream of Wheat Organic Buckwheat because it is certified organic with absolutely no preservatives. We use it in the recipe below. According to Cornell University, although neither organic or conventional buckwheat are sprayed with pesticides, it is still important to buy organic as it is grown on farms with dedicated organic practices. This means healthier soil and no cross contamination.
The protein content of buckwheat is higher than most whole grains and comes in a highly digestible form. The amino acid profile is balanced, providing many of essential amino acids we require from our diet. Specifically, buckwheat contians arginine and lysine, two amino acids not commonly found in other cereals.
As a superfood, buckwheat has a high antioxidant activity. It contains a high concentration of phenols and flavonoids when compared to barley, oats, wheat and rye. As we mentioned, the majority of these antioxidants are found in the outer layer. The main antioxidant in buckwheat is called Rutin and has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body and lower blood pressure by reducing a process known as LDL peroxidation. LDL peroxidation is a key factor in heart disease driven by free radicals.
Other heart-healthy vitamins and minerals are abundantly found in buckwheat including copper and magnesium which have both been shown to help fight heart disease. These nutrients are set up to be well absorbed by the low phytic acid content of buckwheat, which can serve as an absorption inhibitor in other foods.
Buckwheat’s flavor can be described as earthy, nutty and slightly sweet. A bowl of porridge has a creamy texture.. It can be enjoyed in savory or sweet dishes. Below we enjoy it with some apples, walnuts and cinnamon. The walnuts add healthy fats and even more antioxidant benefits, further decreasing inflammation and promoting digestive health. Try Food to Live Organic walnuts. We love this brand for their dedication to organic practices and we’ve found consistently great quality from their nuts. The coconut milk adds creaminess and even more good fats. We love the Native Forest Simple Organic Coconut Milk for its simple, pure ingredients and great taste and consistency. Adding cinnamon to this recipe provides additional anti-inflammatory properties. Whichever brand you choose, always try to choose organic for these add ins.
It’s easy to make this recipe your own by playing with the fruit, nut and spice options. The combination below is a great fit for low-GI, high-fat diets. If you’re on a low-fat diet, skip or reduce the coconut milk and walnuts and use more or all water instead. Some other warm spices that are great in this dish include ginger, cardamom and nutmeg. If you are looking for a more savory for breakfast, you can swap the apple, walnut and cinnamon out for cashews and turmeric. If your diet allows, a poached egg is great on top. Pressure cookers can vary, so consult your manual for exact times and settings.
This recipe is an especially easy one to personalize. Make it lower fat by subbing water in place of coconut milk. You can change the flavor profile completely by swapping apple and cinnamon for turmeric and sweet potato. The sky is the limit on this one, so try some combination and see what feels right for you.