Have you ever eaten buckwheat? I hadn’t until a few years ago. I bought a buckwheat pancake mix that was not very tasty, and in spite of following the package directions, the pancakes always came out thin and rather tasteless. I decided I probably didn’t care for buckwheat, but then I kept reading about the health benefits of this grain related to the rhubarb plant, so I felt I should give it another shot! Having long discarded packaged mixes at this point, I decided to try buying whole buckwheat, sprouting it, and freshly grinding it into flour for pancakes. Wow! What a difference. These pancakes are now my family’s favorite pancakes. We have them weekly, sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for supper, and my husband loves that he can eat six of them and not feel sick and shaky like he used to when he’d overdose on IHOP or Waffle House pancakes. Of course, portion control has never been his strong suit, but thankfully downing a stack of these wheats only boosts his health! We also enjoy the nutty flavor of buckwheat in homemade granola, cinnamon rolls, and breakfast porridges. If you’ve never tried buckwheat, here are just a few of its benefits:
- High in the antioxidants rutin, catechin, and tannins, which are found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Promotes cardiovascular health – thanks to the fiber and the flavanoid rutin it contains, buckwheat consumption has been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL
- Aids in balancing blood sugar and preventing diabetes – buckwheat is an excellent source of magnesium, an important mineral which helps to control blood glucose and insulin responses
- High in protein, including important amino acids such as lysine and arginine
- Is gluten-free – the name “buckwheat” is a misnomer in that buckwheat is not any form of wheat or even related to wheat. It’s a seed related to rhubard. Those who have gluten sensitivity or intolerance can safely consume buckwheat.
- Is high in lecithin, which is beneficial in detoxifying the body and promoting brain health, including preventing depression, anxiety, and brain fog.
And now the case for sprouted buckwheat: this nutritional powerhouse is made even more healthful by sprouting. Here are some of the benefits of sprouted buckwheat:
- The good-for-you rutin content was found to increase tenfold in the germination process and phenol compounds such as quercetin were found to significantly increase as well, both of which promote anti-inflammatory effects on the body and protect against fatty liver disease, something which often occurs with Type 2 diabetes.
- Sprouting increases blood-pressure-lowering activity. Korean scientists performed a study in which hypertensive rats were given rutin compounds from buckwheat. One group of rats was given unsprouted rutin, and the other group was given sprouted rutin. While both groups exhibited beneficial outcomes from the rutin, the group given sprouted rutin had more of a reduction of blood pressure, leading researchers to conclude that sprouted buckwheat has extra antihypertensive effects and protects arterial cells from oxidation.
- 2 cups sprouted buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat *griddle. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine coconut oil, banana, eggs, buttermilk, and extract. Whisk until combined. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture. Lightly oil griddle or pan with coconut oil. Scoop pancake mixture onto griddle using ice cream scoop or ⅓ cup measure. You may have to spread it out a little into a larger circle. Cook approximately 2 minutes on the first side, or until small bubbles form. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or two until golden. Serve with grass-fed butter, pure maple syrup, or sorghum.