Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour
Everything you need to know about Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour.
by Stefano Panusa
Other common names are beech wheat and kasha.
Buckwheat flour cup to weight equivalent: 1 cup = 120 g
Buckwheat has a great nutty flavor that goes great with a variety of savory foods. Used in breakfast foods such as waffles or pancakes, it’s best to mix it with a lighter flour such as rice or tapioca. For denser foods like cake, it adds an amazing nut flavor as well as some great nutritional value.
Buckwheat flour is made from a triangular shaped seed. Generally the inside portion of the seed is milled to produce flour, but the outside hull can be ground as well. Its name generally causes some confusion, especially when you see gluten free next to it. However, in spite of its name, buckwheat does not come from wheat nor is it similar to wheat in any way. It is related to rhubarb, knotweed and sorrel.
Wheat is a grain and the fruit of grass, and buckwheat is the seed of a fruit. Buckwheat is a small leafy plant that gives a bunch of small flowers, which give fruit. This aspect is one of the key differences between buckwheat and wheat as being a seed, and not a grain or cereal, it is higher in protein and other nutrients. The milling process turns the seed into flour. Some of the other names for it are saracen corn, kasha and beech wheat.
Of all plant sources of protein, buckwheat is one of the few that give a complete source of protein as it contains a well-balanced assortment of the essential and non-essential amino acids, which are building blocks of protein. For this reason, buckwheat is considered superior to rice, wheat and millet as normally, you need to eat a combination of a grain and a legume to get all the amino acids to make a complete protein. It is also high in micro-nutrients such as vitamine E, rutin, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, manganese and copper. More nutritional info below
Buckwheat flour is considerably more versatile compared to other gluten free flours as it is easy to work with. For most recipes, it is best to use the lighter flour as the flavor is less intense. It can be combined with other gluten free flours or with wheat flour. Buckwheat flour and rice flour make great gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
In Japan, the flour is used to make noodles, popularly known as soba noodles. Raw or toasted buckwheat groats are cooked and eaten as porridge or as a substitute for rice. Raw buckwheat groats is often an ingredient in granola.
Because buckwheat has a gelatinous texture when it becomes wet, it makes a good binding agent in recipes for cookies, scones, cakes and crepes. There are no bad uses of buckwheat flour, but sometimes it takes some experimentation to come to the right proportion to make the recipe perfect.
Buckwheat is an excellent source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber turns into a gel when it mixes with the fluids in your stomach. This gel slows down the movement of the food you eat through your digestive tract and allows your body to steadily metabolize glucose making it a good addition in the diet of a diabetic. Soluble fiber has also been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood because the gel helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs.
All of these qualities and good uses of buckwheat flour make it the primary choice for gluten free flour. Replacing a portion of the rice flour in your recipe, or any other flour you may be using, with buckwheat flour can immensely increase the nutritional value of the food you are preparing.
How to store buckwheat flour.
Store this flour in a sealed plastic container. It does not need to be refrigerated, or kept in a dark place. I highly recommend using these great chalkboard labels on your bins to keep yourself organized. They are also a little vintage, and look great.
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How to make buckwheat flour
You can buy buckwheat as groats, which is hulled whole buckwheat, or kasha, which is roasted groats, or dark flour, which is the whole seed milled, or light flour which is the inside part of the seed milled. It has a distinctive nutty flavor that some would call earthy, which can be mild or very strong depending on what form you are using. The dark flour has the strongest taste as the hull is milled as well.
Buckwheat Flour Nutritional Info
Serving 1 cup = 128 g
|Total Fat||4 g||Potassium||692 mg|
|Saturated||1 g||Total Carbs||85 g|
|Polyunsaturated||1 g||Dietary Fiber||12 g|
|Monounsaturated||1 g||Sugars||3 g|
|Trans||0 g||Protein||15 g|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.