Mother Earth Living

Herb to Know: Buckwheat

By Barbara Pleasant
June/July 2006
Add to My MSN

Photo by Barbara Pleasant


Content Tools

Related Content

In The News: Fry Foods with Healthy Fats and Oils for Better Health

A study has found that healthy fats and oils may make fried foods better for you.

Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Celebrates 80 Years

Himalaya Herbal Healthcare, a global leader in herbal medicines (sold in the U.S. as dietary supplem...

Product Review: Choice Organic Teas

Looking for a healthful beverage? Try these new blends from Choice Organic Teas.

Open Sesame: Make Your Own Soba Noodles

Soba noodles and sesame oil are both high in nutrients that lower cholesterol and stabilize blood su...

Genus: Fagopyrum esculentum

• Hardy to zone 10

If you have a vacant patch of garden, you can turn it into a haven for bees and many other beneficial insects by planting buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum). When sown a half-inch deep in warm soil, buckwheat seeds will sprout in less than five days and begin blooming within a month. In late summer and fall, buckwheat will continue to flower and set seeds until the first frost. Expect plenty of buzzers to stop in for a sip of nectar during the morning hours, and though the plants may wilt in midday heat, supplemental water seldom is needed to help them recover by morning.

Buckwheat is not a true grain, so the flour made from the triangular black seeds is ideal for people who adhere to a gluten-free diet. Buckwheat pancakes, made from buckwheat flour, and Japanese soba noodles (which are usually made from 80 percent buckwheat flour and 20 percent wheat flour) are only two ways to cook this ancient crop. Kasha is made from dehulled, roasted buckwheat kernels, and can be combined with pasta, garlic and onions, used in casseroles, or as a base for savory stuffings. Groats are dehulled buckwheat kernels that are slowly simmered, like rice. Use cooked, chilled groats to make a protein-rich dessert by mixing them with whipped cream, nuts and fruits. Or use warm groats as a high-fiber alternative to oatmeal, adding honey or other flavorings to taste.

As recent research suggests, buckwheat in any form may be able to help stabilize blood sugar levels for those with diabetes. If you don’t grow your own, buckwheat is widely available at health-food stores, or you can buy buckwheat products by mail from such companies as Bob’s Red Mill ( www.BobsRedMill.com ) or The Birkett Mills ( www.TheBirkettMills.com ), an upstate New York buckwheat mill that has been in business since 1797. In addition to groats, flour and kasha, buckwheat can be used to create hull pillows, which some people believe promote sound sleep because air circulates better through the hulls than through feather or polyester-filled pillows. Buckwheat seed for garden planting can be purchased by the ounce at farm supply stores.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.