Have you ever wondered if buckwheat is gluten-free? You are not alone! Find out the answer to this question and more in this article all about buckwheat and how it relates to the gluten-free diet and celiac disease.
Buckwheat is a plant that is a type of flour used to make breads, pancakes, etc. Since it is a flour, is it gluten-free?
Yes, buckwheat is gluten free, but keep reading for a more in-depth look at this grain and if it is safe for those with celiac.
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Is buckwheat safe for celiac?
Yes, buckwheat is safe for those with celiac disease. Despite its name, buckwheat actually is not wheat. Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed that has a nutty flavor with a chewy texture.
Buckwheat is actually a fruit from the fagopyrum esculentum plant, which makes it more similar to fruit than to wheat. Roasted buckwheat groats are also gluten-free. You will see them called kasha.
I love baking with buckwheat as it keeps the desserts from getting crumbly. Raw buckwheat is native to Southeast Asia, but it is also grown in the northern part of the United States. I like to grind up buckwheat groats in my blender to make buckwheat flour.
The only time buckwheat would not be gluten-free is if it is processed in the same facility as gluten products, such as wheat, rye, and barley. To be safe, you should buy buckwheat that is labeled gluten-free on the front to ensure there has been no cross-contamination. If you are ever concerned, you can always look on the brands website for more nutritional information.
Buckwheat has a slightly bitter flavor, almost nutty and earthy. Roasted buckwheat groats flavor is a bit more tame though. It still has the grainy texture like flour, making it great for a flour replacement.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat
When it comes to eating, it can be tricky to find foods that are healthy and delicious. Since buckwheat can be used for a variety of things and can change flavors depending on what it is served with, it is great for anyone, especially those with celiac disease and a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. There are also many health benefits that come from including buckwheat in your diet. Here are a few:
- Reduces blood sugar levels: Buckwheat is low on the glycemic index, making it a great food choice for those with diabetes. In fact, buckwheat flour is actually one of the best flours to use when you have diabetes because of its low carbohydrate content.
- Rich in fiber: Every cup of cooked buckwheat includes 6 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber is an important part of the diet as it helps keep things regular. High fiber content also helps you feel fuller longer, which helps with weight loss.
- Improves heart health: By reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels, buckwheat helps improve your heart health and blood pressure levels.
- Vegetarian protein source: Buckwheat is a great source of plant protein. They do not have as much protein as some legumes and beans, but the protein content is still higher than most whole grains. For every 100 grams, there are about 14 grams of protein.
How to Use Buckwheat
Buckwheat can be used in many different ways. For example, buckwheat groats can serve as a topping for salads, granola, a crunchy snack, or a porridge. Whole groats can be used in many ways and are super delicious when roasted.
When cooked, you can use buckwheat as rice, potatoes, cuscus, and pasta. There are even buckwheat noodles out there to buy at your local grocery store or health food stores. Buckwheat is a great addition to your gluten-free diet as you can replace a lot of carbs with it to add more essential nutrients to your diet.
Buckwheat can also be ground up into organic buckwheat flour. It can be used in baking, cooking, or anything else you would need whole wheat flour for. Buckwheat pancakes (Buckwheat Pancakes) and buckwheat waffles (you should check out Buckwheat Waffles recipe I have) are very popular as they are nutritious, delicious, and a good source of fiber.
Another breakfast food I like to make with buckwheat are these Buckwheat Crepes. They are absolutely delicious and fool proof. My kids love my Buckwheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagels and I love how healthy they are.
Baking with buckwheat is super easy and super delicious. My Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies are super yummy and really healthy. There is nothing better than guilt-free chocolate chip cookies.
There are many buckwheat recipes out there as buckwheat is a versatile ingredient that has high fiber content. Buckwheat is very popular in gluten-free baking as it helps gluten-free people stay clear of allergic reactions. It can be used in a main dish, desserts, breakfast foods (like my Buckwheat Muffins), and is a great healthy side dish.
No! Even though the name can be confusing, there is no wheat in buckwheat. It is a gluten-free grain, which makes it perfect for a gluten-free diet.
Buckwheat groats are the seeds of the buckwheat plant. Raw buckwheat groats look like oats, small and light brown. You can purchase buckwheat groats at the grocery store and use them for oatmeals, salads, and even granola.
There are chemicals in buckwheat (phytochemicals, quercetin, and rutin) that help reduce inflammation, therefore making buckwheat anti-inflammatory.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Buckwheat is gluten-free and is perfect for gluten-free baking and cooking. It is a healthy option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities that replaces flour, pastas, potatoes, and any other carb. Not only is buckwheat gluten-free, it also has incredible health benefits.