Sunday, September 19, 2010

Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat is not just a character from the old time tv show, the Little Rascals.  It's also a flower, whose triangular seeds, or groats, can be cooked and used in place of rice or potatoes.  They are also ground into flour that can be used for baking.  Buckwheat flour is completely gluten free and wonderfully healthful--don't worry, it's also tasty!  Read this quote from a website about buckwheat:

"Buckwheat contains linoleic acid, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, E, P), essential amino acids, minerals - chromium, copper, manganese, folic acid - and is an excellent source of magnesium. These proprieties recommend buckwheat as having a pronounced Yang feature. It has anti-tumor and tonic effects.

Due to the presence of inosit, buckwheat adjusts metabolism, fat and the lipo-soluble vitamins. It also helps the liver in processing hormones, medicines, and glucoses, with a protective hepatic effect. Buckwheat provides the necessary amount of proteins necessary for the body because it contains essential amino acids which the body cannot synthesize and who need to be taken from one's daily nutrition.

Buckwheat decreases the cholesterol level by eliminating fat and assuring protection against arthrosclerosis. It prevents the developing of biliary lithiasis by optimizing the synthesizing of biliary acids and eliminating neutral and acid fat.

Owing to the quantity of magnesium contained, buckwheat has a relaxing effect over blood vessels, improving circulation and decreasing blood pressure. Because it contains plenty of vitamins with B complex, buckwheat is recommended in cases of liver disorders and sugary diabetes, illnesses where it is unadvisable to increase the quantity of sugary substances consumed each day. Due to the fact that it lacks sugary substances makes buckwheat ideal for those who need to keep a restrictive diet.

This herb offers protection against breast cancer as well as against other forms of cancer dependent on hormones. Through the contained antioxidants buckwheat is an antidote for X ray irradiations or other forms of irradiation."

Wow!  Powerful stuff!   

I haven't yet tried cooked buckwheat groats, but I do use buckwheat flour.  My favorite way to utilize it is  in pancakes.  Buckwheat flour is increasingly easy to find. I have seen it in several major grocery chains, but usually I get mine from a co-op store that sells it in bulk.  It's more cost effective this way.  Buckwheat flour is not white like others, but has a purple-ish or gray tinge to it, so naturally it will look different in baked goods.  I enjoy its texture, which is slightly gritty and "toothsome", but not hard or chewy, and it's mild in flavor, even a little sweet.

Since buckwheat flour is not a grain flour, I think of these pancakes as "safe" food, knowing it won't have a negative effect on my blood sugar or digestion.  If you like these you will also like the blueberry buckwheat cake/muffin recipe I'll share soon, which happens to taste a lot like blueberry buckwheat pancakes.

If it's your first time making anything with buckwheat I suggest maybe using half buckwheat flour and half plain flour.  Even with 100 percent buckwheat the texture is still light like a regular pancake.  Although these can be made with regular milk, I definitely recommend buttermilk because it really complements the flavor of buckwheat.

Makes 12-15

Buckwheat Pancakes
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup buckwheat flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

The healthiest way to make these is to soak the buckwheat flour in the buttermilk overnight, then go on and add the rest of the ingredients when you're ready to cook.  The buttermilk does great things to the flour, reducing any anti-nutrients or phytates that may be present in the buckwheat that would go on to leach out minerals from your body.  This is true with all grains and seeds, and our ancestors made a habit of soaking and/or fermenting grains before consuming them to help with digestion.

So, after you've soaked the buckwheat in the buttermilk overnight, throw all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Easy, right?  Cook on a hot, oiled griddle, flipping when bubbles form all around the edges, then cooking about a minute more. Serve with bananas and a drizzle of molasses, if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment