Buckwheat a Health Powerhouse + Buckwheat & Blueberry Pancakes


Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Although it is generally thought of as a grain, buckwheat is the fruit seed of a broadleaf plant related to rhubarb.  In culinary terms it is used like a grain and is a highly nutritious food, which contains many health-boosting properties.

  • Buckwheat is an excellent source of magnesium & dietary fibre and a good source of B vitamins including folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus zinc & iron.
  • It contains all the essential amino acids making it a great vegetarian protein source.
  • It has a higher protein content than many other grains like rice, wheat and millet and is high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine, which are often lacking in grains.
  • It is gluten free and is therefore safe for people with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease.

Buckwheat hulledBuckwheat has been studied for the following health promoting properties:

  • Maintaining heart health: Buckwheat has a rich supply of phytochemicals called flavonoids and one in particular called rutin.  These compounds help protect against heart disease by acting as antioxidants, helping to maintain blood flow and stopping platelets from clotting excessively.
  • Maintaining healthy cholesterol: The rutin and flavonoid content helps prevent low-density lipoproteins from oxidising and turning into harmful cholesterol oxides.  Diets high in buckwheat (100 grams per day) have been linked to a lowered risk of developing high cholesterol serum levels, particularly low-density lipoproteins, the type linked to cardiovascular disease.
  • Lowering Blood pressure: Buckwheat is also a rich source of magnesium, which helps to relax blood vessels, improve blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.
  • Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels: Buckwheat has a low glycaemic index and load meaning it can help keep blood sugar levels stable and energy levels balanced.  It can be safely consumed by people with diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions.

buckwheat flourIdeas for how to enjoy buckwheat

  • Buckwheat flour can be used in bread, muffin or pancake recipes.
  • Hulled buckwheat can be used to make porridge or added to soups or stews.
  • Cooked hulled buckwheat can be used for dinner instead of a grain like rice or cooked and cooled and added to salads.

Blueberry buckwheat pancakesBuckwheat & Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients (6 small or 3 larger pancakes)

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ – 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 300ml water
  • juice of ½ lemon

Directions

Mix the dry ingredients together (flours & baking powder), then add the water and lemon juice, maple syrup and coconut oil and mix until consistently blended.  The coconut oil will mix in easier if it is soft.  Add the blueberries last.  Make sure they are separated and mix them in consistently.

Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan and add the pancake mix.  The pancakes work nicely if they are about 1/2 cm thick.   Cook on one side until bubbles start to appear on the top and the pancake can be easily flipped, then flip and cook for around one minute on the other side.

The pancakes are already quite sweet so don’t need much sweetness added to them.  Enjoy with fresh fruit or berries, yoghurt, coconut flakes and a small drizzle of pure maple syrup.

This recipe is vegan and gluten free.  Enjoy!


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