Does buckwheat belong to the wheat family?
No – the name is deceiving. It is part of the Polygonaceae family, along with rhubarb. It is a pseudo grain, as the edible part is in fact a seed resembling groats. The seed can be cooked and consumed as such, or milled into flour.
Why grow buckwheat?
It is a marvelous cover crop. Buckwheat attracts beneficial insects and pollinators and discourages weeds. It has a short growth cycle and easily reseeds itself.
Buckwheat is a pretty resilient crop that can grow in poor quality soil, in moist conditions or even at high altitudes. But it is sensitive to extreme weather.
Bonus: its stalks can be used as animal feed.
Is buckwheat good for us, too?
Oh yes! It has great nutritional value. Buckwheat boasts high amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins zinc, copper, manganese, potassium and antioxidants. And it is gluten free.
Since buckwheat acts as a pollinator, you’ll also find buckwheat honey with its own set of benefits (as a raw product).
What does buckwheat taste like?
It has a deep earthy, nutty flavor (that balances well with chocolate).
Is ‘kasha’ made out of buckwheat?
Yes. Kasha = whole grain buckwheat groats that have been hulled and roasted.
Note 1: In Eastern Europe, Kasha may refer to porridge made of other grains.
Note 2: Buckwheat seeds are hulled before being cooked whole, but are not hulled when ground into flour.