Are you looking for great gluten-free flour or grain to incorporate into your baby’s diet ?
Buckwheat is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for over 8,000 years. Originally from Central Asia, buckwheat was brought to Europe in the Middle Ages and then made its way to North America with colonists. Though it’s not technically a grain, buckwheat is treated as such because of its similar nutritional profile and uses.
I am a big advocate of sprouting.
Sprouting buckwheat unlocks even more of its nutritional potential. The sprouting process increases the bioavailability of nutrients by breaking down anti-nutrients like phytic acid. Sprouted buckwheat is an excellent source of protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium. It also contains bioactive compounds like rutin, tannins, and D-chiro-inositol which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar regulating effects.
Regularly eating sprouted buckwheat can provide many health benefits. The fiber helps improve digestion and gut health. The magnesium relieves muscle cramps and the iron improves energy levels and brain function. The rutin strengthens blood vessels and may lower blood pressure. Overall, sprouted buckwheat is fantastic for heart health, blood sugar control, and reducing inflammation.
Buckwheat sprouts are perfectly safe and nutritious for babies 6 months and older. They are soft, easy to digest, and packed with vitamins and minerals to support growth and development. Try mixing buckwheat sprouts into purees or serve them on their own once baby can self-feed. Combining buckwheat sprouts with mashed avocado, or lightly steamed vegetables creates a tasty, nutritious treat. Buckwheat sprouts can be combined with fruits too in early weaning process- especially as so rich in Iron, which is essential micronutrient for fast growing baby’s body. Try to add pinch of cinnamon to those sweet fruity combos.
Sprouted buckwheat is incredibly versatile. Adults can add it to salads, soups, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, and more. It has an earthy, mildly nutty flavor. Be sure to rinse sprouts well before eating. Store them in the fridge for up to one week. Experiment and make your own healthy granola based on these sprouts mixed with chia seeds, sesame, flax seeds, sunflower , or some crushed nuts and dried fruit. With a long history and stellar nutritional profile, sprouted buckwheat is a simple, yet powerful addition to any diet. Incorporating this ancient grain provides protein, fiber, and antioxidants to optimize health.
Here is a simple summary on how to sprout buckwheat safely and efficiently:
For the best results – sterilise the glass before saoking the seeds.
• Choose raw, organic buckwheat groats. Rinse and drain them. ( as per higher starch content compare to pulses- rinse couple of times through the first day of soaking- more than you would do if sprouting lentils or mung beans)
• Soak buckwheat in 2-3 times the volume of filtered water for 8-12 hours.
• Drain soaked buckwheat well and transfer to a sprouting jar or container or keep in the glass jar as you see on my fotos. I use large glass from olives I already emptied and washed, as it is big enough, easy to sterilise and great for positioning sideways for optimal sprouting on my kitchen counter .
• Rinse and drain the sprouting buckwheat 2-3 times per day.
• Sprout buckwheat in a dark place at room temperature for 2-3 days until tails emerge.
• Rinse well before eating or storing.
• Store sprouted buckwheat in a container or the same glass you used for sprouting in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Optional: Dehydrate sprouted buckwheat in a dehydrator or low heat oven to increase shelf life. I would grind the dehydrated sprouts and use in this yummy recipe:
The image reminds of days when our little coffee shop in British countryside was up and running, and I shared my healthy recipes and treats with sweet customers.
Buckwheat muffins anyone ?
• Ripe bananas
• Buckwheat flour ( I grind the sprouts in my Vitamix blender. Coffee grinder will do the job too. If you don’t have time to sprout, whole raw buckwheat will do too)
• Maple syrup or couple of dates ( as sweeteners)
• Flax seeds (or some eggs if you prefer them )
• Olive oil ( with olive oil the final muffin will be softer. If you use coconut oil or melted butter, the muffins will become more solid in texture when chilled. Try and experiment)
• Baking powder
• Cinnamon & tiny pinch of salt
Since buckwheat doesn’t become as gummy as oat flour does, it’s easy to use a flax egg in this recipe to keep it higher in fiber and vegan friendly.
Peel the ripe bananas and mash them with a fork. If you are like me and don’t like to spend too much time in kitchen – just throw them in blender with dates and flax seeds, cinnamon, salt, oil and little bit of water. Blend until smooth.
Next you’ll add in the buckwheat flour and baking powder. Mix again, until the batter looks smooth and fluffy. Use spoon to place the batter into silicone muffin molds.
You can use approx a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter into a muffin tin lined with silicone or paper liners as well. Once the muffin cups are filled, you can add a few extra chocolate chips on top, if you like to. I like mine filled and topped with local blackberries, raspberries, or elder berries. The contrast of tangy fruit flavor with sweet ripe banana is divine.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins rise slightly and start to crack on top.
Let me know what you think. Enjoy your muffins!