Not surprised to have enjoyed a bowl of buckwheat served with softened onions and mushrooms for lunch as I am back in Moscow where it has been a staple foodstuff for centuries. Like quinoa it is a seed that can be cooked like a grain. I was surprised to learn it packs more protein than most grains and almost as much as quinoa (see yesterday’s blog post). In addition, buckwheat provides all the essential amino acids required for cellular metabolism that are more commonly ingested via animal products. It might not quite win the superfood stakes but it is a clear second to the mighty quinoa.
As I reflected on why I haven’t been eating more buckwheat I realised that apart from rice and wheat products, most of my circle of friends and family do not eat grains. This seems to be a shame even for the animal eaters because each grain and pseudo-grain has a different flavour, texture and nutritional content, barley for example has more fibre and protein than rice and makes a good risotto; millet makes a fluffy breakfast porridge. Same goes for flour, I would guess most of them, like me, bake with wheat flour when there are other options, like that made from the hulls of the buckwheat seed.
This reminder to keep variety at the heart of shopping and preparing food is one of the greatest gifts of this vegan enquiry. So, next on my grain exploration will be Teff, Ethiopia’s bid for superfood status, that I haven’t spotted in my local whole food store, yet.
Image Source here