Buckwheat Flour Gluten-Free for Health Food Enthusiasts
Buckwheat flour is a type of flour ground from buckwheat, an annual Asian fruit plant with edible triangular seeds. Popular in East Asian cuisine, buckwheat flour is a nutritious, gluten-free ingredient with a nutty taste that is popular with health food enthusiasts, especially those who are intolerant of, or deliberately avoid, gluten. (That said, gluten intolerant individuals should still be careful when choosing their brand, since buckwheat flour is often made in facilities that process wheat, leading to a possible contamination). The flour is often used to make pancakes, muffins, biscuits, and other desserts.
Buckwheat flour is easily found in natural food stores for often low prices, and it can also be bought online, but bear in mind that its shipping costs might be high due to its weight. It should always be stored in a refrigerator, and will keep fresh for several months. It can remain usable for up to one year if properly stored in an airtight container in a cool location.
Buckwheat Flour’s Health Benefits
Buckwheat flour is considered a nutritious alternative to regular cereal flour, and its popularity in health food circles is continually blossoming. Its well-documented benefits include:
– The flour is high in protein. In fact, buckwheat contains all eight of the essential amino acids, which makes it one of the few ‘complete’ protein sources. Protein is important for the growth and repair of muscles, the creation of antibodies, and, being one of the major building blocks of the body, it is a good source of natural energy.
– The flour is high in trace minerals that are seldom found in other foods to such levels, such as magnesium, copper, zinc, and manganese. This minerals work in tandem together to help the body function properly. Other foods high in these nutrients include kelp, evaporated cane juice, and the indispensable blackstrap molasses.
– The flour lowers glucose (blood sugar) levels, making it a suitable food for diabetics and pre-diabetics. Certain studies has also linked the consumption of the flour with a lowering of blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.
– The flour contains two flavonoids called quercetin and rutin, which help protect us against cell inflammation and damage.
– The flour contains high levels of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health and maintaining regularity. A fiber deficiency can lead to constipation.
– A quarter-cup of the flour provides us with an additional 10% of our RDA of iron, 16% of our RDA of phosphorous, and approximately 120 calories. While buckwheat flour isn’t considered a weight loss food, it makes for a much, much healthier ingredient in cooking than the standard refined cereal flour.
Buckwheat Flour in the Kitchen
As mentioned, the flour is a common ingredient in baking (especially gluten-free baking). It is often combined with whole wheat flour to make biscuits, muffins, and breads. However, buckwheat flour is best-known for making buckwheat pancakes. If you would like to make buckwheat pancakes, then follow the instructions outlined in this article of ours. Alternatively, if you would like some general recipe ideas that incorporate buckwheat flour, then click here.