How to cook buckwheat
March 13, 2019
You may have heard of buckwheat or tasted it in pancakes after it’s been milled into flour, but I highly recommend getting to know the unmilled form of this gluten-free whole grain. Unmilled buckwheat it is called “buckwheat groats” or “kasha” depending on where you buy it.
Versatile and nutritious
In addition to tasting good (very important in my opinion!) buckwheat groats can be used so many different ways. They are also exceptionally nutritious. Read why I am such a fan of this ancient grain and learn what it can do for your plate, your body, and your gut microbiome.
One cup of raw groats usually makes just over two cups of cooked groats.
How to cook buckwheat
There are several ways to cook buckwheat groats. I’ll describe the two most common here as they are fast and easy.
The “absorption method” is probably the most common cooking method. Measure your raw groats, give them a quick rise, and put them in a pan with twice the amount of water. So if you want to cook one cup of groats, you would need 2 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until they reach the tenderness you desire.
I find the method I just described results in me frequently scrubbing my electric stove as the pot has boiled over soon after being covered. Since I’m a big fan of making things easy, I actually prefer a boiling method.
To cook buckwheat groats fill a pot with three to four times more water than the amount of groats you wish to cook. Bring the water to boil over high heat. Add in the groats adjust the heat so the pot remains at a gentle rolling boil until the buckwheat reaches the tenderness you want. Depending on what I am using them for and how hard the water is boiling, I’ll cook them 8 to 12 minutes.
To rinse or not?
Some brands and recipes recommend rinsing the cooked buckwheat groats after cooking them. If I am making one of my buckwheat salad such as my buckwheat salad with chickpeas (LINK), I will take the time to do this. It helps to remove any extra bits and gives me a nice looking dish.
How to use it
Cooked buckwheat can be used any way that you would use rice, but there are other ways to use it too:
Heat cooked buckwheat in the microwave with some fruit, cinnamon, and some sort of milk for a warm breakfast cereal.
When I’m having soup in the winter, I’ll often add a tablespoon or two of cooked buckwheat groats to my bowl before ladling in the hot soup. This lets me enjoy the grain without it getting overcooked in the soup.
To add flavor to without adding too many calories to your plate, use a low sodium chicken or beef stock instead of water when cooking the groats.
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