Buckwheat bread is a great raw vegan staple food. It’s one of those things you can make in bulk then keep for whenever you need a quick tasty snack. Buckwheat is very high in nutrients and very low in price, so it’s a real store cupboard essential for when you’re on a budget.
Not quite a cereal, buckwheat is a sort of wanna-be grain that’s related to rhubarb and sorrel. Gluten-free and a good source of high quality plant-based protein, it’s an excellent grain substitute for people who want to avoid gluten.
Quite bland in flavour, once soaked and sprouted it lends itself just as well to sweet dishes as it does to savoury, so there’s no end of combinations you can try with it: porridge, pancakes, crackers, or just throw some into your smoothie.
Buckwheat side-effects and how to minimise them
Even though buckwheat is not a grain, it does have the same protective mechanisms that all up and coming baby seeds have – ie antinutrients such as leptin and phytates (it basically isn’t all that keen on being eaten).
Buckwheat in particular also contains fagopyrins which can cause allergic reactions when consumed in large quantites. So it’s a good idea not to go over the top in your consumption of them. However, there are some good workarounds when it comes to minimising antinutrients, such as sprouting them, and also adding in a fermentation element.
This recipe includes both sprouting and fermentation, so it’s one of my favourite ways to eat buckwheat.
How to sprout buckwheat
Buckwheat will sprout really easily as long as you have a good quality supply of seeds. Just soak the seeds in a jar of water over night then drain them the next day (they will be quite slimy… this is due to the formation of mucilage during the soaking and sprouting process – yes, not the most appetising-sounding thing in the world, but it’s quite good really).
Rinse and drain twice daily for about three or four days; until you see some little tails poking out, then it’s ready to be transformed into… well, whatever you want really! You can use sprouting trays to make the process a little less fuss.
This buckwheat bread recipe is transformed into pretty pink deliciousness by the addition of fermented beetroot. It also really pumps up the nutrition factor with lovely live probiotics, so it’s all good.
How to ferment beetroot
My basic guide to fermenting any kind of veggies: chop them up, chuck them in a glass jar, fill the jar with salty water, put the lid on, and ignore them for a bit. It’s pretty slap-dash, but that’s really all there is to it.
Ok – there’s LOADS more to it. There’s whole books written about the subject, including this excellent one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Fermentation-depth-Exploration-Essential/dp/160358286X
Funny enough, one of my next blogs was going to be all about fermentation, but then my esteemed pal Patrick Queen beat me to it. He’s done a much better job than I would have done, so I’ll take the lazy option and just link to his one instead. See the master at work: https://www.euphonichealth.com/recipes/2018/3/4/saerkreut
So here’s my recipe for buckwheat bread. You can substitute different seeds and add different veggies etc. Just play around with it because there’s really no limit to what you can do with buckwheat. Ok there probably is quite a limit. It can’t make you invisible, for instance.
Pink Buckwheat Bread
2 cups sprouted buckwheat
1 cup flax seeds (soaked overnight)
1 cup sunflower sprouts (sprout the sunflower seeds for two or three days, in the same way as you would the buckwheat)
1 cup fermented beetroot
Process all ingredients using a food processor (add a little lemon juice or water if necessary), then spread the mixture on dehydrating trays. Dehydrate for a few hours until the ‘bread’ starts to look a little firm. Score some lines across it (for ease of breaking into shapes later), then turn over and dehydrate for another hour or so. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can use a cool oven with the door a little ajar.
I want to experiment this year with planting buckwheat out and see if I can grow some buckwheat flowers, as they are much-loved by bees. And I’m all about keeping the bees happy.
Have you had any success with growing buckwheat plants? Let me know in the comments below, I’d be happy to get some tips!