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Buckwheat (wait, it’s not wheat?)

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2018-03-22

We’re on a roll with our FxNA Nutrition Team favorite granola recipes and I’ve got two more to share in this groovy granola series!
There’s certainly lots of happy granola munching happening over here at FxNA, and I’m curious… how’s it going in your house? Have you found some new front-runners for your breakfast bowl?
When polling preferred granola recipes, it’s impossible to miss that the most common star of the granola game is oats. Now hey, there’s nothing wrong with oats (the certified gluten-free variety that is), if grains fit within your dietary parameters.

You may even recall that the first recipe I shared to open our series featured gluten-free oats as the go-to granola builder, while the next two recipes—found here and here—nixed grains all together.
Today we’re bringing back the grains. Gluten-free grains can bring a host of nutritional benefits to your granola bowl and we certainly don’t want to skip them if we don’t have to. The basis of today’s granola recipe causes some confusion in the gluten-free realm, namely because of its name.
Are you ready to get groaty with some buckwheat groats granola?

You may be asking: Are you sure buckwheat doesn’t have wheat?

It’s a good question!

Interestingly, buckwheat is not only not a wheat, it’s actually not even a grain!

Buckwheat is a hearty seed from a weed-like plant that can survive in poor soil in cold climates. No wonder it’s a blood-building food that aids circulation.

The plant from which buckwheat comes is a relative to the rhubarb family. Buckwheat is slow to digest, and therefore satisfyingly filling and beneficial in helping to maintain even blood sugar levels.

Buckwheat has a high amount of calcium, vitamin E, a complex range of the B-vitamins, and an impressive amount of the eight essential amino acids compared to the cereal grains. Yet since buckwheat is a seed, and not a cereal grain, it is gluten-free and a great substitute for those avoiding gluten or grains in general.

Today’s granola recipe comes to us from FxNA team member Renee Hunt. While Renee is not part of the FxNA Nutrition Team, she is our social media maven and she has a knack for healthy recipe creation.

Get busy with buckwheat to boost your B-vitamins and balance your blood sugar—all in your morning breakfast bowl. (Yes, please!)



P.S. Continuing with our sprouting success from last week, I also included the basics on how to sprout buckwheat (this little pseudo-grains loves to grow!)

Best Ever B-Groats Granola

Buckwheat groats are like a blank slate when to comes to creating delicious sweet (or savory) concoctions. Use Renee’s recipe as a starting point but be playful and create new combinations with your favorite flavors and spices.

  • 16 oz raw buckwheat groats, soaked 6 hours or overnight, rinsed well and drained (more on this below!)

  • ½ cup raw, unsweetened coconut flakes

  • ½ cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or other nuts/seeds

  • pinch of sea salt

  • 2-3 Tbspn ground cinnamon (depending on taste)

  • 1-2 Tbspn melted coconut oil

  • ¼ to ⅓ cup raw honey, maple syrup, or yacon syrup


Preheat oven to 250°F

Drain and rinse soaked buckwheat groats

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combined

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (line two sheet pans, if you have them or have room in your oven)

Split the granola between the two sheet pans and spread into a thin, even layer

Bake in the oven for 60 minutes or so, until crunchy

Let cool, break up and store in glass airtight containers (it should keep for a week or so, but it rarely lasts that long!)

sprouting buckwheat

For this recipe, use 2 or more cups of raw/hulled buckwheat, otherwise known as buckwheat groats. (Note: Kasha is toasted buckwheat and will not work here.) Anything leftover can be stored in a glass jar and used to make raw granolas, parfaits, or crunchy toppings.

  1. Place the buckwheat in a bowl and cover amply with water. Give the buckwheat a stir to make sure that none floats to the top. You’ll want to soak the buckwheat for a minimum of six hours. The soak water will become slimy. You can rinse and replenish the water during the six hours, or just rinse thoroughly at the end of your soaking time. I like to put mine in a mesh or fine-holed colander and really give it a thorough cleaning.

  2. If you have a dehydrator, you can then spread the rinsed buckwheat onto parchment or Teflex lined trays and dehydrate until dry–about three to five hours at 115 degrees.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can spread the rinsed buckwheat onto cookie sheets and put them in the oven overnight with the oven light on. This will produce a low heat that will dry and “dehydrate” the buckwheat to make them crisp!
Option: I like to sprout my buckwheat a little longer, until it grows a tiny tail. After the initial soaking time outlined above, instead of moving directly to the dehydrator, I put them back into a bowl covered with a paper towel or a large jar covered with mesh. I then rinse and drain the buckwheat twice a day, returning it to its bowl or jar, just until I see a tiny tail form. For a tiny tail, this usually takes about two days.

why sprout?

Sprouting transforms a dormant nut or seed into a living food! You can take a food that has been sitting in a bag or on a shelf for months and watch it grow a little sprout–the first signs of life.

Sprouts are easier to digest than their mere cooked or consumed counterparts. They contain active enzymes that aid in the assimilation of their bountiful store of nutrients.

Sprouts are inexpensive, nourishing, and can transform your kitchen into a temporary “garden”.

And during this busy transition time, sprouts provide an excellent practice in patience.
references: The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Woods, The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND, whfoods.com

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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