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To buckwheat or not to buckwheat? With chocolate chips!

April 16, 2015


So is buckwheat paleo or not paleo?


Historically speaking, buckwheat certainly isn’t paleo. It is still a crop which would have needed maintenance and harvesting. Despite it being classified as a seed and not a grain, it comes under the banner of pseudocereal.

The buckwheat plant is related to sorrel and rhubarb and the triangular seeds, called groats, are milled into flour or used whole in cereals. While most seeds have a high fat and protein content, buckwheat is low in fat and have a high starch content, despite being lower than actual grains. Buckwheat’s glycemic index is 54, which is still fairly high.

But as a lower starch, gluten free alternative to most grains, I like to use it in my cooking from time to time. I put it in the same category as white rice, it is not as harmful as grains that contain gluten, it doesn’t have a lot of anti-nutrients, but also doesn’t have many good nutrients. Whether or not it fits into the primal diet, it fits into my paleo template.

The name ‘buckwheat’ or ‘beech wheat’ comes from its triangular seeds, which resemble the much larger seeds of the beech nut from the beech tree, and the fact that it is used like wheat.

An ancient crop, originating in Asia, buckwheat cultivation declined sharply in the 20th century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of corn & wheat. Hmmmm, that’s interesting, isn’t it?! However due to the “explosion in popularity of so-called ancient grains” buckwheat has made a resurgence on our shelves.

You can buy the seeds with or without the dark brown hull. The flour is made from the seed without the hull whilst the unhulled seeds are used mainly whole in porridges and stews. It is eaten all over the world from Russia to Asia to Europe and America.

I like using buckwheat flour in baking as it is a good source of protein and iron and imparts an earthy flavour. To aid digestion and reduce the starch, I always sprout my buckwheat by soaking for only an hour or so and then leaving to germinate overnight before drying in my dehydrator. This makes the buckwheat very tender to eat raw and is a good addition to granola and to add crunch to salads and vegetable dishes.

In my constant quest for the perfect crunchy chocolate chip biscuit, I have discovered that buckwheat flour works the best. It works better than quinoa or almonds and although not theoretically paleo, buckwheat is probably closer to being primal than dark chocolate!!

120g buckwheat

2 teas linseeds

1/2 teas baking powder

100g rapadura sugar

100g  butter

A dash of your favourite vanilla extract

1 egg

70g pecans, chopped

120g dark chocolate chips

20g dried cranberries or sour cherries, chopped

Mill the buckwheat and linseeds on SP 9 for 30 seconds. Add the baking powder and set aside.

Mill the sugar for 10 seconds on SP 10 add the butter and mix on SP 6 for 10 seconds. Insert the butterfly and whip on SP 4 for 1 minute. Scrape down and add the egg and vanilla and continue to whip on SP 4 for another 30 seconds. Remove the butterfly and add the nuts, chocolate & dried fruit, and then the flour on top, and mix on SP 3 REVERSE for about 10 seconds or until just combined.

Place tablespoon sized balls onto a lined baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes at 170°C. They will spread quite a bit and brown at the edges. To make them very crisp, leave them in the oven to cool down.

For my other chocolate chip biscuit recipes, try here.


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