Growing up, we watched the old Little Rascals movies non-stop. Spanky, Alfalfa and Buckwheat were the funniest kids around. I remember not liking the newer Little Rascals movie when it came out in 1994 (was it really THAT long ago?) Buckwheat was always one of my favorite childhood characters…
… and now buckwheat has been named a staple in the Cooper Family pantry.
While grocery shopping on Saturday, I perused the “Ethnic Foods” aisle for some inspiration. In the Jewish section, I stumbled upon some Kasha. I probably would have overlooked the unassuming brown box until I saw that it had “GLUTEN FREE” on the label. Hold up, gluten free foods outside of the “Natural Food” section? I looked at the price (cheaper than GF oats!) and tossed the box into my cart.
A lesson on Buckwheat (the seed)
- Buckwheat is NOT related to wheat and does NOT contain gluten. Buckwheat isn’t even classified as a cereal grain, it’s a seed!
- Buckwheat comes in a couple of forms: Groats, Kasha and Flour. Buckwheat groats are simply hulled grains of buckwheat- the least processed. Kasha typically refers to cracked buckwheat groats (although the word kasha and groats are used interchangeably). The kasha that I purchased was also toasted, hence the slightly darker color than the groats. And you probably already guessed that buckwheat flour is just ground up buckwheat.
I cooked up a few servings of Kasha on Sunday so that I would have an easy breakfast during the weekdays! This was 1c. Kasha cooked in 2c. water for about 10 minutes, or until the kasha was tender and the liquid was absorbed. (Bring water to boil, stir in kasha, cover and simmer 7-10 minutes).
There was a slight nuttyness to the kasha, and I immediately dolled up my breakfast bowl by adding pumpkin, spices, a bit of milk, a drizzle of molasses, a sprinkle of raw kasha and a spoonful of peanut butter (I realize the following picture may not look too appetizing, but it was DELICIOUS!)
Nutritional stats on Kasha (1/4c. dry, makes about 3/4c. when cooked):
We plan on using buckwheat to substitute for rice (for those times where we’ve just had enough), and I have big plans for some buckwheat pancakes! You’d better believe they’ll be on the blog if they’re worthy of being photographed!