Buckwheat, despite its name, is not a true grain. In fact, it is not a member of the cereal family but of the polygonaceae. It is totally gluten-free, high in protein and rich in benefits for the body.
The plant is native to Siberia and Manchuria, is very resistant to cold climates, but was mainly used in the summer months as a means of exploiting the land during the rest period after the winter harvest of rye and barley. The cultivation of this plant comes from faraway China and it was exported to the West in the Middle Ages, brought by the Turks to Greece or by Mongol peoples to Poland and Germany.
Buckwheat is a favourite food for coeliacs precisely because it is gluten-free but brings many other benefits to the body due to its properties.
It is, in fact, a source of minerals, such as zinc and iron, and contains 18% protein that is easily absorbed by the body. In addition, it is a source of antioxidants, which are especially good for those suffering from hypertension or venous insufficiency, as it helps improve microcirculation.
Lastly, it contains D-chiro-inositol: a substance that improves the regulation of blood glucose and insulin production, thus preventing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
What are the benefits of this pseudo-cereal? It is friendly to the blood vessels, helps reduce LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and helps prevent diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Buckwheat is mainly found in two different forms: as flour or as grain. It is the basic ingredient of polenta taragna, one of the typical dishes of Valtellina, where it is widely cultivated.
In Italy it is known as “Saracen wheat”: the name derives precisely from the exotic origin attributed to this plant. In fact, in antiquity this adjective was attributed to everything that was considered foreign, as it means “Arab”, i.e. “non-Christian”.
If you fancy a taste of this ingredient that is as simple as it is good, try it in Kioene's buckwheat veggie “meatballs”: unmistakable taste and texture.