Buckwheat is not a Wheat

Why choose buckwheat

The common misconception about Buckwheat is that it is though off  as a wheat because of its name. Buckwheat is not a wheat, neither is it a grain although it is enjoyed in a similar fashion like a true grain. Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed. Because it is not a wheat, it does not contain gluten.

Cooking with Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour can be used to make pancakes, noodles and biscuit. In my earlier post, i mentioned about buckwheat being gluten free so it’s safe for those with gluten intolerance.

However some buckwheat flours sold in stores may have been mixed with other flour, so it’s important to read the labels carefully. Because there’s no gluten, it will not rise. Gluten is the substance that makes dough “doughy.” So for baking, it will have to be mixed with other grains that contains gluten (e.g. store bought buckwheat pancake mix containing wheat). So do look out for the “Gluten Free” label on the packaging for those with gluten intolerance or if you are on a gluten-free diet.

Buckwheat flour found in stores are mostly from unhulled buckwheat flour (darker color) which is not the same as raw buckwheat flour (lighter color). Raw buckwheat flour are made by grinding raw whole buckwheat groats without the hull. The darker flour will be higher in dietary fiber.

Buckwheat for a Gluten Free Diet

Buckwheat is gluten-free. That means that it’s safe for those with celiac disease  as buckwheat is not related to wheat.

What is gluten you ask? Gluten according to the medical dictionary is defined as – ‘a gluey protein substance especially of wheat flour that causes dough to be sticky’.

Gluten is found in all grains, but while the prolamins in rice and corn gluten are safe for celiac patients, the prolamins in wheat , barley , and rye are not. In people with celiac disease, these protein molecules in wheat, barley and rye trigger an autoimmune response that results in damage to the small intestine, along with other related problems. (Source: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/celiacdiseaseglossary/g/Gluten.htm)