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Buckwheat – a gluten free staple

Lenka Pagan

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds and as a cover crop. It is also known as Japanese buckwheat and silverhull buckwheat.

Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Because its seeds are eaten and rich in complex carbohydrates, it is referred to as a pseudocereal. The cultivation of buckwheat grain declined sharply in the 20th century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of other staples.

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. The word may be a translation of Middle Dutch boecweiteboec (Modern Dutch beuk), “beech” (bhago-) and weite (Modern Dutch weit), wheat, or may be a native formation on the same model as the Dutch word.

Source: Wikipedia

Buckwheat contains no gluten  so it may be eaten by people with Coeliac disease or gluten allergies. Many bread-like preparations have been developed. Buckwheat, quinoa, or amaranth eaten in moderation apparently do not cause problems for most Coeliacs. So, it can be a good substitute for wheat, oats, rye and barley in a gluten-free diet. 😊

I have given my son these delicious organic buckwheat crackers (http://www.amisa.co.uk/product-474-2.html) since he was a toddler. They make an ideal nutritious snack and he loves them! 😉

Energising and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge. Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, magnesium, dietary fibre and phosphorus. Buckwheat contains two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions: rutin and quercitin. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.

 Buckwheat Muffins

You wouldn’t guess that these muffins don’t contain dairy or egg.
They are so moist and delicious and eaten very quickly every time
I bake them. 😊


70 g unrefined sweetener (I used Xylitol)

2 tsp molasses

100 g coconut oil

130 g buckwheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 tsp cocoa powder

10 tbsp water or more


  1. Put the sweetener, molasses and coconut oil into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and water. Mix well. The mixture should have a very soft dropping consistency. If not add a little more water.
  3. Pour the mixture into paper cupcakes and bake in a pre-heated oven 160-180C. Depending upon your oven, they should be ready in about 10 minutes. If you’re unsure insert a toothpick into the middle of a cake – if it comes out clean, they are ready.
  4. Store in the airtight container. Enjoy. 🙂


Have you made anything with buckwheat yet? I’d love to hear from you if you have.

Lenka Pagan
Lenka supports women to live happier and healthier life. :-)

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