Supergrains Challenge: Day 8 – Buckwheat

We’re experimenting from Chrissy Freer’s new book Supergrains: Cook Your Way to Great Health here on Crave. With the help of some Random House employees and some amazing bloggers, we share with you the: Ten Days, Ten Grains Challenge. For 10 days, we’ll feature our experiences using the ten grains from Chrissy Freer’s book! It’s day 8 of our challenge and Mardi, from the blog Eat. Live. Travel. Write has created not one, but two different recipes from Supergrains!

I am excited to be getting 2013 off to a healthy start by participating in the 10 Days 10 Grains Challenge. I had JUST been thinking about food goals for 2013 and decided that two important objectives would be to start incorporating more grains into our diet as well as learn a little more about gluten free cooking and baking (I have a couple of colleagues who are celiac and I DO like to bring in treats that everyone in my staff room can enjoy) so Supergrains is a great place to start for me.

I chose buckwheat as my supergrain of choice because once I had done a little reading, I realized that it is in fact, gluten-free, despite its misleading name. I’ll bet you didn’t know that buckwheat is actually a plant seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, did you? It’s widely classified as a grain (even though it is technically a pseudo-grain) and is a great solution for wheat and gluten sensitivities/ allergies. As it’s a complete vegetable protein (13-15%) and an excellent source of other vitamins and minerals, it’s a perfect food for vegans and vegetarians as well. From blinis to soba noodles, you might already be incorporating more buckwheat than you realize!

When I was choosing a recipe to make from the book, I was torn between wanting to cook and bake. So I did both :)

Recently returned from a vacation in Burma, I had been craving noodle soup. (You’ll see I had many bowls throughout the trip from the quick snaps I took on my iPhone) so the Soba Noodles with Beef and Miso Soup was an obvious choice. The only change I made was to switch the beef for mushrooms as I’ve been trying to eat less red meat and more vegetables as well (so many goals, I know!). I found soba noodles in my local health food store (check that they are 100% buckwheat if gluten-free is important to you as many soba noodles contain both regular wheat and buckwheat) and stocked up – this was a quick and easy meal that was very satisfying (even without the beef), and I can see myself making it over and over again (switching vegetables and meats) this winter.

The second recipe I chose (after bookmarking the Buckwheat Risotto with Lemon and Garlic Shrimp and the Buckwheat, Corn and Chive Fritters with Crisp Bacon) was the Buckwheat, Honey and Nut Granola Bars. Just like granola itself, granola bars are so easy to make at home and so much better because you know exactly what’s in them. This recipe appealed because it did not have a lot of fat (just 1/2 cup sunflower oil) – though it does have a lot of sugar (2/3 cup of honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar). With dried cranberries, cashews, raisins, coconut, oats and puffed buckwheat (I actually used flakes), it’s a simple recipe that could easily be adapted according to what you like in your granola bars (I did confess to nearly putting in chocolate chips!) or you could even make them nut-free for school lunchboxes. You bake them at a low temperature for about 40 minutes for a more chewy texture and 50 minutes if you want them on the crunchy side (mine were a little crunchy – I’ll bake them less next time!). Again, I’ll be using this recipe as a base again very soon, changing up the add-ins each time to keep things interesting and next time I’ll use puffed quinoa instead of oats to make them completely gluten-free.

I’ve enjoyed exploring buckwheat as part of the 10 Days 10 Grains Challenge and I can’t wait to work with some of the other grains from the book soon!

Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write - a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. As part of her job, she runs a cooking class twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs. She’s also a cook, baker, traveller, photographer, writer, Food Network Canada contributor, Food Bloggers of Canada co-founder and in her spare time (!) teaches French pastry classes around Toronto.

Want to talk Supergrains on Twitter? Use the hashtag #10grains10days

Supergrains: Cook Your Way to Great Health by Chrissy Freer

Published: Jan 08, 2013 by Appetite by Random House
ISBN: 9780449015711
Price: $24.95

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Lindsey Reeder is slowly learning how to navigate her way around the kitchen. It only made sense that she would choose a career in book publishing with a last name like Reeder. As a Coordinator in the Online Marketing at Random House of Canada, Lindsey spends her days tweeting and blogging about books that make her laugh, make her cry and everything in between. Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @reederreads or @RandomHouseCA.

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