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What Are Buckwheat Groats?

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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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Hulled buckwheat grains are known as buckwheat groats. They are unroasted, raw, or whole buckwheat kernels that can be used just like cereals. Buckwheat groat is considered to be a pseudo-cereal because it isn't even related to wheat; it belongs to the same family as rhubarb and sorrel. The groats are extremely nutritious and also lack the gluten protein. They can be made into a porridge, mixed with other foods and used as a filling, or used instead of meat in dishes like chili.

Toasted buckwheat groats are known as kasha or kashi in America, and they have a very nutty, earthy taste. Buckwheat groats are consumed worldwide, and they are very popular in Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. The porridge made from these groats has a texture similar to that of rice and is a staple meal in Eurasia. It is common practice to soak them for a while before cooking because they are hard to chew when raw. In addition to being used as a breakfast food, they are also used to thicken gravy, soups, and dressings.

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Buckwheat groats are also an excellent food for those suffering from diabetes because they are low in sugar, cholesterol free, and contain high amounts of protein. They also contain many vitamins, like niacin, choline, riboflavin, and folate. An excellent alternative for those with gluten allergies, they are rich in fiber, low in sugar, and contain complex carbohydrates. These groats are also low in sodium and fat and help in satisfying a person's hunger while lowering cholesterol levels. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup (136 grams) of cooked groats provides around 155 calories.

The raw grains have a bitter taste, and cooking them helps to get rid of the bitter compounds. Cooking groats is similar to cooking rice; around two cups (about 473 milliliters) of water need to be added to a cup (136 grams) of groats and brought to a boil. If overcooked, they turn into mush. It is also easy to make kasha at home by toasting buckwheat grouts in a little oil until they turn a rusty brown color. Toasting or roasting the groats amplifies their nutty flavor and intensifies their aroma.

It's also easy to sprout buckwheat groats at home. They absorb water fast and don't need to be soaked for lengthy periods of time. The soaking time for these groats is around 20 minutes to one hour. After soaking, they need to be rinsed thoroughly, and they sprout in around one to two days. The sprouts can either be mixed with cereal or granola or sprinkled on salads, yogurt, and crackers. They make an excellent crunchy snack when they are tossed with seasonings, dehydrated, and stored.

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