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Buckwheat is a great alternative to rice or pasta.
If you grew up in the United States, then you have likely never had buckwheat before. There is a good chance you are not even familiar with it at all. Buckwheat is common in Eastern European countries, but not so much in the United States. It is actually difficult to find buckwheat in basically any store in the United States - fortunately there are plenty of online options where you can buy it.
Buckwheat is a pretty plain dish - if you eat it plain then you’ll have a pretty boring food to eat. It’s hard to explain the flavor of it, but it’s got a bit of a grainy or wheat-like flavor to it. It’s not really terrible, it’s just not something you’d generally crave. You can think of it like rice - rice doesn’t have much flavor to it if you eat it completely plain. Not terrible, just not something you want to eat like that.
Buckwheat is usually paired with most any meal the same as rice or pasta might be. It’s common to have chicken, vegetables, and buckwheat together in a single meal. A little salt and pepper may be added to the buckwheat to flavor it up, but it’s not usually eaten with any special sauces or anything like that - sauces and additional condiments like that are not common in Eastern European countries.
Some people also like to have buckwheat for breakfast in place of oatmeal. While this can be a fine choice, there’s not really that much benefit to it over standard oatmeal. Plain oatmeal is one of the better breakfast options that you have, and it’s far healthier than most options that are common in American cuisine. If you prefer buckwheat over oatmeal, then go for it, but we’d recommend it replace your rice.
You cook buckwheat like you do rice or pasta - in boiling water. Before being cooked, it's a hard ball-like shape. Once cooked, the little grains pop open and the buckwheat is soft. It’s definitely got more of a texture to it than rice does, but it’s still soft and easy to chew. Buckwheat also has a distinct smell to it - it’s not a bad smell, just a smell that you’ve likely not smelled before unless you’ve made buckwheat.
One of the main reasons to choose buckwheat over the alternatives is because it’s nutrient packed for the calories that you’re consuming. In one cup of cooked buckwheat, there’s only 150 calories, and 5.5 g of protein. Compared to brown rice, you get 50 less calories, and an extra gram of protein. Compared to white rice and other alternatives, you’ll be coming out well ahead in your nutritional value.
Perhaps the hardest part of choosing buckwheat for those that haven’t had it is the texture and boring taste. Salt, pepper, or even our favorite garlic parmesan are great options to spice it up a bit and make it easier to consume. You can really add any condiments or other toppings as well if you want - for example, putting a bit of red pasta sauce on top is a totally valid choice as well. Experiment with it to see what you like.
Buckwheat is a great choice to add to your meals - it’s nutritious and healthy. It can be used in many ways, and it can help you if you’re trying to lose weight. Get yours now.