Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beautiful Buckwheat and Burgers

When I lived in the US, I rarely used buckwheat as a whole grain. I enjoyed soba noodles in broth often, but for some reason wasn’t attracted to the grain itself.
Since living in Europe, I have been using it much more and find it tasty, and easy to use. Buckwheat gives great energy in a lighter manner than expected. So I am sharing some of the benefits and a simple recipe. Enjoy xx

Buckwheat, was first cultivated in South East Asia around the 6th century BC having been originally used as a wild food. It then spread to Central Asia, Tibet, Europe, and the Middle East.  Buckwheat actually came to Russia via Greece in the 7th century. The Russian name for Buckwheat is Grechka, which means ‘Of Greek’. Buckwheat was one of the earliest crops introduced by Europeans to North America.

Benefits of Buckwheat

Great for the digestion.
Buckwheat is high in fiber and has a mild, sweet flavor. It can help to clean and strengthen the intestines and improve appetite.

Nourishing to the Kidneys and Adrenals.
Buckwheat has a warming energy that is strengthening for the kidneys and adrenals especially if made into a porridge known as kasha in Russia.

Gluten Free
Buckwheat is not considered a grain, which makes it perfect for celiacs and those on gluten and grain sensitive diets.

Alkaline or Neutral
In terms of acid and alkaline, buckwheat is considered to be neutral or mildly alkaline.

Has a high concentration of Rutin
The high rutin content in buckwheat can help to lower the risk of developing gallstones, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Rutin is also beneficial for fighting inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Buckwheat can help to prevent varicose veins, and hemorrhoids as rutin is known to help strengthen the capillary walls. It can also improve circulation especially cold hands and feet, and edema.

Keeps Blood Sugar levels low
The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to maintaining sugar levels. With a glycemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice and wheat products. 

Nutrient Rich
Buckwheat contains high levels of B complex vitamins and essential amino acids, which help to promote healthy skin and strong hair. It is also a rich source of magnesium and copper. Buckwheat has strong antioxidant properties, which can help keep premature wrinkles at bay.

Buckwheat can be made into porridge, burgers, pancakes (from the flour), soba noodles, and prepared with vegetables and beans.

Here is a simple recipe for Buckwheat Burgers. Feel free to adapt it to your taste and what you already have in your fridge. Happy cooking!
Love Chef Mel xxx

Buckwheat Burgers

1 cup Buckwheat toasted in a skillet for 3-5 minutes
2 cups Water
Olive oil
1 onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup grated carrots
1 celery stalk minced
6 green olives minced or 1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon Tahini (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh basil or fresh parsley chopped
1 heaping teaspoon dried herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram)

Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Add the salt, and buckwheat. Return to a boil on a medium flame, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Uncover the pot and let the buckwheat cool down.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and then the celery, and continue frying for a few minutes.
Add the vegetables to buckwheat together with olives, dried herbs and fresh herbs. Mix it all very well with your hands until you get nice dough. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Take little portions, shape a ball with your hands and make a burger. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
Heat olive oil in a pan and fry your burgers for 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.

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