Buckwheat is native to Asia and more specifically the south-western area of China where it was domesticated over 3000 years ago. It was introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages, after becoming very popular in Russia. In North America, it was planted by early settlers because it had the ability to "open the floor 'and rid it of weeds. Today, it is source of food for humans and animals. Buckwheat is used as a natural herbicide and fertilizer in organic growing to rid the soil of weeds. Buckwheat also helps supplement the soil with phosphate, an essential nutrient for crop growing.
Buckwheat seeds can be cooked by pouring a cup of buckwheat in 2 cups of boiling water for about 15 minutes over low heat. Just beware: if it is overcooked, it will become pasty. Buckwheat can also be eaten cold in salads, hot as a side dish to replace rice or pasta or even as a hot cereal for breakfast.
Need more inspiration? Try these recipes:
Dehydrated buckwheat granola
Blueberry and raspberry buckwheat cream
Buckwheat granola with pecans, chocolate and coconut
Local blueberry buckwheaties
Buckwheat, tofu and mushroom salad with miso ginger dressing
Buckwheat oatmeal with almond butter, banana and seasonal fruit
Chocolate, almond and toasted buckwheat bars
Can be preserved in a cool, dry cupboard protected from light and humidity.
Buckwheat is not wheat at all. It is related to the rhubarb family. It is a staple food in Eastern European countries. While it is a nice compliment to Middle Eastern meals, buckwheat is also naturally gluten free so it is a handy food for people who suffer from celiac disease.