Buckwhat??? Never heard of the grain buckwheat? Well I hadn't heard of it until I traveled to Russia about 5 years ago. Buckwheat has been a part of the Russian gastronomy and culture for about 1,000 years. It was originally cultivated by the Greeks and brought to Russia when the Greeks brought Christianity to Russia. Since then this grain, well technically it is a seed not a grain, has been a staple among the people. The Russian people use buckwheat in loaves of bread, cutlets, porridge, pancakes and they just boil it as well.
There are 2 forms of buckwheat, regular buckwheat and kasha. Kasha is the toasted form and has a bit of a red color and a slightly more distinct and stronger flavor. The flavor of buckwheat is a bit metallic. It is different than brown rice, freekah, or farro. Buckwheat becomes soft when you cook it, unlike the other grains that stay tender. Buckwheat, as mentioned previously is a seed not a grain, which means it is gluten free. Since it isn't in the wheat family it doesn't contain the protein gluten. Another wonderful reason to incorporate buckwheat or kasha into your diet is because it is one of a few plant items that is a complete protein. This means that is contains all essential amino acids we need to eat, like all animal products except gelatin contain all 9 essential amino acids. This is very important for those who don't eat animal products.
Yields 2 servings
1 cup buckwheat
1 1/2 cups whole milk or nut milk
1/4-1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 apple - small dice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
2 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon for garnish after
A pinch of salt
In a saute pan add, buckwheat, 1 cup milk or nut milk, 1/2 cup of water, cinnamon, 1/2 the apples, salt, vanilla extract, honey, and lemon zest.
Bring this to a boil and stir once. Cover the pan and lower the heat to low.
Allow this to cook for 10-13 minutes.
Then remove the lid, add the remaining milk, adjust the sweetness by adding another tablespoon.
Serve, top with the remaining apples and a garnish of ground cinnamon.