Buckwheat ~ Nature's Perfect Alternative to Rice or Potatoes ~ it's Gluten Free
I've got good news for all you healthy foodies out there! There is a wonderful alternative to potatoes, rice, couscous, and even quinoas. It's called buckwheat or kasha and its uses are almost endless. Healthy you ask? You bet, scientific tests have shown that Buckwheat/kasha is the best source of high biological protein in the ENTIRE plant kingdom. It is a rich source of rutin, half again as much vitamin B as wheat, high in potassium and phosphorus, low in fat, high in complex carbs, and is you ready for the bonus round?? It's GLUTEN FREE too! Its origins are Russian or Eastern Europe and I am truly scratching my head as to why this winner doesn't grace more tables both at home and in restaurants.
Ok, have I got your attention yet?? How is it fixed, where do I buy it, do I have to go to Russia and be related to the Czar to get some? It's so easy to cook as a side dish its foolproof. It can be bought at most any grocery store with a Jewish food section, and NO you don't have to be related to the Czar or go to Russia either thankfully.
Buckwheat or hereafter called Kasha is sold in a dry state like rice and it looks like little light brown three sided triangles or grains if you will (It is actually categorized as a fruit but you will swear it's a grain) . It is either sold as whole, or ground medium or fine granulation. To cook it as a side dish first it is mixed with one beaten egg to coat the grains, then into a hot skillet and sautéed to bring out the nutty flavor. Then water or stock is added, cover and let cook until the liquid is absorbed. The brand that I am most familiar with is Wolff's Kasha which is the one in the Jewish food section. Some large health food stores may sell it in the bulk section too. My town is too small to test that theory.
But here's where it gets really interesting............ it's not just a side dish.........
It can be used very successfully in the following ways:
Ground into a flour for bread
As a breakfast cereal
As a stuffing
In salad (Tabbouli)
Here is a link to Wolff's Kasha products. http://wolffskasha.com/index.htm this is the only brand I have ever used and I have made quite a few of the recipes shown on their web site. Like Tabbouli?? Theirs made with kasha is to die for!! Serve it with sautéed mushroom and homemade pot roast with au jus over the kasha, guests will beg for your recipe. So if you family is begging for an alternative to the potatoes, or rice give Kasha a try, you'll wonder why it's been hiding on the shelf and not on your plate. Enjoy and let me know what you think. ;)
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