Light buckwheat flour has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with banana bread. On its own, this recipe is moist and full of banana flavor. However, if you want to dress it up, simply add pecans, dark chocolate chips or even blueberries.
Is buckwheat really gluten-free?
Buckwheat, often touted as “the healthy wheat,” is actually not wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat is far from wheat, actually derived from the seeds of a flowering plant closely related to rhubarb.
Buckwheat is an excellent source of fiber, protein and nutrients — in particular buckwheat groats, the small triangular seeds. They’re also nutritionally beneficial for helping treat symptoms of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. In addition, buckwheat contains rutin, a glycoside known to strengthen capillary walls and improve circulation.
Gluten-free or celiac disease?
Like many grains, when used as a rotational crop or during processing and transportation, buckwheat may sometimes be cross-contaminated with wheat products. Therefore, it’s important to choose buckwheat flour that is labeled certified gluten-free, particularly for those suffering from celiac disease.
Light versus dark buckwheat flour
Compared to dark buckwheat flour, light buckwheat flour is lighter in color and very fine in texture. Unlike dark buckwheat, which is ground from the seed with the hull, light buckwheat is ground from the buckwheat seed once the hull has been removed. The result yields a moist, delicate crumb ideal for baked goods such as cakes, breads and muffins.
Dark buckwheat has a coarser texture and dark specs throughout the flour. While it has a higher fiber content and nutritional value, the result yields a coarser crumb. Although it may not be ideal in cakes, it may be advantageous in recipes like granola where a higher nutritional value and denser crumbly texture are preferable.
Katherine Marko is a freelance writer, author and blog creator. Her areas of expertise include food, health, style, beauty, business and nutrition. Marko holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a diploma in photography, graphic design and marketing, and certification in esthetics.