Playing with my food is more than hobby these days, it’s an all out obsession, an obsession which has reached new heights since I’ve discovered sprouted buckwheat.
Being the boyfriend of a complete health geek must be an unnerving experience. Not only does mine have to put up with living in an apothecary of powders, seeds and pulps, he now also has to share his kitchen with a permanent bowl of sprouting buckwheat. At least I am a considerate health freak however, leaving a post-it on the recent batch to let him know not to eat, throw away or disturb my latest growing batch of grouts.
WHAT IS BUCKWHEAT?
First and foremost, gluten-phobics shouldn’t be terrified by the mis-leading name as buckwheat actually contains no wheat or gluten whatsoever. Buckwheat is actually a seed disguised as a grain, used most commonly used to do the same job as rice or oats. The buckwheat grouts look like large-ish, almost round grains. (How’s that for a totally non-vague description? Maybe the photo below is slightly more helpful to you)
Even in their dry store-bought form, these little grouts have SO many amazing health benefits, many of which I have already chirped on about in my buckwheat crunchy granola recipe. Here’s just one of many fun facts for you:
” The magic part of buckwheat is something called rutin which is basically an incredible nutrient which makes vitamin C do it’s job a lot better. So not only is buckwheat good for you – it also helps all the other foods you eat to be good for you too.”
But we’re here to talk about SPROUTING buckwheat, which takes the nutrition level of already awesome buckwheat to a whole new mind-blowing level.
WHY SPROUT THE GROUT?
Soaking buckwheat works a treat to soften up the grouts and make them a little kinder to you gut for digestion, but when you sprout the grout you are actually bringing this little seedling completely back to life – so when you eat sprouted buckwheat you are directly digesting all the goodness of an actual live, growing plant.
To start, here are the incredible vitamin and mineral boosting benefits which come from sprouting:
I pulled these factoids from a very interesting article on happandraw.com so can take no research credits whatsoever!
- Vitamin B6 increases about 500%
- Vitamin B5 increases about 200%
- Vitamin B2 increases about 1300%
- Biotin by about 50%
- Folic Acid by about 600%
- Zinc content doubles
As if you needed any further motivation to get sprouting, here are a few more amazing benefits:
- Sprouting increases the protein content of buckwheat by 35% Protein makes us strong. We love protein.
- Spouts are chlorophyll rich – yup, the stuff you learn about in biology when studying plants at some point in secondary school is actual good for your health. Among many benefits, chlorophyll is an alkalinising nutrient, so it counteracts the many acidic things which our bodies are exposed to, such as pollution and the obvious bad things we all get tempted into putting in our faces like wine and sweeties and the occasional cheeky gin here or there. I learnt a lot of interesting things about the benefits of the alkaline way of eating from Natasha Corrett’s awesome blog and recipe books: Honestly Healthy
- Sprouting breaks down lots of the health boosting elements of buckwheat for you – so your tummy doesn’t have to do the work to get the goodness out of the grout.
We all know vitamins, minerals and nutrients from foods are GOOD THINGS – they get us to glowing inside and out by preventing cell mutation (this can cause cancer) combatting toxins and boosting our immune system.
So, as an ABSOLUTE POWERHOUSE of all of these good things, it’s safe to say getting a bit of sprouted buckwheat on your plate is a win-win situation.
OH – and did I mention that they’re kind of crunchy and fresh and nutty and delicious all at the same time? That helps too 🙂
I use my sprouts sprinkled over EVERYTHING.
Porridge? Sprouts. Salad? Sprouts. Homemade gluten free bread? Sprouts.
You can even whizz them into smoothies or creamy nut milks. The possibilities are endless…
HOW TO SPROUT YOUR BUCKWHEAT
You will need:
- Some dried, whole buckwheat grouts (I get mine organic and packaging free for a bargain 72p per 100g from The Grain Grocer at Crystal Palace Market on Saturdays)
- 1 post-it note
This is how you make the magic:
- Cover with water and soak the buckwheat in a cup or bowl in the fridge overnight
- In the morning, throw them in the sieve and wash throughly so all the gooey stuff comes off. Don’t be grossed out, this is just starch.
- Shake off all the water and place the sieve full of buckwheat over a bowl, so the grouts don’t end up sitting in water
- Cover with a cloth
- In the evening, give the grouts a little water bath again – washing off the starch
- Put the sieve back over the bowl, cover with a cloth and say goodnight to your grouts
- This is when you might want to pop a warning post-it on your bowl, to ensure no one unwittingly throws away your bowl of nutritious awesomeness
- In the morning, wash your grouts again
- By the evening, you should start to see some little tails growing out of your grouts! Congratulations, you have sprouted your buckwheat!
- You can keep sprouting for another 24 hours, store them in the fridge in a container, or just eat them straight away.
HAPPY SPROUTING! 🙂