Buckwheat - wheat alternative so great for IBS sufferers
This humble grain has a deceptive name; it’s related to rhubarb and has no association with wheat at all. It was originally widely used in China, and found its way through Europe over the centuries. Now it is valued as a gluten free alternative, and its flavour is similar to wholemeal wheat.
What are its benefits?
- Per dry 60g / equates to approx. 206 calories.
- It is rich in B2, B5, folate, niacin, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium.
- 42g of carbohydrate but the high fibre content lowers both insulin response and blood sugars.
- Low in fat.
- Regular consumption can lower total cholesterol which is great for heart health.
- Diabetic friendly.
- The flour tastes very similar to wholemeal wheat, so can be used for all sorts of recipes as a simple substitute.
How can it be used?
1. Cook buckwheat grains in the same way as you would rice, and use to add variety to your diet.
2. Use it in soups, casseroles and even curries in the same way you would use lentils. It adds ‘substance’ to sauces, so they are not thin and watery.
3. Buckwheat flour makes excellent crepes, pancakes for breakfast, cakes and breads.
4. Buckwheat flakes can be added to muesli as a wheat alternative.
Buckwheat breakfast crepe
60g buckwheat flour
240ml skimmed milk or dairy free alternative
3 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
275g fresh blueberries and/or raspberries
1tsp stevia sweetener (optional)
1. Use a large mixing bowl, add the flour, milk, eggs and vanilla essence. Beat or blend in a mixer/bowl until the mixture is smooth in texture.
2. Let the batter stand, room temperature is best, for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can place in the refrigerator for up to two hours if you can’t use the batter straight away.
3. Use a small non-stick pan. Brush the surface with olive oil. Place on the hob and heat gently on a medium heat. It should not smoke or spit.
4. Gently, from low down, pour approx. two tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan. Gently swirl the pan, so the batter settles evenly.
5. Cooking times will vary, dependent on the pan and thickness of the batter, however approximately two minutes should be enough, or until the crepe is golden brown on the underside.
6. Turn the crepe over using a large spatula, and cook the other side, this will be quicker as it will just need browning, so approximately 30 seconds should be fine.
7. Serve the crepe onto a plate, and add fruit to taste, a sprinkle of stevia and one tablespoon of crème freshe.
8. Roll the crepe carefully and pin it closed with a cocktail stick.
A sticky alternative is to use maple syrup.
A healthy alternative is to use low fat Greek yoghurt or quark.
This recipe can be adapted so it is wheat, dairy and gluten free.
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About Victoria Shorland
Victoria has been a Nutritionist for ten years, working with SureStart, the Osteoporosis Society, Spire St Saviours and in private practice.
She runs a Specialist IBS Clinic in Faversham, Kent, and Hythe Kent and sees patients with other various health problems.
The Body Blitz and Weight Loss Programmes are very successful.
No fads, no gimmicks.