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Buckwheat is a member of the rhubarb and dock family. It is not a form of wheat. Indeed, it is not a cereal either. However, because it has a good balance of fats, protein and carbohydrates, it is often used in place of cereal grains in such areas as Russia, India and China.
The seeds (seed-fruits or achenes) of buckwheat are of a pyramid shape and are the size of peppercorns.
When raw, the seeds are green in colour. When toasted, they turn to a light brown colour.
Uses for buckwheat
Buckwheat can be made into a porridge, known as kasha in Russia and Eastern Europe. It can be added to stews and casseroles for thickening and texture.
Buckwheat flour is used to make pancakes. In Japan, the flour is turned into soba noodles.
When toasted, buckwheat flavour intensifies.
Buckwheat can also be enjoyed as a tea.
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