How to Cook With Buckwheat, the Gluten-Free Pseudograin of the Moment

How to Cook With Buckwheat, the Gluten-Free Pseudograin of the Moment

Buckwheat is having a well-deserved moment. The gluten-free crop (yep, despite the name, it’s not actually wheat) has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years, but right now, it’s in the spotlight for its impressive nutrient profile and versatility. In fact, in 2023, the global buckwheat market hit more than $1.4 billion, and by 2028, it’s poised to reach a value of almost $1.8 billion. But why all the hype? We’ve got the lowdown below (plus vegan recipes, of course).

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What is special about buckwheat?

Buckwheat is a plant that belongs to the Polygonaceae family. While its name implies otherwise, it’s not actually a type of wheat. And this is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity: it’s naturally gluten-free.

While celiac disease—a chronic autoimmune condition triggered by the consumption of gluten—is relatively uncommon, affecting around 1 percent of the population in the US, the number of people avoiding gluten is on the rise. Many maintain they are simply sensitive or intolerant to gluten (but the data around this is lacking), and this has led to a massive rise in the gluten-free market. Globally, it’s worth more than $6.4 billion.

Buckwheat is becoming a big player in the gluten-free product industry. But that’s not all that’s special about this pseudograin. It’s also beneficial to the environment. When used as a cover crop, it can help to improve soil structure, reduce soil erosion, improve soil nutrients, and support soil nitrogen levels.

And on top of this, it’s good for our health, too.


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Why is buckwheat good for you?

Buckwheat has been given the coveted title of “superfood” by some, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a good source of several nutrients, including carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants, including rutin, which is associated with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.

“Studies suggest rutin may help reduce heart disease risk by preventing the formation of blood clots, decreasing inflammation, and reducing blood pressure,” Gillean Barkyoumb, MS, RDN told Good Housekeeping.

Buckwheat (particularly tartary buckwheat) is also a source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and iron. “Compared to other grains, the minerals in cooked buckwheat groats are particularly well absorbed,” explains Atli Arnarson BSc, PhD for Healthline. “This is because buckwheat is relatively low in phytic acid, a common inhibitor of mineral absorption found in grains and seeds.”

How to cook buckwheat: 8 vegan recipes

Another great thing about buckwheat is its versatility. It works as a whole-grain substitute in dishes like porridge, salad, and pilaf. But it’s also the base of soba noodles, which are popular across Japanese and Korean cuisine. Plus, buckwheat flour is also often used in baking, too.

For more about how to cook with buckwheat, check out some of our favorite recipes below.

VegNews.BuckwheatCakesSusan Tucker

1 Vegan Buckwheat Breakfast Cakes

This wholesome twist on traditional pancakes is fiber-rich and gluten-free thanks to the use of buckwheat. Paired with luscious cashew cream and adorned with berries, this dish is about to become your new breakfast favorite.
Get the recipe

VegNews.Butterm_lkBuckwheatPancakeswithAlmondButterCaramelAshley Madden

2 Vegan Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes

If you want to indulge, these pancakes are a dreamy brunch delight. Crafted from wholesome buckwheat, brown rice flour, banana, and chia seeds, they’re at their best when drizzled with sweet-salty almond butter caramel sauce.
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3 Vegan Smoothie Bowl With Tahini, Coffee, Buckwheat, and Coconut

This rich, creamy, and nourishing smoothie bowl features a nutrient-dense blend of tahini, coffee, buckwheat, and coconut. It’s also packed with protein, thanks to the addition of cashews, too. Serve with a topping of berries, Brazil nuts, date syrup, and coconut flakes.
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VegNews.BuckwheatBreakfastMareya Ibrahim

4 Vegan Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

This nourishing bowl of buckwheat, almond milk, cinnamon, and dates—which can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference—is undeniably delicious when topped with shredded coconut, dried currants, and chopped walnuts.
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VegNews.LemonTartsEat the Rainbow

5 Cheery Vegan Lemon Curd Coconut Tarts

Featuring a buckwheat crust, these zesty, creamy, flavor-packed heart-shaped tarts would make a great date night dessert. They’re vibrant, tangy, and incredibly refreshing, too.
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6 Vegan and Gluten-Free Caramelly Banoffee Pie

If you’re looking to impress, you can’t go wrong with this deliciously indulgent and creamy banoffee pie, which features layers of buckwheat-oat crust, cashew cream, and sticky date caramel. Our mouths are watering already.
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VegNews.PaellaErin Scott

7 Vegan Mixed Grain Vegetable Paella

Quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and brown rice combine with peppery sausage, zesty rouille, and Castelvetrano olives to make this delicious mixed-grain paella. It’s also loaded with cauliflower, fennel, and peppers, making this dish not just tasty, but nutrient-rich, too.
Get the recipe

VegNews.SpicyMisoBowlDesiree Nielsen 

8 Vegan Soba Noodles With Spicy Miso Broth

With a flavorful blend of buckwheat soba noodles, edamame, and vegetables, this nutrient-packed bowl is incredibly adaptable to your fridge’s produce, making it a great go-to quick dish for busy nights. Don’t forget to save a little extra for lunch the next day, too.
Get the recipe

For more on vegan ingredients, read:

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