Buckwheat, why it's good for you and how to use it in the kitchen

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Joe Dispenza


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We often talk about it because it is gluten-free. But that's not the only reason to enter the buckwheat in the diet. Cultivated since the Middle Ages in the north of the country (its flour is used to prepare the traditional ones pizzoccheri della Valtellina) cannot be considered a true cereal. In fact, it does not belong to the family of grasses (such as wheat, corn, rice), but to that of polygonaceous (together with rhubarb).

«It is distinguished from the most common grains for the high biological value of its protein, which contain essential amino acids in optimal proportions », begins Dr. Leopoldo Cervo, nutrition biologist in Trieste.

“So that's a lot suitable for those who eat only plant-based foods, which generally have a non-optimal protein profile ». The classic combination of cereals and legumes is recommended precisely to compensate for the deficiencies of essential amino acids in each of these foods.

For strong bones and top mood

«Buckwheat is a source, in particular, of lysine and tryptophan. The first increases the body's ability to absorb the football (fundamental for the strength of the bones) and to synthesize the collagen (necessary for skin elasticity).

The second is a precursor of the Serotonin (our feel-good hormone), which improves the quality of sonno and the tone of the mood », explains the expert.

Furthermore, this semi-cereals is a generous source of sulfur, essential for the construction and maintenance of connective tissue, and of mineral salts, which stimulate diuresis and help fight the water retention. Then you just have to try it. "Preferably in full version," suggests Dr. Cervo.

Pancakes with honey or fruit compotes

For 4 people:  buckwheat flour, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 50 cl of almond milk, 50 g of melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, extra virgin olive oil to taste, salt to taste

Put the flour, sugar, baking soda and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well.

In another container, beat the egg and slowly incorporate the almond milk, then combine the mixture with the other ingredients.

Warm up one small non-stick pan with a veil of oil. Pour a ladle of batter (to make a pancake of about 10 cm in diameter) and let it brown on both sides. Continue the operation until the preparation is finished.

Serve as you like with del liquid honey (for example of acacia) or with fruit compotes 

Soup with vegetables

For 4 people:  buckwheat, 3 carrots, 3 courgettes, 2 celery sticks, 300 g potatoes, 1 spring onion, 200 g green beans, 200 g spinach, 2 mushrooms, 3 medium tomatoes, 500 ml vegetable broth, 20 croutons, extra virgin olive oil to taste, salt to taste.

Make brown the spring onion chopped in a large saucepan with a drizzle of oil. Add all the vegetables, washed and chopped, and let them cook for a couple of minutes over low heat.

Then pour in the buckwheat and the vegetable broth, hot, and cook for about 40 minutes. Just before turning off the heat, taste the soup and, if necessary, add salt. Serve with gods large croutons of bread (white or, preferably, integral).

Piadina with chicken

For 4 people: 150 g of flour buckwheat, 100 g of wheat flour 00, 70 g of lard (or seed oil), 10 g of white sugar, 10 g of sugar cane, 2 cl of water, 3 cl of milk, 600 g of chicken breast, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/2 cube or sachet of brewer's yeast or for pies, extra virgin olive oil to taste, paprika to taste, rosemary to taste, fennel to taste , oregano to taste, marjoram to taste, salt to taste. 

Cut the chicken into strips and marinate for 3 hours in the fridge with a little oil, chopped rosemary, marjoram and fennel, brown sugar, oregano, paprika and a pinch of salt.

While in prepare the wraps: sift the flours, work them with the lard and honey, then add the white sugar and milk, finally the water with the yeast and a little salt.

Let the dough rest for an hour at room temperature, then use it to make 4 discs about 4 mm thick, which you will cook in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil.

Pour the chicken with marinade into another pan e let it brown for 5 minutes. Spread it on the wraps, which you fold in half, and serve.

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