I am going to put it straight out there and say it – buckwheat is underrated and under-appreciated and I’d like to change that. Don’t let the name fool you, it has no relation to wheat. It’s not even technically a grain, but a seed of a bush that’s related to rhubarb. What is exciting about it is that it’s high in protein (13-15%) and soluble fibre and contains more zinc, copper and manganese than most grains, plus it’s completely free of gluten, making it suitable for those with coeliac disease.
Besides being a nutritional powerhouse, buckwheat also tastes delicious and is pretty versatile to use. You can usually find is sold in the form of whole groats (wholegrain with the hard husk removed), soba noodles or as buckwheat flour and has a slightly nutty flavour. The flour is ideal for making gluten free pancakes (or their traditional use – blinis), or the whole groats cook up quickly for an alternative to rice or quinoa – be careful not to over-cook or you will end up with uninspiring mush! I also love to simmer the groats with soy milk, spice and grated apple for a warming porridge.
If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, it’s actually not too expensive to buy buckwheat either – unlike its trendy counterpart quinoa. You can usually pick up a kilo of buckwheat for $4 – $6 at a whole food shop (or sometimes in the health food section of larger supermarket), keeping your budget in the green.
These little sweet potato bakes are perfect to make ahead for work/uni lunches, they will keep well in the fridge for a week and provide plenty of protein, carbs and fibre to keep you going all afternoon. Feel free to mix it up by swapping the sweet potato for other roasted veggies such as zucchini or pumpkin or swap out the relish for a swirl of basil pesto. Any leftover cooked buckwheat can be saved and used in salads or soups.
- 800g sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cooked buckwheat (don’t over cook!)
- 2 tablespoons linseed
- 3 tablespoons caramelised onion relish
- 450g fresh ricotta
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup crumbled fetta
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 2 free range eggs
- cracked black pepper
- extra fetta, to top
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Place the sweet potato on a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle over the oil, toss to combine. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes or until browned and soft. Allow to cool slightly them place in a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon mix into a muffin tray lined with muffin papers. Sprinkle with a little extra fetta.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden on top.
- This will make either 9-10 regular muffins or 6 jumbo muffins
- To cook buckwheat: rinse the buckwheat well in a sieve under cold running water. You may also like to soak the buckwheat for a couple of hours or overnight to reduce the cooking time. When ready to cook, place the buckwheat in a saucepan with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, test the buckwheat every 1-2 minutes, it should only take 5 minutes or so (it may become a little foamy, turn it down a little if it looks like it will boil over). You are looking for it to be tender but still hold its shape well. Be careful not to overcook! Drain and rinse under cold water.