Let’s start with a little Flour 101 here.
Traditional white flour that our grandmothers have used for centuries is made from wheat grain kernels. The kernel itself has three layers: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The bran contains fibre, the germ - nutrients and fats and the endosperm contains starch. Back in the days when all flour was ground by stone mills, it was good for you because slow grinding ensured that all three layers of the grain are eaten together.
A lot has been said about harmful effects of refined sugar in the past few years, but many of us still don’t know which alternatives are actually better for you.
To start off, what exactly is white sugar? White sugar is simply crystallised sucrose extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose. Fructose is only good if moderately consumed in natural state (e.g. while eating grapes) because it comes together with fibre, meaning slow energy release. However, if you take the fibre out and consume refined sugar in its pure form, you’d consume more of it, thus increasing heath risks such as weight gain, tooth decay, diabetes etc.
Despite it’s name, buckwheat is unrelated to wheat and, in fact, is not a grain at all! Buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb and is a perfect alternative to grains for those allergic to gluten.
The plant is widely popular in Russia and Ukraine, where it’s a household staple. Roasted buckwheat groats are traditionally eaten boiled, and sometimes used in soups and for stuffing.
Buckwheat has a myriad of benefits, so you should seriously consider adding it to your diet, either in the form of porridge or as flour in your daily baking.