There are few compounds in the body more important to overall health than magnesium. Over 300 enzymes need it, including every enzyme associated with ATP, and enzymes required to synthesize DNA, RNA and proteins. Magnesium also plays an important role in bone and cell membranes, as it helps to transport ions across the membrane surface.
Studies show that most Americans are deficient in magnesium. The median intake across all racial groups is far below the RDA, which is 420 mg/d for men and 320-400 mg/d for women. Although half of Americans take a multivitamin daily, most don’t contain enough magnesium to prevent deficiency.
I’ve been a little magnesium obsessed lately. and that obsession has led me to play with buckwheat.
It’s got the word “wheat” in the name but fear not, not only is buckwheat gluten free, it’s not actually a grain at all. It’s a seed.
Now, strictly speaking, buckwheat is not a go-to choice for anyone who adheres to pure Paleo or Primal eating. Here’s a bit from Mark Sisson explaining why. But, as I have mentioned before, I eat a Paleo-ish / traditional foods diet and rely mainly on what makes me feel strong and good. (With a digestive system and skin like mine, I know pretty quickly whether or not I am tolerating a food well.) I tend to veer towards Chris Kresser’s philosophy and information on most foods, and I like what he has to say about buckwheat here.
But, alas, I don’t have the capacity right now to ferment my buckwheat like Chris does. Instead, I stop at soaking.
When I first went dairy free some six years ago, I bought a fabulous “whole foods vegan” cookbook called Get It Ripe by Jae Steele. I still use it all the time, although I confess that I am often un-veganizing her delicious recipes now.
One of my favorite recipes from this book is for a soaked buckwheat blueberry muffin. They are amazing, and I used what I learned from Jae’s techniques when developing my pancakes.
I have to say, I love these pancakes. They develop a nutty, roasted taste that I seldom experience anymore now that I am nut-free. They are not a staple for me, but are a huge treat when I make them.
A few notes:
- You have to start this recipe at least a day before, because the buckwheat groats need to soak.
- I’ve added frozen wild blueberries to these before and they were amazing.
- I haven’t played with using dairy (milk and butter) but I presume as long as you are using fatty versions, and not some water masquerading as milk, you should be fine.
- You may need to add more water to your buckwheat as it soaks, so check on it before you go to bed.
- I served mine with a fig compote I make by cooking some sliced figs up in the leftover grease from my breakfast sausage. Yeah, it’s good.
(Updated on September 1, 2013: See the great question below from Rebecca at thesoulfool.com about why I am soaking the buckwheat. She correctly points out that buckwheat is high in phytic acid. To mitigate against the physic acid, you may choose to soak your buckwheat in an acidic medium. This piece from The Nourishing Home provides an excellent “how-to” guide on soaking so I won’t repeat it here. If you want to “properly prepare” your buckwheat as per Weston A. Price principles, you should pop over and review. My recipe calls for soaking simply to soften the groats to enable a nice batter.)
(Updated January 9, 2015: I used this recipe in a regular waffle iron (not Belgian) to great success! The waffles are crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. If anyone tries them in a Belgian, please report back.)
- 1 C buckwheat
- salt, pinch
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ C coconut milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil plus extra for frying
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- The day before, put the buckwheat in a large cup or bowl. Add water until covered. Be sure to stir so that the water gets down into the bottom of the buckwheat. Store in fridge.
- Add buckwheat to food processor and puree, scraping sides frequently.
- When the buckwheat is fully processed, add salt through coconut oil. Process to blend all ingredients well.
- Add eggs and pulse until fully incorporated.
- Heat oil on a medium-high griddle. Fry about a tablespoon at a time.
- Store excess batter in the fridge.
You can find other great recipes here at the Pennywise Platter!