by Cat, Nov 2011 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
On this site I refer to ‘buckwheat’ when I mean the raw grain (not toasted or roasted), but may be cooked; and to ‘kasha’ when I mean the toasted/roasted grain. Of course, buckwheat/kasha is not a true grain but is classified as a pseudo-grain, because it contains no gluten.
In developing my recipe, I consulted three quite different recipes, from a package of Bob’s Red Mill Kasha, SparkRecipes.com, and Jenn’s Cuisine - a Gluten-free blog. Bob’s Red Mill recipe uses quite a bit of liquid for the amount of kasha, so that you have to boil it for a long time to get a porridge texture. Spark Recipes is just the opposite, using far less liquid for the amount of kasha, so that it would be too dry. Jenn’s recipe has a ratio of buckwheat to liquid roughly between the other two recipes.
Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I settled on the recipe from Jenn’s Cuisine promises to be “just right.” Jenn notes, “This really suits itself well to making several portions, and we found it reheats decently, too.”
My adaptation benefits from steaming the mixture: simmering with the use of a simmer plate to moderate the heat; or in a steamer. I cook up enough for 4 or 6 servings, saving the unused portions in the fridge, then heating with my steamer when I’m ready to use.
I serve with raw honey and raw cream, with blueberries from a local orchard.
Jenn prepares this with chopped fresh pear and dried currants, and serves with maple syrup and milk (see second serving idea, below) You will want 1 – 2 pears and 1/4 cup currants.
Note that the recipe uses kasha (roasted, or sprouted and dried/toasted) as opposed to raw buckwheat.
Serves 4. See below the recipe for testing.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 4 cups water/milk; for example, 2 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup kasha (roasted, or sprouted & toasted buckwheat groats), rinsed
- 1/2 – 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 stick cinnamon or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- Rinse and drain the kasha.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high, add kasha and stir to coat. Add milk, water, spices and salt.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until soft and tender and the liquid is absorbed. Use a simmer plate for the last 15 minutes, so that it will steam to a nice creamy texture.
- Let rest on the warm burner for about 5 minutes before serving.
- If you like it really mushy, use more liquid and simmer longer.
- Serve, with butter, milk, cream, yogurt, berries, cranberry sauce or fruit preserves; sweeten with raw honey. Can also add nuts and dried fruit if desired
- Serve with cored and chopped pears, and dried currants. Drizzle maple syrup to taste over all, then add milk or cream.
Testing 11/16/11: made partial recipe, modified. Melted 1/2 Tbsp butter in saucepan; added 1/3 cup kasha and stirred to coat with butter. Then added 1 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 tsp salt. No spices. After came to boil, simmered 30 min, until all the liquid had been absorbed or evaporated. Then covered pan, turned off the heat, and let it rest about 5 min before serving. Result: Flavor not what I expected – not as sweet as oatmeal; perhaps adding the spices and pears would help. Could have used more liquid and cooked a bit longer, as the kernels were still a bit chewy. I wonder if what I used was raw groats – I’d bought a package a year or so ago and put them in a jar and labeled as “buckwheat groats.” Today I assumed they were roasted kasha because they looked brown like the kasha I just bought. I’ll have to try some from the kasha package to see if it makes a difference – see 12/25 testing.
Steamed the other serving of cooked buckwheat (to reheat), adding more water and a bit of cinnamon. They softened up quite a bit with the extra water, and the cinnamon masks the ‘odd’ buckwheat flavor. Much better.
Testing 11/30/11: Again made partial recipe using 1/3 cup groats in 1/2 Tbsp melted butter, with increased liquid (1 1/4 cups water + 1/4 cup milk), and 1/2 tsp each salt & cinnamon. After came to boil, simmered on low for 30 minutes; while it still had a fair amount of liquid, it was beginning to stick, so I used my simmer plate. After another 10 minutes, most of the liquid was absorbed, but the grains had not puffed up enough, so I added another 3/8 cup water and let simmer on the simmer plate another 10 minutes, covered.
Testing 12/25/11: Half recipe using 1/2 cup kasha (from the package labeled kasha: roasted buckwheat) in 1/2 Tbsp melted butter, 1 1/2 cups water, and 3/4 cup milk, with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. After came to boil, simmered for 30 minutes, using simmer plate for last 15 min. Result: The groats puffed up and the mixture is quite tasty. It will puff up even more when reheated in my steamer tomorrow morning. I’m convinced I used raw buckwheat for the first two tests, as this third batch behaved differently and was much more puffy and creamy.
- www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11, on Buckwheat
- www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=81; nutritional analysis of buckwheat
- quotes about buckwheat: www.naturalpedia.com/Kasha.html