Sprouted Buckwheat Groats

Buckwheat is a terrific alternative to grain for many recipes. No, it's not wheat and it's not even a grain. Buckwheat is a fruit seed, related to rhubarb. Besides being gluten-free, it has tremendous health benefits. A phytochemical in buckwheat may be beneficial in the management of diabetes; studies show it has the ability to lower blood glucose levels. It's also a good source of fiber and contains the eight essential amino acids, as well as high proportions of manganese and magnesium.

You can add sprouted buckwheat to smoothies for extra protein and to add more texture. It’s also great on top of salads, in sandwiches, or on top of hot or cold cereals. It doesn’t have a very strong taste so you can incorporate buckwheat with either sweet or savory meals. If you're dehydrating them you can even grind them into flour! Find buckwheat groats in most health food stores' bulk bins.

Why sprout?
Buckwheat becomes packed with live enzymes and vital nutrients when sprouted. This little three-sided seed is one of the easiest foods to sprout, too, needing only about an hour of soak time. Sprouting also makes the buckwheat easier to digest. And it's fun to watch it grow its tiny tails, knowing you're creating live nourishment!

  • Place one cup of buckwheat groats into a bowl or jar and soak for about an hour.
  • Rinse them well and then place them into a strainer, spreading them out as much as possible.
  • Place the strainer over a bowl, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and store away from direct sunlight.

  • Rinse every 4 hours. These guys grow fast and will release a LOT of starch that is slimy. So you really need to rinse, rinse, rinse and then rinse some more! I usually will just feel the bottom of the strainer to see if there is any sliminess and most often, when I think I am done, there is more to rinse.

  • When they are well rinsed, spread them out again, like you did the first time and cover again. 
  • It shouldn't take more than a day or two to get your little tails! You don't need them to be very long. (note: if you need to leave them overnight, that's okay. Don't worry about rinsing in the middle of the night, they'll be fine!)

When your little-tailed sprouts are done growing, you will need to either refrigerate them and eat them within 2 days (max) or dehydrate them, which I prefer because they keep for a long time this way. In order to keep the sprouts' precious enzymes intact you will need low heat to dehydrate. They will need about 6 - 8 hours at 115 degrees F and then will be crispy and crunchy. 115 may be difficult to achieve in a regular oven. I suggest using a food dehydrator. If you don't have one, make sure to purchase an oven thermometer to check the lowest temperature of your oven to make sure it won't be too hot.

Healthy tails... I mean, trails!

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