The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Bright Ideas: Buckwheat for Breakfast

Are you in the market for a delicious, nutrient-packed breakfast suggestion? Here’s one: cream of buckwheat.

The name comes from the Dutch word bockweit, which refers to both the way the seeds resemble those of beech trees and the way the flour resembles wheat flour. But it’s neither cereal grain nor wheat; it’s a fruit seed of the buckwheat plant, fagopyrum esculentum. And here’s some exceptionally good news: it’s both wheat and gluten-free, a great alternative for the gluten-sensitive, or those seeking wider variety.

Health benefits? It contains rutin and quercitin, two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions. It’s a good source of magnesium, manganese, fiber, phosphorus, pantothenic acid and very high quality protein– containing all 8 essential amino acids. Studies have shown links to a lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. (Source of information: Michael Murray & Joe Pizzorno’s invaluable book The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.)

Buckwheat has a pleasantly nutty flavor. The flour can be finessed into crepes as the French do, or used as the Japanese do to craft soba noodles. If you are avoiding gluten, check the package and be sure wheat flour hasn’t been added– “buckwheat” noodles are often a mix of the two.

But back to my delicious breakfast. Pictured is cream of buckwheat, cooked in under 10 minutes, and topped with almond milk, frozen wild blueberries and a splash of grade B maple syrup. Quick, warm, yummy, and packed with antioxidants, protein and all the goodness described above. I would have added nuts, but am recovering from dental surgery. Don’t ask. Still, this breakfast is top notch, and I recommend you try it.

What are your favorite healthy breakfasts?


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Jo Cooper

About Jo Cooper

Jo Cooper, Online Communications Editor, is the editor of the Centering blog. She posts on www.facebook.com/MindBodyMed and tweets @MindBodyMed and about marketing, design and photography on @JoCooperStudio. Questions about the blog? Contact her at Centering@cmbm.org.

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  • Wendy

    This sounds like a great alternative to my usual oatmeal! Other favorites are Greek yogurt with fruit and walnuts, and a slice of grainy, seedy bread with almond butter.

  • Emily

    Cream of buckwheat sounds delightful, especially topped with blueberries. My favorite breakfast is probably oatmeal with pumpkin, peanut butter or almond butter, flaxseed, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips.

  • nora gafton

    Wow, this is a great breakfast alternative for this beautiful Fall weather. My only recommendation is to make sure that you boil the water first before adding the buckwheat. And indeed try it its delicious and it comes in many varietions as well.To good health.Nora

  • Jo Cooper

    You're all making me hungry :)

  • Meredith

    I eat cream of buckwheat often for breakfast, and it is a great replacement for oatmeal. If I could just figure out how to do it in the microwave, it would be a very quick breakfast as well!

  • http://www.blauenltd.com Margaret

    We eat buckwheat often. I bring almond milk to a light boil and add buckwheat & finely cut up dried fruit (apricots, prunes, dates, barberries or cranberries) and gently boil for about 10 min. If I need it to be sweeter, I add banana at the end. My son (10) likes to top it all off with Chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut shavings and fresh fruit, and occasionally with chocolate shavings. We call it our ‘mudd’ breakfast!

  • http://cmbmdec12.redbossa.net/ JCooper

    Margaret, I love how that sounds! And especially that your 10 year old is SO healthy food savvy! My youngest son is 15, and as a serious runner LOVES chia seeds for energy and endurance. I’ll have a ‘mudd’ breakfast soon, and think of you two.

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