How to cook buckwheat
For raw buckwheat or kasha, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot. Add 1 cup of the grains and stir until well coated. Let the buckwheat dry out then add 2 cups water. Boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, just until the kernel is soft. Drain buckwheat and serve. There is also a cooking method using egg – both routes help to keep the buckwheat from turning into mush.
How to use buckwheat
Buckwheat and kasha are a great base for building grain-bowls or pilafs. You can also cook buckwheat with a bit more liquid for porridge, or toss it raw into granolas and breads. Buckwheat also works well in stews.
How to store buckwheat
Buckwheat, whether the whole or flour, is best stored in airtight containers in a cool place. Whole buckwheat be stored up to a year in the freezer or 6 months in the pantry. Buckwheat flour is best stored in the freezer and will last up to 6 months. If the grains or flour have a rancid smell when you open the bag, toss and buy fresh.
Raw (either green or black)
Kasha (dry toasted)
Initially I only used buckwheat flour, and then explored cooking with the whole grain. The flavor of buckwheat is wonderfully nutty and can be a bit imposing, which is why I think I needed to warm up to it by using the flour first. Buckwheat falls into the classification of ‘pseudo-grain’, meaning it is actually a seed of a fruit, specifically the same family as rhubarb in this case.
You will see it sold in raw or toasted groat form. Raw buckwheat groats are greenish in color after being removed from the black hull. Roasted buckwheat is the buckwheat groat that has been toasted, often referred to as kasha. I typically keep kasha on hand because I find it makes better homemade flour.
Flour: Buckwheat flour is perfect in gluten-free flour mixes and also makes a nice addition to wheat flours and pancakes. Store-bought buckwheat flour may be darker in color than that of home-grinding because most companies grind their buckwheat with the black hull.