Buckwheat Porridge with Milk, sometimes called Buckwheat Kasha, is a popular breakfast meal across Russia. Actually anything buckwheat is staple in the Russian kitchen. Japanese soba noodles are also made with buckwheat. Buckwheat apparently helps lower bad cholesterol, is high in protein, and is gluten free and low GI.
What is Buckwheat?
Russia is the worlds biggest producer of Buckwheat or called Grechka (гречка) in Russian. It's definitely a Russian breakfast favorite. Buckwheat is not part of the wheat family at all, therefore it’s gluten-free, the name just tricks you! It’s actually a seed, and related to rhubarb. It got it’s name from a Dutch origin translation ‘beech wheat’ because it resembles a beech nut seed.
Is Buckwheat Healthy?
As a child, I was never a huge fan of buckwheat, but I now love this kasha with honey. And it has the bonus added health benefits. Some say it's like a superfood, but I think it's an acquired taste. It's part of the a group of pseudocereals like quinoa. Buckwheat has high mineral content and high antioxidants. Comparing Buckwheat to most grains, it's high in manganese, copper, and magnesium. But it's not a flavor that everyone instantly loves (like quinoa for me). That said, those that love it, really love it. I also like to eat Buckwheat with Mushrooms, which is a savory side dish.
Roasting Buckwheat Before Using
Many of the buckwheat groats that you buy in western stores are sold green and not roasted. When you buy buckwheat from a Eastern European store, it will always be sold pre-roasted. If it doesn't say PRE-ROASTED in the package, assume it's not. If buckwheat is not pre-roasted when you buy it, take the few minutes to roast it on a frying pan. Just place in a frying pan without any oil, and roast them over medium heat for a few minutes. Similar to how you would toast pine nuts. The color will change from slightly green to toasty. Toasted Buckwheat definitely tastes better than plain buckwheat in porridge.
How to cook Buckwheat Porridge
There are a few different ways that people make a Buckwheat Kasha. You want to always wash the buckwheat before using it, just like you would when making rice. If you are roasting the buckwheat, wash it after you roast it in the pan.
First cook the buckwheat in boiling water with a bit of butter, until it's tender, cooked and the water is absorbed. This takes about 15 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, more butter and a few teaspoons of honey. Add milk, and heat through until you're ready to serve!
Buckwheat Porridge Recipe Tips
- Always toast your buckwheat groats
- Wash your buckwheat before cooking, just like rice
- Instead of honey or sugar, add maple syrup
- Add ¼ cup of whipping cream for a creamier porridge
Buckwheat Porridge with Milk is a great breakfast alternative to oat porridge or Cream of Wheat or Mannaya Kasha. An Eastern European classic Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 cup roasted buckwheat groats
- 2 cups boiling water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons honey or sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 cups milk
- Wash the toasted buckwheat groats, like you would wash rice. In a medium saucepan, add the buckwheat, 1 tablespoon butter and boiling water.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Mix in salt, 1 tablespoon butter and honey.
- Add milk to the cooked buckwheat. Return to heat to warm up. Serve with honey and fresh fruit.