In recent years, there has been a growing interest in alternative flours and grains due to their low carbohydrate and low sugar benefits. One such flour that has gained popularity is buckwheat flour, known as kootu ka atta in some regions. And it is slowly beginning to have wider acceptability than just being seen as a fasting food.
While buckwheat is not a millet but a seed, its nutrient-dense properties make it a superfood that can shield you against non-communicable diseases. It belongs to the Polygonaceae family and is botanically related to sorrel and rhubarb.
Rich in Nutrients
Buckwheat flour is packed with essential nutrients. It’s an excellent source of complex carbohydrates that delay digestion, extend satiety, slow down glucose release and provide sustained energy throughout the day. Additionally, it contains notable amounts of fibre, protein, vitamins (B-complex vitamins like niacin, folate, and riboflavin), and minerals (magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus). These nutrients are vital for maintaining overall health.
High in Antioxidants
Buckwheat flour contains various bioactive compounds, including rutin, quercetin and tannins, which possess strong antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall well-being.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Buckwheat flour has a lower glycemic index compared to traditional wheat flours. This means it has a gentler impact on blood sugar levels, making it a favourable choice for individuals with diabetes or those looking to maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.
The rutin in buckwheat is known to promote cardiovascular health by strengthening blood vessels and reducing the risk of heart-related issues. The presence of magnesium also contributes to maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Buckwheat flour’s high fibre content aids digestion and promotes gut health. The soluble fibre acts as a prebiotic, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria and supporting a healthy microbiome.
Helps in weight loss
Kuttu ka atta is dense in proteins but doesn’t contain calories. Hence, it is digested easier, is gluten free and, therefore, sits on the stomach easily than the commonly used wheat flour. What’s more, it improves absorption of other nutrients and boosts metabolism, which means faster fat burns.
Incorporating Buckwheat Flour into the Daily Diet
Now that people understand the science behind the nutritional benefits of buckwheat flour, let’s explore how to incorporate it into the daily diet:
Buckwheat Pancakes: Replace traditional pancake mix with buckwheat flour to create a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Top with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey for added flavour.
Buckwheat Porridge: Make a creamy breakfast porridge by cooking buckwheat groats or buckwheat flour with your choice of milk or water. Add your favourite fruits, nuts and a pinch of cinnamon for extra taste.
Buckwheat Noodles (Soba): Soba noodles, made from buckwheat flour, are a staple in Japanese cuisine. Use them in stir-fries or cold noodle salads for a unique and healthy meal.
Buckwheat Bread: Prepare home-made buckwheat bread or use buckwheat flour as part of the flour blend in your bread recipes. It adds a delightful nutty flavour to your loaves.
Buckwheat Flour in Baking
Replace a portion of all-purpose flour in baking recipes with buckwheat flour. This works well for muffins, cookies and even brownies.
Buckwheat as a Side Dish
Use cooked buckwheat as a side dish, similar to rice or quinoa. It pairs wonderfully with vegetables, meats, or a drizzle of olive oil and herbs.