Buckwheat groats are produced from buckwheat grains – the basis of traditional dishes of the Slavic peoples. This product attracts a modern person with a minimum amount of fat, a moderate amount of carbohydrates with a maximum amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber – coarse fiber (cleanses the body and gives a long-lasting feeling of satiety). And this is all against the background of minimal allergic activity. The high nutritional value of the product is not disputed, but not yet appreciated by everyone.
Nucleus and done: what to buy?
Buckwheat is sold in two types: unground and cut. The kernel is obtained by exfoliating buckwheat seeds from fruit shells. During its further processing – splitting into pieces – a thread is obtained, which can be larger (in half the kernel) and small (less than half of the kernel). When using hydrothermal treatment (operations of steaming, drying, cooling), a fast-digesting core is obtained and made.
The kernel is bought for the preparation of crumbly cereals, side dishes, cereals, as well as for stuffing. Prodel is bought for making viscous cereals, meatballs, cereals, casseroles, as well as liquid cereals for children.
Green buckwheat is also called raw, not fried. They say that in the 21st century she will become the queen of croup: she has everything (or almost everything) necessary for the body. In the production of this cereal, buckwheat is refined without heat treatment. It retains its natural strength: it is capable of germination.
Green buckwheat is soaked, germinated and steamed – these cooking methods with minimal heat treatment allow you to preserve its useful substances. There is no point in preparing dishes from it in the traditional way, because its unique utility is then reduced to its usual level.
Smolenskaya buckwheat is also produced, which is a special type of buckwheat. She has small, up to 2 mm, with a poppy seed, round grains of white. Unlike ordinary buckwheat, it has a minimal amount of fiber, but a high starch content. Very easy and quickly digestible. Buy for making meatballs, casseroles, filling for pies.
For baby food, I would like to believe that buckwheat kernel is made from grains grown without pesticides. In another article, you can read about how to determine the presence of chemicals in food and whether it is even possible to do this at home.
How to properly assess the quality and buy buckwheat
Integrity of the packaging material
Very often, buckwheat is sold in packaging (cellophane is the best protection against moisture). It is imperative to check for gaps in it – a very common occurrence.
Pay attention to the weight indicated on the package: often the buyer compares bags with different weights of 1000g and 900g. Consider this marketing trick when comparing prices.
In a bag with high-quality buckwheat, you will not see impurities and litter. It should be well-cleaned groats, and the grains themselves should be the same size as a result of careful calibration on modern equipment.
Type and color are a very important indicator when choosing
The type and color of grains will tell you a lot. If buckwheat is made from steamed buckwheat grain, then its color is brown in different shades. This is a quick-digesting cereal, which will have a softer taste, the porridge will turn out to be more crumbly, but as a result of high-temperature processing at the production stage, its useful properties are somewhat reduced.
If buckwheat is made from non-steamed grains, then its color is pale, creamy with a slight yellowish or greenish tinge. Such cereals will take longer to cook, but the nutrients in it are preserved as much as possible.
How to buy buckwheat correctly depending on color
High-quality buckwheat has a solid color: its grains have smooth edges and do not differ in color. In this case, the color at the edges of the grains is lighter than that of the nucleus.
Dark brown, processed even to reddishness – cereals that have significantly lost their beneficial properties. Most often it turns out in small farms where they cannot carry out high-quality modern processing and instead of steaming it is fried. The edges of the grains here, on the contrary, may have a darker color than the core.
If grains are present, both light and dark, this means that different types of cereals are mixed, and they will not behave in the same way when cooking.
We evaluate by smell and taste
Smell and taste should also be checked for quality. The smell should be characteristic of buckwheat: not moldy and not musty, without other foreign inclusions. The correct taste is neither sour nor bitter, and also without other off-flavors. At the slightest suspicion of a marriage, return it to the store. Don’t use it anyway.
How to properly store buckwheat
If the cereals are not stored in a tightly closed container (recommended in a glass or ceramic container), then toxic substances can form in it, despite the fact that the fat in buckwheat is considered more or less resistant to decomposition.
It must be remembered that over time, the taste of the cereal deteriorates, the beneficial properties decrease, so it is not recommended to store it for a long time. Store in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry, dark place. Cereals must be dry, have a moisture content of no more than 11-12%. For long-term storage, the most suitable cereal-unground. The shelf life is usually 12 months from the date of manufacture.