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Cooking Kasha or Buckwheat Groats

By: Ginny Mahar
Cooking-Kasha-or-Buckwheat-Groats

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Plant-based, Vegetarian, Vegan

Move over quinoa. We have a new crush on a gluten-free grain substitute that blows you out of the water– nutritionally speaking. Allow us to introduce you to kasha (not Kashi), or whole toasted buckwheat, also known as buckwheat groats.

Buckwheat is not a grain, but rather the seed of a plant related to rhubarb. Buckwheat is gluten-free, and boasts some unique nutritional factors, including resistant fiber, bioflavonoids, tannins, and bound antioxidants.

Buckwheat flour can be used as a gluten-free substitute for pancakes and waffles, and may also be found in Japanese buckwheat soba noodles. The focus of this post is on whole buckwheat. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to cook, purchase, and store whole buckwheat, and why you may want to consider making it a part of your thyroid-loving repertoire.

The Difference Between Kasha and Raw Buckwheat Groats

Before you head off to the bulk-food section, there’s some knowledge you need to take with you. Both kasha and raw buckwheat groats are simply whole buckwheat grains. The difference is that kasha is toasted, and raw buckwheat groats are not. For more toothsome, fluffy, individual grains I recommend purchasing raw buckwheat groats, and toasting them at home. (In my experience pre-toasted kasha tends to disintegrate quickly.)

Toasting your buckwheat groats is also important because it affects cooking time – toasted groats cook in half the time as their raw counterparts. I suspect that’s why I’ve had some disappointing experiences with store-bought pre-toasted kasha.

Here’s my theory on that: When toasted in large batches at a factory, some of the kernels become well-toasted, bursting shortly after they begin to cook, and dissolving into a grainy porridge. Other kernels in the batch are less toasted and remain firm long after the others have turned to paste. I’ve found that toasting your own in small batches ensures even toasting, and therefore, even cooking.

Buying & Storing Buckwheat Groats

Groats are found in the bulk section of many grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill also sells raw buckwheat groats and kasha by the bag.

Make sure you purchase buckwheat groats, as the term ‘groats’ is also used to describe whole-grain oats or other types of grain in whole form.

When storing buckwheat groats, the pantry’s okay, but stash them in the fridge or freezer if you want to extend their shelf life.

Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:

For more information on the unique nutritional properties of buckwheat, and how it can be part of your thyroid-friendly diet (w/ recipes), we recommend this article from Dr. Alan Christianson.

Cooking-Kasha-or-Buckwheat-Groats
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Toasted Buckwheat Groats (aka Kasha)

This gluten-free seed is nutty, toothsome, and an ultra-nutritious grain alternative. Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Plant-based, Vegetarian, Vegan

Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Toast raw buckwheat groats in a dry, high-sided skillet over medium to medium-high heat, 5-10 minutes or until browned and fragrant.
  2. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 - 20 minutes, covered, or until grains are al dente (check often).
  3. Drain off extra liquid and serve.
Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts
Toasted Buckwheat Groats (aka Kasha)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 145 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Potassium 195mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 5g 10%
Calcium 1.1%
Iron 5.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ginny-Mahar-Co-Founder-Thyroid-Refresh

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.