Gluten-Free Flours 101: Buckwheat Flour

buckwheat flour

Written by Glen Call

July 15, 2020

When searching for an alternate flour for your next gluten-free food, using something with “wheat” in the name may sound counterintuitive. But that doesn’t need to be a worry when you’re looking at buckwheat. Let’s answer a few questions that you might have if you’re looking at buckwheat for your next product.

What is Buckwheat?

Buckwheat is actually a misnomer. It has no wheat in it, as it’s a pseudo-cereal. This means it isn’t a grain or grass at all. Think of it like quinoa or amaranth. The parts that are ground into flour are called groats. The groats are harvested, hulled and then ground into flour.

Where Have I Heard of Buckwheat?

Many people already are familiar with buckwheat because it is often used in pancakes and waffles, but they are traditionally used in other foods as well. Buckwheat is a staple for blinis in Russia or soba noodles in Japan. 

Where Does Buckwheat Come From?

Buckwheat originated from Asia and was later introduced to Europe and then the US. Because of its wide use globally, buckwheat is now grown around the world. The biggest producers are China, Russia, and Ukraine though it is grown in many other countries, including the US.

Is Buckwheat Healthy?

Buckwheat has a good amount of protein and fiber in it with a lower average of calories for flour. It’s also lower in carbohydrates than many other gluten-free flours. It’s higher in manganese, copper, magnesium, iron and quercetin. With so many healthy minerals, many eat buckwheat for good heart health. 

Is Buckwheat Right for My Product?

Buckwheat flour is dense with a unique, hearty flavor. Some would call it more of an acquired taste. It can sometimes be difficult to bake with, which is why it’s typically used to make wetter batters for pancakes or crepes where it works very well. When combined with other gluten-free flours like oat or rice flour, it can have quite a lot of versatility, being used in breads, cookies, cakes, and many other products. This also helps to tone down the taste and make it less noticeable.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a distinct tasting, gluten-free flour that has versatility for batters or combines well with other gluten-free flours for many other types of products, buckwheat could work for you. And with its health-promoting properties, your customers will appreciate it too. While we typically recommend other flours, like almond flour, or oat flour, if you’re looking for authenticity for your blinis or hearty pancakes, buckwheat is the right flour for you.

We also encourage you to find a dedicated gluten free co-packer with allergen free facilities to ensure your product stays gluten free and meets gluten free standards so your customers don’t get sick.

Learn more our our process and how we help food manufacturers create high quality products >

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