Though technically a fruit seed, buckwheat is generally treated as a grain. Though its flour has wheat-like characteristics, there is no relation, making it the ideal gluten-free alternative. We harvest & shell the flower's groats, which have an earthy, slightly nutty flavour. It's these characteristics that we chose to use it as the base in four of our five granola flavours.
Native to Central Asia, buckwheat was originally cultivated in China before brought to Asia by the Crusaders in the 1600s. Here, it quickly became a staple in Poland, Russia, & France. It is now grown around the world including North America. As gluten intolerance is on the rise, it has gained popularity in recent years.
Buckwheat is an excellent source of magnesium (86 grams/cup). It contains two significant, health-promoting flavanoids: rutin & quercetin, which "extend the action of vitamin C & act as antioxidants. They also maintain blood flow, keep platelets from clotting excessively, & protect against free-radicals & high cholesterol. It is an excellent source of protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids; it's basically a complete protein on its on but paired with legumes, is an all-star. Buckwheat has shown to lower high blood pressure & heart disease. It is also an excellent source of fibre. It is also an excellent source of manganese, phosphorous, & pantothenic acid.
Why are these important?
Proteins repair & build tissues, make enzymes, hormones, & other body chemicals. It is an important building block of hair, nails, muscles, skin, cartilage, & blood.
Dietary Fibre normalizes bowel movements & helps maintain bowel health. It lowers cholesterol, maintains weight, & aids in glucose regulation.
Manganese assists in bone production & the maintenance of skin integrity & health. It also fights against free radicals & blood sugar control.
Phosphorous "is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. It is the second most abundant mineral in the body. It is present in every cell of the body. Most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the bones & teeth." (Medicine Plus) It is important for the use of carbohydrates & fats in the body. It is needed for the protein production responsible for growth, maintenance, & repair. It aids in the production of ATP (energy) & is required for kidney function, muscle contractions, healthy heartbeat, & nerve signals.
Pantothenic Acid has historically been known as B5. It is a water-soluble vitamin that allows us to use fats, carbohydrates, & proteins as energy sources. Additionally, our immune system would collapse without it & we'd be unable to make hormones.