How to Cook Buckwheat Groats
Don’t let its name mislead you. Buckwheat, despite its name, is not actually wheat at all. You’re clear to enjoy it as a healthy gluten-free option. Now that you know, are you ready to finally learn how to cook buckwheat groats, and start reaping all the awesome things it can provide for you and your family? Is that a yes? Great! Let’s get started.
What Are Buckwheat Groats
Just in case you were having second thoughts about what exactly buckwheat groats are and what it can provide for you, here are some quick bits of information that should help.
As I’ve already mentioned above, buckwheat is not wheat at all. It’s not even related to wheat. It’s not a grain, and it is not cereal.
Buckwheat is actually a flowering plant. Buckwheat groats are actually the seeds of the plant (more info can be found here). Consuming the groats (or seeds) can bring you a lot of health benefits because they’re:
- High in fiber
- Low in fat
- Low in sodium
- Low in calories per serving
Buckwheat is safe for people with food allergies because it’s:
How to Make Buckwheat Groats on the Stovetop
Most people cook buckwheat groats on the stovetop. Look at the packaging and the cooking instructions will also tell you to cook on the stovetop. The reason is that it’s easy to make, and the easiest way is on the stovetop (well…that was until I discovered the rice cooker’s many uses for cooking this kind of food, but we’ll talk more about that later).
I would recommend following the cooking instructions on the package, but we can briefly talk about the basics of cooking buckwheat groats on the stovetop anyway.
- Basically, you will need to use two cups of water for every cup of buckwheat groats. Make sure to rinse the groats thoroughly before you cook them.
- Bring your water to a boil.
- Add in the groats and a pinch of salt (to taste).
- Give it a quick stir and return the water to a boil.
- Cover and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes. The groats should be tender when it’s ready.
How to Cook Buckwheat in a Rice Cooker
Same proportions and ingredients. Put everything into rice cooker pan. Close and cook under white rice setting. If it seems a little dry after cooking, add a tablespoon or two and stir it into cooked groats.
As I’ve said, the stovetop method is excellent, and it works every time. Well, it works until you forget about the time and it ends up overcooking or worse, burning. I’ll have to admit that I’ve done this a few times.
Sometimes when I just need to make some buckwheat, having to come back and check on it in only 10 minutes is a hassle. I’m usually in the middle of doing something when that timer goes off. I burnt it a couple of times because I was in the middle of something important and couldn’t’ go check on the buckwheat in time. What a waste (and it’s quite annoying).
Fortunately, I started experimenting with a rice cooker for other things one day. Then the idea came about; what if I tried cooking the groats in a rice cooker? Just one attempt and I was sold. I only took what I knew about the stovetop method and poured it all into my rice cooker instead. It turned out great, and it was super convenient. I could come back much later and not have to worry about burning it.
Here’s how to cook buckwheat groats in a rice cooker:
- Rinse the seeds under cold running water and gently shake off any excess water.
- Add the groats, a little pinch of salt and a tablespoon of butter (option) into the rice cooker pan.
- Pour in water or broth and give it a quick stir.
- Close the lid and cook it with the white rice setting (if you have one).
- The rice cooker will stop cooking when it’s done.
Did you notice I mentioned using broth instead of water in step 3? Using broth gives it more flavor. My personal preference is chicken broth, but you can use vegetable broth instead if you prefer.
One more thing to keep in mind is if the groats come out a little drier than what you’d like, stir in a tablespoon or two of water.
It’s always a good idea to change things up a little bit to keep things more interesting when you’re eating healthy. The same thing all the time will get boring fast, and you’ll have a harder time sticking to a more robust diet.
The next time you make buckwheat, try toasting it first. Gently toasting the groats to a nice golden brown will bring out the nutty flavor and intensify it. Use a skillet and toast the seeds under medium heat for about five minutes. The time may differ for you, but it’s ok. Just keep an eye out for the golden brown color, and you’ll do fine.
If you have a lot of groats that you need to toast, you can actually roast it in the oven. Use a large baking pan and lay out the groats. Turn on your oven’s broiler and place it just a bit above the middle rack. Roast it for about 5 minutes and check for a golden brown.
Can You Eat Raw Buckwheat Groats?
It seems some people are interested to know if you can eat raw buckwheat groats. The answer is yes, you can. Well, I’ve test tasted a few raw groats myself just for the purpose of testing and while I’ve done my share of searching for the answer…and my answer is yes. However, I don’t recommend it.
Raw groats can indeed be eaten if it’s not toasted. Because once you toast it, it becomes a lot harder to chew on. The raw groats are softer to chew on, and the taste is also milder. I didn’t mind when I taste test. But I know I don’t want to eat more of this stuff raw. I suppose you can always try it for yourself. Perhaps your preferences are different from mine.
Storing & Freezing Cooked Buckwheat
Made too much and you can’t finish it all in that one meal? Keep it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just remember to keep it well covered in an airtight container.
What about freezing the cooked groats? Can you freeze it? Yes, you can. In fact, when I happen to buy enough groats to last multiple meals, what I would do is make them ahead of time. That way, I have some healthy options to choose from for the next couple of weeks that will only require a quick heat up.
I let the cooked buckwheat cool down to room temperature (uncovered). Once it has cooled down, I place them in freezer Ziploc bags. I push all the air out and kind of flatten it a bit with my palm. Then I close the bag, label it with the date, and throw it into the freezer.
When I feel like eating it, I’ll thaw a bag in the fridge overnight. I like mine warm, so I just give it a quick minute in the microwave.
Now that you know how to cook buckwheat groats on the stovetop and conveniently in a rice cooker don’t hesitate to try it. Come back and let us all know how you like it. Or perhaps you have a fantastic recipe that you’d like to share with us? Also, don’t forget to check out the other recipes here.