Question: Is buckwheat gluten free?
Answer: Obviously the main confusion as to whether or not buckwheat is gluten free comes from its name.
Although it sounds like it should be related to wheat, buckwheat is far from being related to any of the gluten containing grains.
You will find gluten free baked goods made with buckwheat flour, but here's the thing: buckwheat isn't even a grain, except from a culinary perspective.
Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It has a mild nutty flavor.
The word “buckwheat” actually comes from a Dutch word, bockweit, meaning beech wheat. It refers to buckwheat's beechnut-like shape and its wheat-like characteristics.
Buckwheat is native to Northern Europe and Asia, and was introduced to the United States in the 17th century. Today it is grown worldwide.
In many cultures, buckwheat is served as a rice alternative or as porridge. Buckwheat flour is great for making delicious breads, muffins and pancakes.
I also use in my gluten free cooking by adding it to stews and soups to give them a hardier flavor and thicker texture.
You can also make a delightful vegetarian gluten free salad by adding garden peas, pumpkin seeds and scallions to cooked and cooled buckwheat for your delicious lunch or dinner salad.
Important Note: Although buckwheat is gluten free, be very careful when purchasing any foods (or flour) labeled "Buckwheat".
It can be a deceptive marketing technique or even just innocent labeling. This is because buckwheat flour is often mixed with wheat or other gluten containing grains.
So, as usual, it's upon us gluten free health nuts to read the ingredient list.
Besides, my gluten free rule applies here: If it doesn't specifically say "gluten free" on the package, don't assume it is.