My Dear “Kindred Spirit,”
So one thing I’ve noticed about the south: apparently they don’t believe in buckwheat down here.
It’s super sad. ‘Cuz I’m kinda in love with buckwheat right now.
Maybe it’s just a “faze” I’m in, and I’ll be on to the next thing next month. I really don’t think that’s the case, though.
Pancakes drenched in butter and dripping with maple syrup are not something you just stop craving one day. That’s a lifelong favorite food. For me, at least.
And when it comes to pancakes, buckwheat is where it’s at!
If you will, allow me to rant, rave and ramble a little about it:
First of all, buckwheat isn’t wheat of any kind. It isn’t even technically a grain. It’s actually a seed that is related to (of all things) rhubarb.
Buckwheat is gluten free (for those of us who unfortunately have to care about stuff like that) and really high in a lot of wonderful things like B vitamins and magnesium.
As well as being healthy and pretty “special diet” friendly, it’s also super yummy. And it makes the most AMAZING pancakes.
In fact, the only downside I’ve found to buckwheat is that it can be hard to find. That is, down south it can be hard to find… Believe me, by this point in the game, I would know. I’ve been browsing the local grocery stores for the past two weeks hunting for it (mutter, grumble, sputter…).
I’ve torn apart both hippie (aka “health food”) sections AND “normal people” sections in stores searching for this stuff. Seriously, I didn’t just happen to overlook it! When I’m on a quest for something, I hunt for it. Up and down ALL the aisles. Multiple times.
I found all kinds of other stuff. Tapioca flour. Cornmeal. Potato starch. Cornmeal. Millet flour. Cornmeal. Rice flour. Cornmeal (Y’all sure do love your cornmeal down here). Coconut and almond flour. More cornmeal. 3 1/2 million different varieties of wheat flour (to compete with the cornmeal, I guess). Even SOY flour! (ugh, ugh, ugh!! Just seeing the package made me gag a little…).
But no buckwheat flour.
That’s a lie.
I did FINALLY find a little package of buckwheat flour at one of the grocery stores. It was nestled way up on the top shelf, hiding there between some cornmeal and some more cornmeal.
I got it safely off the shelf and into my hands, brushed some of the cornmeal dust off the package, and gazed lovingly at it for a while. I just stood there for a few moments, studying the price tag and debating whether my pancake craving was really worth sacrificing an arm and leg for.
Visions of tall stacks of pancakes absolutely saturated with butter and swimming in maple syrup were dancing in my mind, and I realized that arms and legs are over rated. I had to have my pancakes, whatever the cost.
So I got my precious flour home, and immediately started dreaming, planning and anticipating the delicious breakfast I was going to create with some of that flour.
As some of you may already know, I am a “real food” foodie. I’m also a huge Weston A. Price fan (if you’ve never heard of Weston Price, it’s most definitely worth doing some research! Nourishing Traditions is *the* cookbook of the WAP Foundation, and an amazing resource, so I recommend starting with that. However, I would also highly encourage you to read Price’s book as well – Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It will blow your mind).
So one of the big things with the Weston Price Foundation is traditionally prepared foods. And for grains and seeds, that means either soaking, sprouting, or fermenting (as in sourdough baked goods).
There’s all kinds of technical jargon about what soaking does for the nutritional quality of your grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, etc… It makes them more digestible by breaking down the anti-nutrients such as Phytic acid, gluten, enzyme inhibitors, etc., and it makes the nutrients more bio-available.
If you’re anything like me, just reading that last paragraph is making your eyes get all glassy, your brain spin and you’re thinking “what does that even mean??”
Don’t worry, you’re in good company…
Boy, I tell you what… I love reading and learning about health and “real food,” but it has really made me wish that I had a brain for science! Especially chemistry. I SO wish I had thought to do some kind of chemistry in school so that my brain could maybe, just maybe, absorb or understand at least some of the stuff I read!
But here’s what I DO understand, and why I believe in soaking/sprouting/fermenting grains and such:
It kick starts the digestion process. In other words, it’s digesting your food for you (or at least starting to). Yes, I know that sounds gross… But, hey, anything to make my gut’s job a little easier! As long as it still looks, smells, and tastes good, I’m all for pre-digested food!
So all the soaking part of this means is that you’re gonna have to think ahead a little, and get started the day before you want pancakes. Or, if you’re not buying into the whole “soaked” idea, you could just skip that part of the process. I don’t recommend it, but, hey. You’re a person. You can make your own choices. I’m not the boss of you.
Anyway, here’s the “recipe” I threw together. It serves about 2, depending on who’s eating… For guys, it may only serve one. For skinny women who don’t believe in eating, it may serve 3 or 4.
Soaked Buckwheat Pancakes:
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, sour milk, water with a tablespoon or two of vinegar, lemon juice, or whey. Or any combination of the above
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
So the day or evening before, mix the flour with your liquid of choice. Stir until it’s all mixed, cover with a cloth, and leave it at room temperature to soak.
Side note here – use buttermilk.
The yogurt or kefir will work if you must. Water with vinegar or lemon juice will probably be edible, but, seriously, only do that if you’re allergic to dairy…
For best results, though, go with buttermilk. I just found this out the other day from “the ant.” And I proved it to myself this morning when I had these pancakes made with buttermilk… I’ve used yogurt in the past, and they’re pretty good, but the buttermilk ones were just amazing!
The next morning, add your baking soda, baking powder, salt and eggs. I honestly just guessed at the amounts, and you could probably tweak it pretty easy. I’m guessing one egg would have been plenty. And I’m gonna try using less baking powder next time, too.
Mix it up good, the batter might be kinda foamy and have a “sourdough” look or smell to it – that’s fine. Thin with water to desired consistency, heat up your griddle or frying pan, and have at it!
Enjoy with lots of butter and maple syrup.
And know that I’m jealous of your awesome meal.