My first recollection of buckwheat flour was when I was a child in the 70s. It was a decade where buckwheat flour was making a comeback due to its compelling nutrient profile. I recall it as a ‘hippy’ grain and a bit alternative. I heard about buckwheat pancakes occasionally, but we were a solid Bisquick family. Buckwheat wasn’t something that made its way into our house. Now I love it – and buckwheat flour truly gets the chance to shine in these orange-scented buckwheat chocolate chip cookies.
Buckwheat flour has appeared in an increasing number of baking recipes lately, from muffins to cakes to cookies. It adds a deep, earthy flavour profile, and a slightly sandy texture to baked goods, making it much more interesting than one-dimensional white flour. And it happens to be gluten free.
What Is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is an ancient grain that was used in colonial times, and was popular in America from the late 1800s. Like other hearty, nutrient-dense plants such as dandelions, buckwheat can thrive and even spread quickly in poor soil conditions.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat
- The plant-based protein in buckwheat is of outstanding quality, and is rich in the amino acid lysine. Lysine can help to prevent cold sores, assist with calcium absorption, reduce anxiety levels and aid with wound healing.
- Research has shown rutin and quercetin, compounds found in buckwheat, are anti-inflammatory
- Buckwheat’s polyphenols can be neuroprotective, and it possesses anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties.
- It is also rich in high-quality carbohydrates, protein, amino and fatty acids, and is loaded with B vitamins for energy, vitamin K for bone health, and choline for the brain.
More Ways to Use Buckwheat
I’ve used buckwheat flour in the following cookie recipe. The flour is also wonderful in pancakes, bread and it’s used to make noodles (soba). Whole buckwheat is easily enjoyed in:
- Rice dishes or pilafs (cooked buckwheat can be subbed for virtually any of your favourite grain dishes)
- Soups and stews
- Granola (use instead of oats, or use half oats/half buckwheat)
Creating the Ultimate Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
I hadn’t paid much attention to buckwheat flour until lately, when it captured my attention in a cookie at the Volunteer Park Café in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. This sent me on a mission to try and duplicate their delicious buckwheat flour chocolate chip cookie. Its buttery flavour and dark chocolate flecks, with a bit of heft to it, seemed like the perfect cookie.
In my recipe experimentation, I veered off course from my objective, but with nice results in their own way. I found that the orange flavour naturally complimented buckwheat and dark chocolate, so I wanted to be sure and include it.
This is the perfect cookie for a fall or winter day with a cup of your favourite warm drink. And, with all of the buckwheat health benefits, and no refined sugar or gluten, it’s a treat that will make you feel good, too!
About The Author: Ericka Thielke
Ericka is a graduate of the 2021 Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, and owns Fittersweet Cookie Dough, a nutrient-dense cookie dough that features premium dark chocolate. She is also a certified chocolatier and loves combining her new knowledge of culinary nutrition with chocolate. She spends her free time finding ways to incorporate chocolate into a healthy life.
Ericka teaches piano in Seattle, and lives with her husband, Stephen, and two daughters who are in college.
Learn More: www.fittersweet.com