Grain of the month: Buckwheat

Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat. Officially, it’s not even a grain but rather a seed that’s harvested from a flowering plant related to rhubarb. But the pyramid-shaped kernels are similar to grains from both a culinary and nutritional perspective.

Buckwheat is gluten-free but rich in fiber and several minerals. It also contains high levels of rutin, a compound also found in apples and citrus fruits that may make blood vessels stronger and more flexible. Several studies suggest that eating buckwheat may help lower cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar levels in check.

You may be familiar with buckwheat flour, which is sometimes added to pancakes or waffles. Buckwheat crepes made in the Brittany region of France are called galettes. In Asian countries, noodles made from buckwheat flour (such as Japanese soba) are popular. Whole, toasted buckwheat is typically soaked and simmered into a porridge known as kasha, a staple in Russia and other Eastern European countries.

Buckwheat kernels, called groats, are sold raw or roasted. You can toast tan or ivory-colored raw groats in a skillet to make a crunchy topping for salads or soups. Roasted groats, which are brown with a slightly earthy, nutty flavor, can be cooked like rice.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

Luke 11:28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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