Buckwheat

Is buckwheat gluten free?

Buckwheat is gluten free.
Is buckwheat gluten free?

Photo by Laitr Keiows

Is buckwheat gluten free? Despite its misleading name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and contains no gluten. It’s not even a grass or a grain. It’s actually a fruit, believe it or not, and is related to rhubarb.

The “buck” in buckwheat derives from “beech” due to the fact that buckwheat has triangular shaped seeds much like beech seeds. The “wheat” is simply because it’s used like a grain and can be made into flour.

Buckwheat is an ancient crop that has been grown since about 6000 BC when it was first cultivated in Asia. It used to be quite a popular crop in the United States until it was replaced with wheat and corn in the 20th century.

Cross-contamination is possible if the buckwheat is processed in plants that also process wheat. It is unlikely to be contaminated in the field, however, because its growing season differs from gluten grains. Any stray kernels that do manage to get mixed in would most likely be removed in the cleaning process, since they are quite different in size.

Buckwheat helps to reduce cholesterol, gallstones, and body fat. It has also been shown to benefit those with type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Buckwheat groats can be used in place of rice or bulgar. It works well in Middle Eastern dishes such as dolmas and tabouli. Buckwheat farina can be used to make a breakfast porridge or a side dish similar to polenta. It can also be added to stews and sauces. Buckwheat flour can be used to make buckwheat pancakes or mixed with other gluten free flours.

Be careful when buying buckwheat based products such as buckwheat pancake mixes or soba noodles. Unless they are labeled as gluten free, they likely have wheat flour added to them.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Products

Bob’s Red Mill has a separate gluten free packaging division with special machinery to protect against cross-contamination. They ensure a standard of no more than 19 parts per million of gluten. Bob’s Red Mill also produces items which contain gluten, so make sure to buy only the ones which say gluten free on the label.

Arrowhead Mills actively tests and monitors their production facilities to guard against cross-contamination. They also manufacture products with gluten, so pay attention to the label and only buy those marked as gluten free.

Other brands:

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Information contained on this website should not be construed as as medical advice. This site is designed to be of assistance in planning diets for people like me, who suffer from gluten intolerance and wheat allergies. You should always seek help from a medical professional to determine your level of gluten sensitivity and what steps you need to take to keep yourself healthy.

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