Follow these 2 simple steps for sprouting buckwheat at home. Easy to prepare, raw sprouted buckwheat is healthy, versatile and delicious added to smoothies, salads, cereals or blended into a creamy breakfast porridge.
You can sprout raw buckwheat in a jar with a sprouting lid or a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band.
Instead, I prefer to soak them in a bowl and sprout them using a strainer. They get more airflow that way, and I can give them a rinse more easily.
I'll cover the buckwheat groats with a paper towel in warm weather to keep any bugs off. Especially useful in Summer when the kitchen window's open, so I can listen to the birds singing outside.
I discovered sprouting buckwheat when trying to find an alternative to oats for breakfast, and I've loved it ever since. I hope you'll grow to love it as much as I do.
How to sprout buckwheat groats
Step 1 - To activate buckwheat, soak raw buckwheat groats in fresh cold water overnight, then drain thoroughly.
This is the only time they should sit in water. It's not unusual for the water to turn a little pinkish. It'll be a little gooey, too, so rinse and drain them until the water runs clear.
Now set them aside in a strainer placed over a bowl to start sprouting.
Step 2 - Allow them to sprout for a minimum of 8 hours. Sprouting buckwheat can take 2-3 days to germinate and a little longer, depending on how warm their environment is. Enjoy them before any leaves start to appear. I think they're best when their tail is about as long as the width of the seed, or just a little bit longer.
You need to rinse and drain them thoroughly 2-3 times each day until a little shoot starts to appear. I do this in the morning and then before bed. This is essential to keep the sprouting buckwheat clean and reduce the risk of unwanted bacteria.
Use raw hulled groats when sprouting buckwheat
Step 1. Soak buckwheat in fresh cold water
Step 2. Leave to sprout. Rinse and drain twice daily
What is buckwheat?
Buckwheat is not related to wheat. It's a seed from a fruit related to sorrel and rhubarb. There are two common types, Common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum).
Known as a pseudo-cereal and a whole grain, it's becoming ever more popular because it's easy to use and nutritious.
It's also gluten-free. Although, it's worth noting that if buckwheat is produced in a facility using the same equipment as gluten grains - it may no longer be gluten-free.
I love to have it for breakfast, topped with vegan yoghurt or dairy-free milk, fresh seasonal fruit and some seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Is sprouted buckwheat good for you?
Happily, yes, it is. Sprouted buckwheat is considered a healthy food, and sprouting makes its nutrients more easily digestible.
It's gluten-free, high in fibre, protein-rich (twice that of oatmeal), and filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including:
If you're into nutritional information and health benefits etc., check out this great article written by healthline.com to find out more.
It's worth noting that some people are allergic to buckwheat. To learn more about buckwheat allergy and allergies in general, you can read them at anaphylaxis.org.uk, a fantastic resource and UK-registered charity.
How to activate buckwheat
Activating buckwheat means soaking them in water until they've naturally softened. I liken this to seeds being soaked by the rain before they germinate.
I soak buckwheat overnight, then rinse and drain them in the morning.
However, some people prefer a quick soak/rinse after 30 minutes or even 1-2 hours. I like the texture to be softer.
I usually can't wait until it's fully sprouted before eating, so I mostly eat it at this stage instead when it's finished soaking.
Try different times to see which you prefer.
Another point is that the raw hulled groats must be made more digestible before eating, as they're pretty hard in texture. So I don't recommend eating them dry from the packet.
As with all sprouting, cleanliness is paramount to help avoid bacterial contamination. So, please be sure to thoroughly clean your hands and any equipment you'll be using, plus you also need to store them appropriately.
See storage and food safety information below.
How to store soaked or sprouted buckwheat
Once they're ready, I rinse and drain them thoroughly, then leave them in the strainer placed over a bowl for a few minutes to dry off a little.
Transfer them to a suitable container lined with a paper towel to catch any unwanted moisture. Then, pop them in the fridge to stay fresh and use them within 3 days.
As sprouted buckwheat groats are considered a living food, I leave one corner of the container slightly undone, so they can breathe. But, of course, you don't have to do this.
Be sure to give them a quick rinse and drain them daily to help them stay fresh. Replace the kitchen paper if need be. If you notice they smell funky or weird, then throw them out.
Are you interested in sprouting? You'll love the other articles in my sprouting series:
- How to grow broccoli sprouts (Jar Method)
- How to sprout lentils
- How to sprout chickpeas
- How to sprout quinoa
- Sprouting adzuki beans
- Sunflower Sprouts (Step by Step)
- Sprouting Mung Beans (Quick and Easy)
Once soaked, they typically take 2-3 days to sprout. They’re super easy and fun to do.
Be sure to use raw hulled buckwheat for sprouting. If they've been cooked then they won't sprout. Roasted buckwheat is sometimes called Kasha. If you're not sure then check with the manufacturer before using.
Raw buckwheat groats are typically a combination of light green-light brown in colour. They’re a beautiful pyramid shape, which sets them apart from other cereals or grains.
Other recipes with sprouted buckwheat you may like:
- 1 Bowl.
- 1 Strainer or sieve.
- Paper towel
- 60 g raw hulled buckwheat groats
- 200 ml water
- In a bowl, soak the buckwheat groats in plenty of fresh cold water for at least 30 minutes. I prefer to soak them overnight for ease. Use enough water to cover the buckwheat by at least a couple of inches as they will swell and soak up some of the water. Once soaked, drain them using a sieve or strainer held over the sink. Rinse thoroughly until any gloopiness has gone and set them aside in your strainer/sieve placed over a bowl. Cover loosely with a piece of paper towel.
- Allow them to sprout for a minimum of 8 hours. Sprouting buckwheat typically takes 2-3 days, depending on their environment/time of year. Rinse, and drain them thoroughly 2-3 times each day during the sprouting phase and before using. See notes below for storing.
The UK Food Standards Agency recommends people in vulnerable groups always cook any sprouts until steaming hot all the way through before eating them.
This is because sprouts sometimes contain bacteria, which some people may be susceptible to. Vulnerable groups include the elderly, young children, those with a weakened immune system, and pregnant women.
Never eat sprouts or microgreens that look or smell bad or weird. If you’re unsure, then throw them out and start again.
Check the FSA website for more details.