• Celebrate Buckwheat Month Every December


    December is Buckwheat Month

    December is Buckwheat Month
    Background image credit: Laitr Keiows – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0


    December is a time for family and holiday cheer. Depending on where you live it’s also a time for cold, snow and indoor hibernation.

    And Buckwheat Month!

    At least according to the Oldways Whole Grains Council. A few years ago the Council featured a different whole grain each month. December got buckwheat.

    Is December still really Buckwheat Month? Not sure! It doesn’t seem to have ever been made an “official” month.

    But the website’s still up. The Grain of the Month calendar still assigns buckwheat to December. So we’ll go with yes! Celebrate buckwheat in December!


    A Few Tasty Buckwheat Facts

    Let’s start by clearing up one thing: Buckwheat isn’t a kind of wheat. It’s not even a real cereal grain. It’s a seed that’s used as a grain.

    Now on to a bit of trivia:

    • The buckwheat plant was first cultivated in the Balkan region around 4000 B.C.
    • European colonists brought it to the U.S.
    • Buckwheat, also called “beech wheat,” gets its name from the appearance of its seeds. They look like smaller versions of beech tree seeds.


    You’re probably most familiar with the mature form of the buckwheat seed, which is dark brown, sometimes almost black. But the immature fruit may be either red or green. … Christmas colors, which makes celebrating buckwheat in December even more appropriate!


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    Buckwheat is a useful and nutritious food

    No part of the plant has to go to waste:

    • Honeybees like the flowers and make a dark, rich honey from their nectar.
    • Dried buckwheat stalks make good straw to use for livestock.
    • Buckwheat hulls (the covering of the seeds) are used to stuff pillows and heating/cooling packs.


    Buckwheat is also a very nutritious pseudo-cereal:

    • It gets high scores for its zinc, copper and manganese levels.
    • It also provides lots of soluble fiber, which can help minimize blood glucose spikes after eating.
    • Buckwheat contains certain flavonoids that may help control blood pressure and inflammation. They may even help fight cancer.
    • And since buckwheat isn’t actually wheat, it doesn’t contain wheat’s gluten. That’s right: Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free!


    Buckwheat has even had a story written about it. By none other than the master storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. It’s called—quite appropriately—The Buckwheat.

    Scroll down for some ideas on celebrating this tasty & nutritious holiday.


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    Celebrating Buckwheat Month

    If it’s a food month, you eat the food!

    And with buckwheat that may be even easier than you think. Because you can have buckwheat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner … and no, you won’t be eating cereal for all your meals.

    Sure, breakfast can be a bowl of cooked toasted kasha, but you could also make pancakes or crepes with buckwheat flour. Use soba noodles or another buckwheat pasta to make lunch or dinner. Or make a pilaf using buckwheat groats.

    So try some of these recipes:


    You might also make plans to go to the annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival. But you’ll have to go next year, because it’s apparently held in late September/early October. The fair includes a carnival, arts & crafts, livestock, and shows. Of course there’s also food, including buckwheat cakes!


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