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March 2010

Despite the name, buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum is not related to wheat and is gluten free. It comes from the Anglo–Saxon words, “boc,” meaning beech, and “whoet,” meaning wheat which refer to buckwheat's blackish–brown pyramid seeds called groats that resemble a beechnut of the beech tree, although much smaller. Native to central Asia and Europe, buckwheat is one of the most ancient grains, domesticated over 6,000 years ago. Dutch settlers introduced ‘boecweite’ to colonial America planting it in New York State and Pennsylvania where it gradually became known as buckwheat and universally popular.

Superior Nutrition

Although buckwheat is not a member of the Gramineae cereal grain family, it is eaten and used as grain and called a pseudo–grain. For centuries buckwheat has been appreciated for its strengthening, warming, and rejuvenating qualities. Research shows buckwheat protein is superior to every other cereal grain, providing all amino acids including the essential ones, making it a rare and desirable ‘complete protein’ grain. It is rich in the amino acid, lysine, which is so deficient in other cereal crops. Buckwheat also tops all grain in polyphenol and antioxidant value exhibiting neuro–protective qualities. It is Nature's richest source of rutin, a valuable quercetin flavonoid much studied for its benefits in berries. Pure buckwheat is gluten free, high in fiber, and ranks low on the glycemic index. As recently as two generations ago buckwheat mills were extremely common in rural settlements, even more common than breweries. This shows the esteem that buckwheat had; everyone knew it was bracing, healthful, quick cooking, and so very versatile. Now, it's fairly rare as monoculture agriculture has become pervasive. The health of America would benefit greatly from a resurgence in popularity of buckwheat. And on top of everything — it is delicious.

Quick and Easy Meals

With EDEN Organic Buckwheat and Organic Soba noodles in your pantry, it's quick and easy to enjoy and share the benefits of buckwheat. EDEN Buckwheat is a mild tasting, 100 percent whole grain that cooks in 20 minutes. It's rich in fiber, thiamin B1, and magnesium. Ideal as a entrée grain or porridge, in salad, soups, croquettes, grain burgers, pierogi, and stuffed cabbage. It's also great for sprouting.

EDEN's three organic sobas are made only of the finest North American organic grain: buckwheat that is blended with wheat, kamut, or spelt. They are crafted using traditional techniques at the Sobaya Company in Montréal; North America's only certified organic manufacturer of soba, udon, and somen noodles. The four varieties of EDEN Traditional Soba are hand crafted in Japan with a bit more salt using traditional methods by the Tanaka family, who have been making these noodles since 1906. EDEN 100% Buckwheat Soba is made in Japan from only 100% whole grain buckwheat flour with no salt added. EDEN Soba is energizing and versatile. Serve it in traditional dashi noodle broth made with shoyu soy sauce and kombu sea vegetable, or in salads, stir–fries, casseroles, soups, and in making noodle sushi. Try dozens of free, easy recipes at edenfoods.com/recipes.