Buckwheat is commonly mistaken for a grain, but it is actually a seed that makes an excellent salad topper.

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Buckwheat does, in fact, have wheat in its name. However, this nutty and crunchy ingredient is a seed and very much gluten-free. Buckwheat groats or kasha, are hulled, crushed kernels that can be cooked like rice and served as a side, in a stew, you name it. When toasted, buckwheat adds a crispy texture to salads (and more!).

To give buckwheat a crouton-like texture and bring out its irresistible nutty flavor, toss it in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toast in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes. Make a big batch and use it to top salads, soups, or roasted vegetables. This Celery-and-Apple Salad With Crispy Buckwheat is a great place to start. Even mixed into granola for some added crunch is a welcomed and unexpected twist.

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These little pyramid-shaped seeds are rich in fiber, potassium, zinc, and copper, even more of a reason why this mighty ingredient is a must-have pantry item for those on a gluten-free diet. For more pantry items you need to make amazingly easy, healthy meals, we made a simple list for you.

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