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Is Buckwheat Flour Really Gluten-Free?

Celiac.com 10/18/2013 - Buckwheat, sometimes referred to as kasha, is often billed as a “tasty alternative to wheat.” That’s all well and good, but is it really gluten-free, and generally considered safe to eat for those who suffer from celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity?  

Photo: CC-- Bob DassWhether or not buckwheat is tasty is a matter of opinion. However, with so much conflicting information available today, it can be hard to tell what’s gluten-free and what isn’t. Here’s the skinny on buckwheat.

The Facts

Good news! With its non-wheat status, buckwheat is safely gluten-free. Buckwheat and wheat are, come to find out, actually from completely different botanical families. Derived from the seeds of a flowering plant, buckwheat is not considered a grain or a cereal (though it may be called a pseudo-cereal—don’t let that scare you).

Buckwheat, in all of its gluten-free glory, is actually closely related to rhubarb. In addition, it is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. In particular, buckwheat groats (the small, triangular seeds), when cooked, offer 17 grams of dietary fiber or 68% of the daily requirement for a 2,000 calorie per day diet, as well as 22 grams of protein.

Nutritionally beneficial and sometimes used in treating symptoms of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, buckwheat contains rutin. Rutin, a glycoside, has been known to strengthen capillary walls and improve circulation.

Like many grains, buckwheat can sometimes be cross-contaminated with wheat during processing, transportation or if it is used as a rotational crop with wheat, so it is important to find non-cross contaminated source of buckwheat—make sure the one you use is certified gluten-free.

Culinary Uses

Buckwheat groats make a healthy side dish. Also, if you grind the small seeds of the buckwheat plant, you can make buckwheat flour for use in noodles, crepes, and many other gluten-free products. Using buckwheat flour in your cooking will give a strong nut taste to your dishes. You can also contribute raw buckwheat groats to recipes for cookies, cakes, granola, crackers, or any other gluten-free, bread-like item.

If you’re feeling more creative, buckwheat makes a good binding agent, and becomes very gelatinous when soaked. If you soak, rinse, and then re-dry the groats you can produce a sort of buckwheat chip that is crunchy and can act as a nice side dish.

When toasted, buckwheat becomes kasha. You can pick out kasha—vs. raw buckwheat—by the color; it’s a darker reddish-brown. In addition, kasha has a strong toasted-nut scent. Conversely, raw buckwheat groats are typically light brown or green and have no aroma.

Buckwheat

So, there you have it. You can use buckwheat and kasha safely as a nutritional, gluten-free alternative to wheat, or to create fun and tasty side dishes with buckwheat groats.

If you’re looking to stock your pantry with all kinds of gluten-free wheat alternatives for your side dishes or even your main dishes, you can safely go for buckwheat in addition to cornmeal, millet, amaranth, cornstarch, garbanzo beans, arrowroot, quinoa or brown rice. Eating a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you have to rely on the same old wheat alternative for every dish!

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33 Responses:

 
char michelson
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said this on
21 Oct 2013 2:22:47 PM PST
I am interested to find out what brand of gluten free buckwheat flour is not contaminated, so that I can make my own noodles. You don't state any brands as safe in this article, but leave it up to us to guess.

 
Katherine
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said this on
22 Oct 2013 2:16:54 PM PST
I am sensitive to buckwheat flour, so I can't use it. This is not an unusual issue for those with multiple dietary intolerances.

 
Bruce Posch
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said this on
27 Nov 2013 8:21:29 PM PST
We have a small commercial, certified organic flour mill that only produces buckwheat flour...absolutely 100% gluten free. I grow the buckwheat and guarantee it to be free of contamination of other grains with gluten, such as wheat to my buyers. It takes a lot of work to keep product gluten free, but I have developed a regiment to achieve it.
This article could have stated the benefit of the great amino acid make up of buckwheat, making it a very good source of plant protein for humans.

 
Jen
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said this on
01 Mar 2014 4:12:00 PM PST
I live in Canada, where can I buy it Bruce?

 
Bruce Posch
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said this on
10 Apr 2014 4:18:16 PM PST
We sell to the Organic Works Bakery, in London Ontario. They distribute across Ontario.

 
Lynette
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said this on
09 Sep 2015 1:58:13 PM PST
What is its name?

 
Jane
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said this on
24 Sep 2014 8:23:51 AM PST
I would be very interested to buy your flour - do you ship to Switzerland?

 
linda
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said this on
18 Oct 2014 6:30:52 PM PST
In NJ where can I buy this?

 
Sandra
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said this on
21 Feb 2015 11:09:47 AM PST
I live in Alberta Canada Bruce, where can I purchase the flour?

 
Benjamin Coombs
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said this on
11 Jan 2016 7:47:25 AM PST
@ Bruce This is great news, however, what is the name of your company/brand?

 
Lori
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said this on
23 Mar 2016 5:26:30 AM PST
Well we are still waiting for the name of your gluten free uncontaminated buckwheat so we can buy it Bruce????

 
Addie
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said this on
30 Jun 2014 1:22:07 PM PST
If you look on the bags usually they will say if the product was processed in a GF facility if it wasn't then chances are it is contaminated. You can try Bob's Red Mill they use an ELISA test to test for Gluten in all of their gluten free products.

 
Ashok Yog
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said this on
06 Oct 2015 6:53:35 PM PST
Article is very informative and helpful.

 
enil
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said this on
09 Jul 2016 5:40:47 AM PST
You answered your own question, if they are labelled as gluten free, they will have been certified as safe for those with coeliac disease, if they do not say gluten free on the pack, don't buy them, the article clearly stated this.

 
Judith Samonte
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said this on
22 Oct 2013 6:11:54 AM PST
I know kasha makes a good pilaf side dish. I bet it could also be used in tabouli.

 
gogiana
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said this on
27 Nov 2013 9:15:00 AM PST
Thank you for the thought!! I love tabouli and am recently wheat free- loving it but thinking what to substitute in tabouli...I was thinking millet. I like the Kasha idea.

 
Andrea Woodall
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said this on
18 Sep 2014 1:12:37 PM PST
Quinoa is also a great tabouli base.

 
enil
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said this on
09 Jul 2016 5:46:20 AM PST
Grated cauliflower steamed, or microwaved with 2 tablespoons of water covered in cling film makes a great alternative in tabbouleh.

 
Molly Gray
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said this on
21 Feb 2015 9:53:19 AM PST
I have used quinoa very successfully in tabouli!

 
enil
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said this on
09 Jul 2016 5:43:43 AM PST
It can be used in tabbouleh but the groats have a distinct nutty flavour which changes the taste of the dish.

 
Jan Frizzley
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said this on
31 Dec 2013 9:02:46 AM PST
Great info! Thank you! I did not know Kasha was just toasted buckwheat. Who knew!

 
Joyce Harasemchuk
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said this on
06 May 2014 1:42:15 PM PST
Thank for this timely information. I have been trying to adjust to a gluten free lifestyle. It's not easy for me because I love bread and all things baked.

 
Terry
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said this on
14 May 2014 9:54:46 AM PST
Thank you for the info.

 
sarah
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said this on
09 Jun 2014 1:32:05 PM PST
Thank you for something new to try, I'm finding it hard to adjust as being a veggie as well is hard work finding food I can eat? But were in England can I find it?

 
enil
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said this on
09 Jul 2016 5:48:18 AM PST
There are numerous sellers online that sell products such as this, try goodness direct, wholefoods...amazon even sells it. I am a gluten free vegan ( coeliac sufferer) and it isn't hard once you get used to it.

 
toni
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said this on
31 Jan 2015 6:36:43 AM PST
Thank you for the interesting and detailed article. I used some buckwheat flour for making tortillas months ago and used it again last night. Then I was worried I wasn't sure if it was gluten free. Glad to know.

 
Jayjay
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said this on
13 Mar 2015 8:53:40 AM PST
Very useful, I have been looking for non-gluten buckwheat flour!

 
Na Ma
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said this on
31 Mar 2015 9:02:51 AM PST
Good info; buckwheat doesn't contain gluten, but may be cross-contaminated. That's exactly what I was trying to find out. I appreciate when I can find quick and easy answers without having to read pages of sidebar info. Thank you!

 
JJJ
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said this on
08 May 2015 3:16:39 PM PST
Currently listening to Dr. Peter Osborne. He says there are hundreds of forms of gluten being discovered - some in corn, which can cause a celiac reaction. There are no tests available for these.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
08 May 2015 3:42:37 PM PST
Corn gluten is safe for celiacs.

 
enil
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said this on
09 Jul 2016 5:50:21 AM PST
Corn has little nutritional value and a lot of folk with coeliac are sensitive to all true grains, grains are also very bad for your health triggering the inflammation cascade, a cause of many chronic health problems, all grains including rice should be kept to a minimum.

 
Katherine Hooks
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said this on
02 Jul 2016 6:59:08 AM PST
I've found that I'm allergic to anything that is gelatinous when moistened, including buckwheat, flax seed, rice, and cornmeal. In other words, any seed that produces a sticky, gooey paste when moistened or heated causes an allergic reaction. Are any others of you in this same position? If so, do you know of an explanation for this? Thank you for your response!

 
ImTinkerbell
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said this on
22 Aug 2016 7:09:33 PM PST
@Katherine ~ Sounds like this is more closely related to irritable bowel disease, IBS or Crohns rather than an actual food "allergy," (unless you are having a histamine reaction with peri-oral or respiratory symptoms).




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