What to look for when buying buckwheat in order to cook crumbly, tasty and healthy buckwheat porridge.
Buckwheat can be called a Russian national product. It has practically no contraindications, contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals. It is loved by both children and adults, and because of its beneficial properties, buckwheat is often called the queen of cereals. To make it easier to choose the desired product in the store, I will tell you in more detail what kind of buckwheat is on sale.
What is the difference between unground and done?
On the shelves of our stores, you can most often find two types of buckwheat: kernel (whole grain and split (crushed grain). Buckwheat can be steamed and unboiled. Steamed buckwheat is also called fast-cooking (information about this is indicated on the package).
Steaming is a technological process of hydrothermal treatment of buckwheat grain, which consists in processing the grain with steam at a pressure of 0.25–0.30 MPa and subsequent drying using hot air. Steaming allows the nutrients in the peripheral portion of the buckwheat grain to transfer to the interior of the kernel. In other words, almost all nutrients are preserved in steamed buckwheat. The steamed grain becomes brown, has a pleasant taste and aroma, its cooking time is reduced, it has a longer shelf life due to better sanitary and hygienic indicators.
The core is divided into four grades: the highest, the first, the second and the third. What is the difference between the first grade of buckwheat and the highest? The variety depends on such indicators of the quality of buckwheat groats as color, smell, taste, good-quality kernel, unhulled grains (grains in a fruit shell, which were previously thrown away when the cereal was sorted), trash, flour, spoiled kernels and the digestibility of cereals, the norms of which are indicated in the current GOST R 55290-2012 “Buckwheat groats. General technical conditions “.
For example, in the kernel of the highest and first grades of a benign kernel, there should be at least 99.35 and 98.90%, and the trash content should not exceed 0.3 and 0.4%, respectively.
But in the core of the second and third grades of good-quality grain should be at least 98.50 and 97.20%, and the content of trash should not exceed 0.5 and 0.6%, respectively.
Prodel is not subdivided into varieties. According to GOST, a good-quality kernel must contain at least 98.30%, and no more than 0.7% of trash is allowed. At the same time, the digestibility of buckwheat is 15 minutes, while that of a kernel is 25 minutes. In terms of nutritional value, it is almost equal to the kernel.
There are also buckwheat flakes on store shelves, which are produced using a special technology from buckwheat groats using heat treatment, pressing, cutting, extrusion. Flakes, like cereals, taste great. They do not lose the properties of buckwheat if their production includes minimal processing. The calorie content of such flakes is one of the lowest among other similar cereal products. The cooking time can be 3-5 minutes – just pour boiling water over the flakes before use. Buckwheat flakes are produced in accordance with the technical specifications (TU) of enterprises – manufacturers of this type of product. In these conditions, indicators and standards for the quality and safety of flakes are established.
Dark and light buckwheat: which one to choose?
If buckwheat is made from steamed grains, then its color is brown in different shades. Subject to the steaming process, the color of the steamed buckwheat kernel is uniform (different shades of brown), while the edges are slightly lighter.
If the groats are made from non-steamed grains, then it has a cream color with a slight yellowish or greenish tinge, or it is also called “green buckwheat”. In terms of nutritional value, green buckwheat practically does not differ from ordinary buckwheat, but it takes longer to cook.
If you see light and dark grains in the package, then most likely the manufacturer has mixed different types of cereals (steamed and not). When cooking, such buckwheat will cook in different ways, and it may turn out that some grains will boil, while others will turn out to be semi-hard.