How to activate buckwheat

Buckwheat is a wonderful grain to use in desserts and chocolate because it’s rather neutral in flavour, but offers a fantastic crunch when it’s sprouted and dehydrated.

Why is it referred to as “activated” buckwheat ?

When you buy buckwheat from the shop and it’s in a package, it’s dormant. It doesn’t become active and alive again until you soak it. If you think about the way things work in nature, this mechanism makes a lot of sense. In nature, buckwheat would grow as grass and, when the grass reaches a certain maturity, it will flower. This is the way nature re-populates itself. This flower has seeds and those seeds are the buckwheat grains. As the flower dies, the seeds dry and fall off onto the surrounding earth. Overtime, when left to its own devices, the seed will become buried in the earth and will lay dormant until a strong rain comes, soaking the earth and the seeds within it. At this time, the buckwheat becomes alive again and begins the process of growing into grass once again.

At home, when we buy the buckwheat seeds ( and this is true of all seeds and nuts ) we are acting like mother nature when we soak the seeds, bringing them back to life in order to reap all their wonderful “alive” benefits.

Activating Buckwheat

buckwheat – however much you need or want to activate
water – best to use spring, bottled or distilled water v.s tap water

Method

  • Place the buckwheat in a bowl about 1 1/2 times it’s mass – when it soaks, it’ll absorb water and the overall mass will multiply.
  • Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the buckwheat by 1-2 inches – this will insure it has enough water to soak up.
  • Let the buckwheat soak 1 hour.
  • Using a fine sieve ( with holes smaller than the grains of buckwheat ) rinse the grain. You’ll notice the water has thickened and, sometimes, can be slightly pink. Rinse the grain until the water runs clear. You don’t need to be to precious about this step, just make sure it’s clean. đŸ™‚
  • Transfer the rinsed grain into a bowl and place it in a warm-ish spot in your home for 10-24 hours, depending on the purpose you’re sprouting. If you’re sprouting to grow it into grass, you’ll want it to sprout longer, but if you’re sprouting to dry or candy / spice it, then it won’t need as much time.
  • For our purposes, we only want a tiny emergence of the “tail” of the grain to be visible. The longer this “tail” grows, the more bitter the grain will become and the less yummy it is.
  • If it’s particularly warm in your home, you may need to rinse the grain as it sprouts to keep it hydrated and in sprouting mode. Simply put it in the sieve, as before, and run water over it for a minute or two. Then pop it back in the bowl to continue sprouting.
  • When your grain has sprouted a very tiny tail, it’s active and ready for the next step.
  • From here, you’ll rinse it one final time and then spread it onto a mesh dehydrator tray to dry at 115f until it’s crisp – about 10 hours. It will then store at room temp, in an airtight container, for several months.
  • Alternatively, if you’re using it for candying, spicing, crackers, etc.. it’s now ready to be used in the recipe you are following.

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