Ingredients: Buckwheat is the New Black?

As a newly minted resident of Brooklyn I specialize in hipster food trends. Of course being vegan is all the rage now, and while I myself was not a fan of the avocado craze, I am fond of having things to eat for brunch. So I look forward to the days when future food crazes bring more vegan favorites to basic brunch shops of Williamsburg. 

I think the next big food case is going to be buckwheat. It’ll be big like crepes. It will be big like avocado toast. Heck, it’s so versatile, it might even be bigger than avocados themselves. I can see it now: buckwheat tortellini, buckwheat muffins, buckwheat bagels, buckwheat encrusted tofu tacos, savory buckwheat polenta with kale and pickled red onions (coming soon to an experimental vegan food blog near you).

Buckwheat is the perfect craze for home-cooking foodies as well. Now you can finally use that bag of buckwheat flour that’s been sitting in your pantry since you decided to try your hand at making homemade soba noodles, only to realize that soba noodles require a specific kind of buckwheat. That is, unless you blend the buckwheat with wheat flour. But then, of course, it wouldn’t be gluten free. So what’s the fucking point?

Well, stare at your pantry in anger no more. This first recipe is a passable attempt at buckwheat pancakes. They do have gluten in them, though the the aquafaba was so promising as a binder that I think I could make the next batch with oat flour, in which case, I’ll write an update.

I considered using chia seeds as a binder. But seeing as I’m trying to save money and I ran out of chia seeds a couple of weeks ago, that one will have to wait. One day I will no longer be broke and I will once again stock chia seeds, in which case, I’ll write an update.

By the third pancake I realized that these pancakes are best cooked low and slow, with some vegan butter to grease the pan. Make sure your pan is really non-stick, or else use a lot of butter. If It doesn’t come off right away, let it cooker a little longer.

Of course I topped these with maple syrup, because that’s what I had in the pantry. But I bet these would be good with some kind of citrus and herb infused syrup, like lemon and thyme, which maybe, someday, if given the time and the patience to do so, I will make. Even better, I would add it as a mousse, using the left over aquafaba, like a sort of infused whipped cream. The buckwheat has such a strong flavor that I wonder whether it would be complemented by chocolate? Fruit as a garnish is always a good bet. I think some ripe strawberries would be really good. Obviously if I try any of this shit, I’ll write an update.

Anyway, by the time Mr. Autumn fills out his shiny, over-trimmed beard, you’ll have seen every buckwheat combination that exists in the human imagination. I hope you can find some of the best ones here. Start off by making these babies and get into a buckwheat state of mind.

Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk

Blend ingredients until smooth. Then blend for about a minute more to help the aquafaba stiffen. When the liquid is slightly viscous, coming off of a fork more slowly than water, it is ready.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add vegan butter or oil when the pan is up to temp (check by flicking some water on it). Then pour in the pancake batter.  Flip the pancakes when there are bubbles across the top including in the center, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat when both sides are brown.